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[dm-devel] Re: [RFD] BIO_RW_BARRIER - what it means for devices, filesystems, and dm/md.

On Thu, May 31 2007, Bill Davidsen wrote:
> Jens Axboe wrote:
> >On Thu, May 31 2007, David Chinner wrote:
> >  
> >>On Thu, May 31, 2007 at 08:26:45AM +0200, Jens Axboe wrote:
> >>    
> >>>On Thu, May 31 2007, David Chinner wrote:
> >>>      
> >>>>IOWs, there are two parts to the problem:
> >>>>
> >>>>	1 - guaranteeing I/O ordering
> >>>>	2 - guaranteeing blocks are on persistent storage.
> >>>>
> >>>>Right now, a single barrier I/O is used to provide both of these
> >>>>guarantees. In most cases, all we really need to provide is 1); the
> >>>>need for 2) is a much rarer condition but still needs to be
> >>>>provided.
> >>>>
> >>>>        
> >>>>>if I am understanding it correctly, the big win for barriers is that 
> >>>>>you do NOT have to stop and wait until the data is on persistant media 
> >>>>>before you can continue.
> >>>>>          
> >>>>Yes, if we define a barrier to only guarantee 1), then yes this
> >>>>would be a big win (esp. for XFS). But that requires all filesystems
> >>>>to handle sync writes differently, and sync_blockdev() needs to
> >>>>call blkdev_issue_flush() as well....
> >>>>
> >>>>So, what do we do here? Do we define a barrier I/O to only provide
> >>>>ordering, or do we define it to also provide persistent storage
> >>>>writeback? Whatever we decide, it needs to be documented....
> >>>>        
> >>>The block layer already has a notion of the two types of barriers, with
> >>>a very small amount of tweaking we could expose that. There's absolutely
> >>>zero reason we can't easily support both types of barriers.
> >>>      
> >>That sounds like a good idea - we can leave the existing
> >>WRITE_BARRIER behaviour unchanged and introduce a new WRITE_ORDERED
> >>behaviour that only guarantees ordering. The filesystem can then
> >>choose which to use where appropriate....
> >>    
> >
> >Precisely. The current definition of barriers are what Chris and I came
> >up with many years ago, when solving the problem for reiserfs
> >originally. It is by no means the only feasible approach.
> >
> >I'll add a WRITE_ORDERED command to the #barrier branch, it already
> >contains the empty-bio barrier support I posted yesterday (well a
> >slightly modified and cleaned up version).
> >
> >  
> Wait. Do filesystems expect (depend on) anything but ordering now? Does 
> md? Having users of barriers as they currently behave suddenly getting 
> SYNC behavior where they expect ORDERED is likely to have a negative 
> effect on performance. Or do I misread what is actually guaranteed by 
> WRITE_BARRIER now, and a flush is currently happening in all cases?

See the above stuff you quote, it's answered there. It's not a change,
this is how the Linux barrier write has always worked since I first
implemented it. What David and I are talking about is adding a more
relaxed version as well, that just implies ordering.

> And will this also be available to user space f/s, since I just proposed 
> a project which uses one? :-(

I see several uses for that, so I'd hope so.

> I think the goal is good, more choice is almost always better choice, I 
> just want to be sure there won't be big disk performance regressions.

We can't get more heavy weight than the current barrier, it's about as
conservative as you can get.

Jens Axboe

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