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Re: [dm-devel] [PATCH, RFC 2/2] dm: support REQ_FLUSH directly

On Thu, Aug 26 2010 at  9:43pm -0400,
Jun'ichi Nomura <j-nomura ce jp nec com> wrote:

> Hi Mike,
> (08/27/10 07:50), Mike Snitzer wrote:
> >> Special casing is necessary because device-mapper may have to
> >> send multiple copies of REQ_FLUSH request to multiple
> >> targets, while normal request is just sent to single target.
> > 
> > Yes, request-based DM is meant to have all the same capabilities as
> > bio-based DM.  So in theory it should support multiple targets but in
> > practice it doesn't.  DM's multipath target is the only consumer of
> > request-based DM and it only ever clones a single flush request
> > (num_flush_requests = 1).
> This is correct. But,
> > So why not remove all of request-based DM's barrier infrastructure and
> > simply rely on the revised block layer to sequence the FLUSH+WRITE
> > request for request-based DM?
> > 
> > Given that we do not have a request-based DM target that requires
> > cloning multiple FLUSH requests its unused code that is delaying DM
> > support for the new FLUSH+FUA work (NOTE: bio-based DM obviously still
> > needs work in this area).
> the above mentioned 'special casing' is not a hard part.
> See the attached patch.

Yes, Tejun suggested something like this in one of the threads.  Thanks
for implementing it.

But do you agree that the request-based barrier code (added in commit
d0bcb8786) could be reverted given the new FLUSH work?

We no longer need waiting now that ordering isn't a concern.  Especially
so given rq-based doesn't support multiple targets.  As you know, from

         * Request-based dm supports only tables that have a single target now.
         * To support multiple targets, request splitting support is needed,
         * and that needs lots of changes in the block-layer.
         * (e.g. request completion process for partial completion.)

I think we need to at least benchmark the performance of dm-mpath
without any of this extra, soon to be unnecessary, code.

Maybe my concern is overblown...

> The hard part is discerning the error type for flush failure
> as discussed in the other thread.
> And as Kiyoshi wrote, that's an existing problem so it can
> be worked on as a separate issue than the new FLUSH work.

Right, Mike Christie will be refreshing his patchset that should enable
us to resolve that separate issue.


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