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re: [linux-lvm] RE: re[2]: Newbie VFS-lock question

Dale / Adrian,

During my testing I had noticed that the more rapidly I created snapshots, the more slowly the lvcreate accrued.

I decided to add a 5 minute delay, so for the last couple of hours, I have been doing:

while true
sleep 300
lvcreate --snapshot
mount ...
umount ...

At the same time, I have
while true
dd if=large_file of=junk bs=64k
sleep 1

running on the same LV.
I have not seen any problems yet.

I'm going to leave it running overnight like this, and if this works without any lockups I'm going to move on to other types of testing.

FYI: I have seen failures when the sleep 300 is a sleep 60.

My guess it takes a minute or two for the lvremove to fully work its way thru the LV.

Since I only need to make one set of snapshots per night. I'm not overly concerned about that.

OTOH, you may want to add that as a test case.

Thanks for your help.
 >>  I wrote:
 >>  >>  If you look through the XFS list archives, you'll find some 
 >>  >>  patches I posted to help alleviate some of the lockups I 
 >>  >>  had seen, but I've still seen a few--generally with 
 >>  >>  multiple snapshots of the same source volume with heavy
 >>  >>  write I/O directed to the source volume.

 >>  Greg wrote:
 >>  > Have your patches been incorporated into the XFS code?

 >>  With the exception of removing the call to 
 >>  xfs_unmountfs_writesb() from the unfreeze, no.  Nor should
 >>  they be.  We used a new process flag to exempt certain
 >>  processes from getting snagged by the freeze (such as ones
 >>  who went through write_some_buffers(), the freeze itself,
 >>  sync calls).  It's an ugly hack that works most of the time,
 >>  not the sort of thing you want in a CVS tree.

 >>  XFS has changed a good deal since we put those patches
 >>  together in March and April, so some of the problems we
 >>  worked around may be gone.  But as long as messages like
 >>  your show up, I'm not in a hurry to yank the hacks from my
 >>  build.

 >>  >Are you talking about multiple simultaneous snapshots, or creating 
 >>  >and destroying them in rapid succession.

 >>  Multiple simultaneous snapshots.

 >>  [...]
 >>  >>  One way that should not experience lockups is to use neither
 >>  >>  xfs_freeze nor the VFS lock patch, but use writable snapshots.
 >>  >>  The snapshot won't be a consistent filesystem, but mount it with
 >>  >>  the nouuid option and let it do recovery.  This way may not give
 >>  >>  you what you wanted, but at  least it won't lock up.

 >>  >I'm using a SuSE 2.4.19pre1aa1 based kernel currently, and it is not
 >>  >clear to me that it does or does not have the VFS lock patch.  If I
 >>  >understand you correctly, the fact that I am getting lockups in lvcreate
 >>  >that are resolved by xfs_freeze -u is strong indicator that the patch is
 >>  >present.  Correct?

 >>  Correct.

 >>  >Would an even better test be to explicitly call xfs_freeze -f to freeze
 >>  >the filesystem, then lvcreate to create a snapshot.  Then check the
 >>  >original filesystem and see if it is now unfroze?  I will try that
 >>  >regardless.

 >>  This will work as well.

 >>  >How easy should it be to eliminate the one patch?  Are they typically
 >>  >invoked by some kind of specfile that I can edit and keep the patch from
 >>  >being applied?

 >>  I've not used code from SUSE, but a redhat RPM build would have the
 >>  patches mentioned in the spec file.  You could either comment out the
 >>  application of the particular task, or add another patch that undoes
 >>  part of the earlier patch.  If you don't want to lock the file system at
 >>  lvcreate time, for instance, it would be sufficient to replace lvm.c's
 >>  fsync_dev_lockfs() with a fsync_dev().  The unlockfs() call should do no
 >>  harm.

 >>  Dale Stephenson
 >>  steph snapserver com

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 >>  linux-lvm sistina com
 >>  http://lists.sistina.com/mailman/listinfo/linux-lvm
 >>  read the LVM HOW-TO at http://www.sistina.com/lvm/Pages/howto.html

Greg Freemyer
Internet Engineer
Deployment and Integration Specialist
Compaq ASE - Tru64 v4, v5
Compaq Master ASE - SAN Architect
The Norcross Group

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