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Re: [dm-devel] Multisnap / dm-thin

On 01/19/12 10:33, Joe Thornber wrote:
On Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 11:35:40AM +0100, Spelic wrote:
Hello all,
I would need the multisnap feature, i.e., the ability to make many
snapshots without high performance degradation...
I saw it mentioned around, but it does not seem to be in the kernel
yet. Is it planned to be introduced? Is there an ETA?

Note that I am not very fond of the new dm-thin which is planned to
have a multisnap-equivalent feature, because of the fragmentation it
will cause (I suppose a defragmenter is long way to come). Not
having fragmentation is the reason for using blockdevices instead of
loop mounted files after all isn't it?
The point of multisnap is that blocks of data are shared between
multiple snapshots (unlike the current single snap implementation).
Saving both disk space, and probably more importantly, redundant
copying.  As such I struggle to see why you think it's possible to do
this and keep all the data contiguous.

I would be using only the origin, which should be fully allocated and hence fully contiguous. Snapshots would be backups for me, and readonly. I am not interested in the performances on those, I am only interested that their presence does not degrade the performances of origin too much (that's important otherwise I would see no improvement compared to current LVM implementation).

Now that I think of this, I could preallocate everything in your dm-thin and hope it comes out contiguous, but explicitly supporting something similar to the --contiguous=y of lvm would be much better. Also, in this sense the discard support in your dm-thin would worsen things for me. If you implement it I think it should be possible to disable it.

Both Mikulas' multisnap, and
my thinp, use btrees to store the metadata, and allocate data blocks
on a first come first served basis.

Mikulas' multisnap works the same way wrt what I wrote above? Contiguity of origin cannot be guaranteed?

Fragmentation is a big concern; but until I have a good idea what real
world usage patterns for thinp are I'm a bit short of data to base any
improvements to the allocator on.  If you want to help I'd love to
know your usage scenario, and the slow down you're observing as the
pool ages.

I was using files for VM disk images. Sparse files. Disk performances in the VM would be very low at times and I couldn't understand why, until I tried to copy one of those files sequentially and I saw even sequential read was very low, like less than 80MB/sec when it should have been at least 500MB/sec on that array, while other VM images that were fully preallocated files this was not a problem. So I moved to LVM contiguous devices and this has not been a problem anymore.

As far as a defragmenter goes.  My first approach will be allowing
people to set a 'copy-on-read' flag on thin devices that they feel are
too fragmented.  This will then trigger the current machinery for
breaking sharing - but reallocating according to the _current_ io
usage pattern.

I don't get it... if you also allocate a fragment for reads, the end result would be more fragmentation and not less...?

This should be a very small change, when I see
real world fragmentation, I'll implement it.

Maybe your requirement is for the origin to be a preexisting,
contiguous device?


In which case see the other discussion thread with
Ted Tso.

Hmmm I can't seem to be able to find it
I see this thread with Tso
--- Re: [dm-devel] About the thin provision function @ kernel 3.2 or later.
but it seems to talk about a snapshot of an external origin.
Supporting a readonly external origin is easy but it's not what I want.
Supporting a r/w external origin... I don't know how it could ever be done since you won't receive notifications of the underlying origin changing. Would that be made with a sort of hook points in all device types in the kernel?

Seems a big can of worms to go that way just for my use case.
For my use case it would be simpler if there was a way to fully preallocate a contiguous origin in thinp, and then the ability to disable discard implementation when it gets implemented. Clearly this would go against the name "thin".

I don't know if Mikulas's multisnap would be more apt for this.

Another question: is support from userspace (LVM) planned? Is there an ETA? Will that be from you or we are waiting for LVM people to pick it up?
Because being just DM it seems a bit hard to use.

Thanks for your explanations and your hard work

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