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Re: [dm-devel] [PATCH v2 0/5] dm-replicator: introduce new remote replication target

On Thu, 2009-11-26 at 13:29 +0100, heinzm redhat com wrote:
> From: Heinz Mauelshagen <heinzm redhat com>
> * 2nd version of patch series (dated Oct 23 2009) *
> This is a series of 5 patches introducing the device-mapper remote
> data replication target "dm-replicator" to kernel 2.6.
> Userspace support for remote data replication will be in
> a future LVM2 version.
> The target supports disaster recovery by replicating groups of active
> mapped devices (ie. receiving io from applications) to one or more
> remote sites to paired groups of equally sized passive block devices
> (ie. no application access). Synchronous, asynchronous replication
> (with fallbehind settings) and temporary downtime of transports
> are supported.
> It utilizes a replication log to ensure write ordering fidelity for
> the whole group of replicated devices, hence allowing for consistent
> recovery after failover of arbitrary applications
> (eg. DBMS utilizing N > 1 devices).
> In case the replication log runs full, it is capable to fall back
> to dirty logging utilizing the existing dm-log module, hence keeping
> track of regions of devices wich need resynchronization after access
> to the transport returned.
> Access logic of the replication log and the site links are implemented
> as loadable modules, hence allowing for future implementations with
> different capabilities in terms of additional plugins.
> A "ringbuffer" replication log module implements a circular ring buffer
> store for all writes being processed. Other replication log handlers
> may follow this one as plugins too.
> A "blockdev" site link module implements block devices access to all remote
> devices, ie. all devices exposed via the Linux block device layer
> (eg. iSCSI, FC).
> Again, other eg. network type transport site link handlers may
> follow as plugins.
> Please review for upstream inclusion.

So having read the above, I don't get what the benefit is over either
the in-kernel md/nbd ... which does intent logging, or over the pending
drbd which is fairly similar to md/nbd but also does symmetric active
replication for clustering.

Since md/nbd implements the writer in userspace, by the way, it already
has a userspace ringbuffer module that some companies are using in
commercial products for backup rewind and the like.  It strikes me that
the userspace approach, since it seems to work well, is a better one
than an in-kernel approach.


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