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Re: [libvirt] RFC API proposal: virDomainBlockRebase

On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 03:00:40PM -0700, Eric Blake wrote:
> On 01/31/2012 01:53 PM, Adam Litke wrote:
> > On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 09:28:51AM -0700, Eric Blake wrote:
> >> Right now, the existing virDomainBlockPull API has a tough limitation -
> >> it is an all-or-none approach.  In all my examples below, I'm starting
> >> from the following relationship, where '<-' means 'is a backing file of':
> >>
> >> template <- intermediate <- current
> >>
> >> Meanwhile, qemu is adding support for a partial block pull operation,
> >> still on the current image as the merge destination, but where you can
> >> now specify an optional argument to limit the pull to just the
> >> intermediate files and altering the current image to be backed by an
> >> ancestor file, as in:
> >>
> >> merge intermediate into current, creating:
> >> template <- current
> >>
> >> For 0.9.10, I'd like to add the following API:
> >>
> >> /**
> >>  * virDomainBlockRebase:
> >>  * @dom: pointer to domain object
> >>  * @disk: path to the block device, or device shorthand
> >>  * @base: new base image, or NULL for entire block pull
> >>  * @bandwidth: (optional) specify copy bandwidth limit in Mbps
> >>  * @flags: extra flags; not used yet, so callers should always pass 0
> > 
> > What is the format of the @base arg?  My first thought would be a path, but what
> > if the desired image file is not directly known to libvirt?
> Libvirt already has to know the absolute paths of all disks in the
> backing file chain, in order to properly SELinux label them prior to
> invoking qemu.  So I'm envisioning the absolute path of the backing file
> in the chain that will be preserved.  That is, with:

Ok.  That is clear.  Thanks.

> touch 10M /path/to/template
> qemu-img create -f qcow2 \
>   -o backing_file /path/to/template /path/to/intermediate
> qemu-img create -f qcow2 \
>   -o backing_file /path/to/intermediate /path/to/current
> followed by virDomainBlockRebase(dom, "vda", "/path/to/template", 0)
> would result in /path/to/current referring to /path/to/template as its
> primary backing file.
> I also had an idea down below where, with the addition of a new flags
> value, base could refer to a well-formed XML block rather than a single
> file name, such that we could then populate that XML block with more
> complex instructions; but I'm not proposing doing that extension in the
> 0.9.10 timeframe, so much as trying to argue that this API is extensible
> and we won't need yet a third API for block pull if qemu ever allows
> more complex merging scenarios.
> >> Given that Adam has a pending patch to support a
> >> VIR_DOMAIN_BLOCK_PULL_ASYNC flag, this same flag would have to be
> >> supported in virDomainBlockRebase.
> > 
> > That patch only applies to virDomainBlockJobCancel().  The blockJob initiators
> > (virDomainBlockPull and this new one) already use an async mode of operation
> > because the call simply starts the block job.
> Ah, right.  I'm getting slightly confused with all the patches that
> still need review :)
> virDomainBlockPull has always been asynchronous, so no flag is needed
> there or in this new API.
> >> and backward merge of a non-current image (that is, undoing an earlier
> >> snapshot, but by modifying the template rather than the current image):
> >>
> >> merge intermediate into base, creating:
> >> template <- current
> > 
> > Don't these raise some security concerns about modifying a potentially shared
> > intermediate image?
> Yes, the management app has to be careful to not remove backing files
> that are in use in other chains.  But we already have a lock manager
> setup, so of course, part of the libvirt work is integrating this work
> so that no image is ever reverted if the lock manager says a file is in
> use; libvirt can also check all registered storage pools and prevent a
> rebase if the storage pool tracks files that serve as base images to
> more than one other images, and prevent modifying base images in those
> cases (there's probably still a lot of work to be done in libvirt to
> make it bulletproof, but that's okay, since again, my ideas about
> reverse merges are post-0.9.10 and would also require more work from qemu).
> At any rate, you responded favorably to the first half of my email (the
> proposal for what to implement in 0.9.10), even if you got scared by my
> musings about possible future extensions at later releases.  I'll take
> that as a good sign that I have a) come up with a good API worth adding
> now, and b) divided things appropriately into what is reasonable to do
> now vs. what is complex enough to be worth delaying until we have more
> experience with the use cases and ramifications of adding the complexity.

Yes, exactly.  Seems like a good plan.  I am happy to see that the blockJob API
family will be extended as we initially intended.

Adam Litke <agl us ibm com>
IBM Linux Technology Center

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