The behaviour that you are seeing, slow the first time a file or group
of files are accessed, is consistent with OS/400 behaviour. I suspect
that the slowness is related to the LRU paging algorithm used by OS/400.
Stated another way, if the file indices and the related contents are not
used for an extended time, they get paged out of the system cash. Then,
the next time you do a string search, both the indices an the file
contents must be read back (paged) into cash. For large files, this
paging may take a significant amount of time.
The only way that I've found to improve the performance in this
situation is to periodically access the file to keep it paged into
memory. This is not a good idea on busy systems as keeping the file
paged into cash will slow down other processes.
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