Bass said:Dexter said:*snip*
It doesn't but an OS can accomplish a lot of the intelligent read caching by a paging algorithm, which keeps track of the most commonly read parts of a file. This is easy to implement with the information the kernel gets from mmap and subsequent use of the mmaped space. Most of the performence heavy lifting can be done by the kernel, which knows more about the characters of the persistent store (eg: location of the R/W head, etc).
It would be downright stupid for a DB to take all of this in it's own hands, but I am sure there is some legacy DBs out there who still do all of this, because they were written during a time where MS-DOS was considered advanced.
No way man, the OS has no knowledge of the internal structure of the database. You can certainly get better performance by doing more work. Database servers optimize their layout on the physical disk.