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Re: [dm-devel] Device-mapper cluster locking

Thanks for your response.  Comments in-lined.

On Apr 7, 2010, at 12:49 PM, Mikulas Patocka wrote:


On Wed, 7 Apr 2010, Jonathan Brassow wrote:

I've been working on a cluster locking mechanism to be primarily used by device-mapper targets. The main goals are API simplicity and an ability
to tell if a resource has been modified remotely while a lock for the
resource was not held locally. (IOW, Has the resource I am acquiring the
lock for changed since the last time I held the lock.)

The original API (header file below) required 4 locking modes: UNLOCK, MONITOR, SHARED, and EXCLUSIVE. The unfamiliar one, MONITOR, is similar to UNLOCK; but it keeps some state associated with the lock so that the next
time the lock is acquired it can be determined whether the lock was
acquired EXCLUSIVE by another machine.

The original implementation did not cache cluster locks. Cluster locks were simply released (or put into a non-conflicting state) when the lock was put into the UNLOCK or MONITOR mode. I now have an implementation that always caches cluster locks - releasing them only if needed by another machine. (A user may want to choose the appropriate implementation for their workload - in which case, I can probably provide both implementations
through one API.)

Maybe you can think about autotuning it --- i.e. count how many times
caching "won" (the lock was taken by the same node) or "lost" (the lock was acquired by another node) and keep or release the lock based on the ratio of these two counts. Decay the counts over time, so that it adjusts
on workload change.

Certainly, that sounds like a sensible thing to do; and I think there is some precedent out there for this.

How does that dlm protocol work? When a node needs a lock, what happens?
It sends all the nodes message about the lock? Or is there some master
node as an arbiter?

Yes, all nodes receive a message. No, there is no central arbiter. For example, if 4 nodes have a lock SHARED and the 5th one wants the lock EXCLUSIVE, the 4 nodes will get a notice requesting them to drop (or at least demote) the lock.

The interesting thing about the new caching approach is
that I probably do not need this extra "MONITOR" state. (If a lock that is cached in the SHARED state is revoked, then obviously someone is looking to alter the resource. We don't need to have extra state to give us what
can already be inferred and returned from cached resources.)

Yes, MONITOR and UNLOCK could be joined.

I've also been re-thinking some of my assumptions about whether we
/really/ need separate lockspaces and how best to release resources
associated with each lock (i.e. get rid of a lock and its memory
because it will not be used again, rather than caching unnecessarily). The original API (which is the same between the cached and non- caching
implementations) only operates by way of lock names.  This means a
couple of things:
1) Memory associated with a lock is allocated at the time the lock is
needed instead of at the time the structure/resource it is protecting
  is allocated/initialized.
2) The locks will have to be tracked by the lock implementation. This
  means hash tables, lookups, overlapping allocation checks, etc.
We can avoid these hazards and slow-downs if we separate the allocation
of a lock from the actual locking action.  We would then have a lock
life-cycle as follows:
- lock_ptr = dmcl_alloc_lock(name, property_flags)
- dmcl_write_lock(lock_ptr)
- dmcl_unlock(lock_ptr)
- dmcl_read_lock(lock_ptr)
- dmcl_unlock(lock_ptr)
- dmcl_free_lock(lock_ptr)

I think it is good --- way better than passing the character string on
every call, parsing the string, hashinh it and comparing.

If you do it this way, you speed up lock acquires and releases.

where 'property flags' is, for example:
PREALLOC_DLM: Get DLM lock in an unlocked state to prealloc necessary structs

How would it differ from non-PREALLOC_DLM behavior?

When a cluster lock is allocated, it could also acquire the DLM lock in the UNLOCKed state. This forces the dlm to create the necessary structures for the lock and create entries in the global index. This involves memory allocation (on multiple machines) and inter-machine communication. The only reason you wouldn't want to do this is if the DLM module or the cluster infrastructure was not available at the time you are allocating the lock.

I could envision something like this if you were allocating the lock on module init for some reason. In this case, you would want to delay the actions of the DLM until you needed the lock.

This seems like it would be a rare occurrence, so perhaps I could negate that flag to 'DELAY_DLM_INTERACTION' or some such thing.

CACHE_RD_LK: Cache DLM lock when unlocking read locks for later acquisitions


CACHE_WR_LK: Cache DLM lock when unlocking write locks for later acquisitions


USE_SEMAPHORE: also acquire a semaphore when acquiring cluster lock

Which semaphore? If the user needs a specific semaphore, he can just
acquire it with down() --- there is no need to overload dm-locking with
that. Or is there any other reason why it is needed?

Ok, I thought this might bring a degree of convenience; but I will happily not include this option if it makes things bloated. I will simply leave this out in any initial version.

Since the 'name' of the lock - which is used to uniquely identify a lock by name cluster-wide - could conflict with the same name used by someone else, we could allow locks to be allocated from a new lockspace as well. So, the option of creating your own lockspace would be available in addition to the
default lockspace.

What is the exact lockspace-lockname relationship? You create
locspace "dm-snap" and lockname will be UUID of the logical volume?

The lockspace can be thought of as the location from which you acquire locks. When simply using UUIDs as names of locks, a single default lockspace would suffice. However, if you are using block numbers or inode numbers as your lock names, these names may conflict if you were locking the same block number on two different devices. In that case, you might create a lockspace for each device (perhaps named by the UUID) and acquire locks from these independent lock spaces based on block numbers. Since the locks are being sourced from independent lockspaces, there is no chance of overloading/conflict.

IOW, if your design uses names for locks that could be used by other users of the DLM, you should consider creating your own lockspace. In fact, the default lockspace that would be available through the this API would actually be a lockspace created specifically for the users of this new API - to prevent any possible conflict with other DLM users. So in actuality, you would only need to create a new lockspace if you thought your lock names might conflict with those from other device-mapper target instances (including your own if you are using block numbers as the lock names).

The code has been written, I just need to arrange it into the right functional layout... Would this new locking API make more sense to people? Mikulas,
what would you prefer for cluster snapshots?


I think using alloc/free interface is good.

BTW. also, think about failure handling. If there is a communication
problem, the lock may fail. What to do? Detach the whole exception store
and stop touching it? Can unlock fail?

Yes, dlm operations can fail or stall (due to quorum issues or network outage). I'll talk with some of the other users (GFS) to see how they cope with these issues.

The caching aspect may help limit some of the failure cases. If you unlock, the DLM lock will not be release until it is needed. A machine will be notified of the need to release the lock only if communication is working properly.

The locking API can always return failure from the functions and leave the decision up to the user; but perhaps there are better solutions already in play by other users of the DLM. I will ask them.


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