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Re: [dm-devel] dm-cache caching network volume

Alex Elsayed wrote:

> √Čtienne BERSAC wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I'm testing dm-cache for using a local SSD as a cache for a network
>> volume. My goal is to test dm-cache behaviour when network is down.
>> The device is shared through iSCSI. The first test is filling a huge
>> file with dd from /dev/zero. So, this is sequential access. While dd is
>> running, i remove the tun iface from the bridge on the host. iSCSI
>> properly detects the network failure.
>> I expected dm-cache to continue filling dirty blocks, even if the
>> network device is blocking. But it doesn't. The status shows that dirty
>> blocks count stays the same. dd is blocking.
>> I'm wondering if there is some cache desactivation due to
>> sequential_threshold. But increasing sequential_threshold did not help.
>> Where does dm-cache blocks ?
>> Is it possible to have dm-cache "bufferize" blocks for network
>> failures ?
>> Regards,
> Disclaimer: Not an expert, and not actually involved in writing bcache
> Well, since you didn't mention changing it, I suspect you are operating in
> the default "writethrough" mode - this doesn't return to userspace until
> the data is on the backing (iSCSI in your case) device. For bcache over a
> network volume, this is the safe option, since the client machine dying
> won't lose data.
> If you put bcache in writethrough mode, it may well do exactly as you
> describe, but only if iSCSI itself recovers from the connection loss (and
> possibly other caveats I'm not thinking of). If it doesn't, or if it does
> but doesn't manage to maintain the exact state it was in on disconnection,
> then you will lose data.

My apologies, I didn't realize until I ready my own reply on the way back 
that this was on the topic of dm-cache rather than bcache.

To properly respond, as I understand it dm-cache works by migrating chunks 
between the backing device and the faster cache. If your write would go to 
the backing device, it would block exactly as normal.

(I hope I didn't get this egregiously wrong...)

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