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Re: [dm-devel] [PATCH v2] dm: Fix alignment stacking on partitioned devices

On Thu, Jan 07 2010 at 12:15pm -0500,
Martin K. Petersen <martin petersen oracle com> wrote:

> >>>>> "Mike" == Mike Snitzer <snitzer redhat com> writes:
> >> However, there are other subsystems that need to stack without an
> >> associated block_device.  So instead of changing blk_stack_limits I
> >> propose we use the wrapper below.
> Mike> Yes, looks like osdblk.c's use of blk_queue_stack_limits()
> DM also does a stacking pass without a bdev (dm_calculate_queue_limits),
> although I think you can avoid that by getting rid of ti_limits
> altogether and just stack limits.

Yeah, I'm keeping the stacking of all devices within a target
self-contained; I also do validation of the target's limits:

                 * Check each device area is consistent with the target's
                 * overall queue limits.
                if (ti->type->iterate_devices(ti, device_area_is_invalid,
                        return -EINVAL;

The validation, with device_area_is_invalid, is confined to validating
only this target's devices' limits.  I couldn't do the same target-local
validation by stacking a single flat 'limits'.

I then stack that target's limits on the final DM device's 'limits' (and
will spew a warning accordingly).

> I couldn't figure out why the alignment_offset for a misaligned DM
> device was zero, despite being -1 after stacking had completed.  I
> finally spotted this in dm_table_set_restrictions():
>         limits->alignment_offset = 0;
>         limits->misaligned = 0;
> So after all the stacking function's hard work you set the alignment to
> 0 and clear the misaligned flag.  Why?

Good question, it made my head hurt trying to recall why :)

A very critical piece to this is the assumption that alignment_offset is
consumed by LVM2 (it adjusts by shifting a target device's 'start' to
include alignment_offset).  DM doesn't rely on the block layer to
validate alignment_offset at all.

The comment above the lines you referenced offers:

         * Each target device in the table has a data area that should normally
         * be aligned such that the DM device's alignment_offset is 0.
         * FIXME: Propagate alignment_offsets up the stack and warn of
         *        sub-optimal or inconsistent settings.

Seems I took the time to add a comment whose FIXME doesn't ring many
bells now!  But ignoring that, the comment before the FIXME is making a
veiled reference to userspace having consumed alignment_offset.

To recap: Userspace consumes alignment_offset so it shouldn't be a
concern in DM.  Each target device is validated (like I covered above)
such that any misalignment (purely logicical vs physical misalignment)
within a target device is not tolerated.  So by the time the DM table's
limits get copied to the DM device's limits (in
dm_table_set_restrictions) any misalignment percieved by the block layer
is not trusted/published.


p.s. Any feedback on fatal flaws in all of this is much appreciated.  I
thought I cleared most of this with you as it was developed but seems
not (obviously I didn't clear resetting alignment_offset and

But I'm now thinking that if all the above works according to plan we
shouldn't ever have a DM device's alignment_offset or misaligned be
anything but 0 (unless one isn't using a trained LVM2; which I'd imagine
you aren't).  Anyway, long story short, those lines _should_ likely be
removed... but it needs further testing that I can't do right now.

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