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Re: [dm-devel] dm-mpath: do not change SCSI device handler

On Thu, 4 Apr 2013, Mike Snitzer wrote:

> On Thu, Apr 04 2013 at  8:55am -0400,
> Mikulas Patocka <mpatocka redhat com> wrote:
> > 
> > 
> > On Thu, 4 Apr 2013, Mike Snitzer wrote:
> > 
> > > I'll take a look at fixing this by deferring the scsi_dh switch until
> > > resume.  This fix would assume multipath-tools is _not_ doing a noflush
> > > suspend/resume when it is switching the scsi_dh.
> > > 
> > > Mike
> > 
> > This won't work because scsi_dh_attach allocates memory and you can't 
> > allocate memory when something is suspended.
> Ah yeah, scsi_dh->attach allocates memory for scsi_dh_data.  But
> couldn't those scsi_dh_* attach allocations be switched from GFP_KERNEL
> to GFP_NOIO?

Yes and no.

GFP_NOIO allocations don't issue any IO, so they have higher possibility 
of failure - if the memory is full of user space pages or dirty file pages 
and there are no clean cache pages, then GFP_NOIO allocation can't make 
any progress and fails. GFP_KERNEL allocation could swap out some pages 
and succeed.

On the other hand, kernel developers use GFP_NOIO allocations and assume 
that they don't fail. And they don't fail most of the time. Although I 
have seen cases where it failed and caused trouble - when allocating 
inodes with GFP_NOIO under high memory stress. (the correct solution would 
be to allocate the inode with GFP_KERNEL earlier, when we are not holding 
any filesystem lock).

>From the point of formal correctness, relying on GFP_NOIO is wrong, but if 
the allocated space is small and it happens infrequently (only on 
activation), you can likely get away with it without being caught.


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