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Re: [dm-devel] REQUEST for new 'topology' metrics to be moved out of the 'queue' sysfs directory.

Neil Brown wrote:
On Friday June 26, martin petersen oracle com wrote:
As far as making the application of these values more obvious I propose
the following:

What:		/sys/block/<disk>/queue/minimum_io_size
Date:		April 2009
Contact:	Martin K. Petersen <martin petersen oracle com>
		Storage devices may report a granularity or minimum I/O
		size which is the device's preferred unit of I/O.
		Requests smaller than this may incur a significant
		performance penalty.

		For disk drives this value corresponds to the physical
		block size. For RAID devices it is usually the stripe
		chunk size.

These two paragraphs are contradictory.  There is no sense in which a
RAID chunk size is a preferred minimum I/O size.

To some degree it is actually a 'maximum' preferred size for random
IO.  If you do random IO is blocks larger than the chunk size then you
risk causing more 'head contention' (at least with RAID0 - with RAID5
the tradeoff is more complex).

Actually this is allocation unit, and the array can be assumed to be a series of sets of contiguous bytes of this size. Given LBA addressing, array members which are not simple whole devices, etc, this doesn't (can't) promise much for the physical layout. And any read which resides entirely within a chunk would not have a performance penalty, although write might, if it were not a multiple of the sector size of the array member(s) involved.

If you are talking about "alignment", then yes - the chunk size is an
appropriate size to align on.  But so are the block size and the
stripe size and none is, in general, any better than any other.

I would assume that a chunk, aligned on a chunk boundary, would be allocated in a contiguous series of bytes on the underlying array member. And that any i/o not aligned on a chunk boundary would be more likely to access multiple array members.

Feel free to clarify my assumptions.

Also, you say "may" report.  If a device does not report, what happens
to this file.  Is it not present, or empty, or contain a special
"undefined" value?
I think the answer is that "512" is reported.  It might be good to
explicitly document that.
I'd really like to see an example of how you expect filesystems to use
I can well imagine the VM or elevator using this to assemble IO
requests in to properly aligned requests.  But I cannot imagine how
e.g mkfs would use it.
Or am I misunderstanding and this is for programs that use O_DIRECT on
the block device so they can optimise their request stream?

Bill Davidsen <davidsen tmr com>
 Obscure bug of 2004: BASH BUFFER OVERFLOW - if bash is being run by a
normal user and is setuid root, with the "vi" line edit mode selected,
and the character set is "big5," an off-by-one error occurs during
wildcard (glob) expansion.

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