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Re: XFS vs Elevators (was Re: [PATCH RFC] nilfs2: continuous snapshottin

To: Dave Chinner <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: XFS vs Elevators (was Re: [PATCH RFC] nilfs2: continuous snapshotting file system)
From: david@xxxxxxx
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 14:54:28 -0700 (PDT)
Cc: Jamie Lokier <jamie@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Nick Piggin <nickpiggin@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, gus3 <musicman529@xxxxxxxxx>, Szabolcs Szakacsits <szaka@xxxxxxxxxxx>, Andrew Morton <akpm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, linux-fsdevel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, linux-kernel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx
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On Wed, 27 Aug 2008, Dave Chinner wrote:

On Mon, Aug 25, 2008 at 08:50:14PM -0700, david@xxxxxxx wrote:
it sounds as if the various flag definitions have been evolving, would it
be worthwhile to sep back and try to get the various filesystem folks to
brainstorm together on what types of hints they would _like_ to see

Three types:

        1. immediate dispatch - merge first with adjacent requests
           then dispatch
        2. delayed dispatch - queue for a short while to allow
           merging of requests from above
        3. bulk data - queue and merge. dispatch is completely
           controlled by the elevator

does this list change if you consider the fact that there may be a raid array or some more complex structure for the block device instead of a simple single disk partition?

since I am suggesting re-thinking the filesystem <-> elevator interface, is there anything you need to have the elevator tell the filesystem? (I'm thinking that this may be the path for the filesystem to learn things about the block device that's under it, is it a raid array, a solid-state drive, etc)

David Lang

Basically most metadata and log writes would fall into category 2,
which every logbufs/2 log writes or every log force using a category
1 to prevent log I/O from being stalled too long by other I/O.

Data writes from the filesystem would appear as category 3 (read and write)
and are subject to the specific elevator scheduling. That is, things
like the CFQ ionice throttling would work on the bulk data queue,
but not the other queues that the filesystem is using for metadata.

Tagging the I/O as a sync I/O can still be done, but that only
affects category 3 scheduling - category 1 or 2 would do the same
thing whether sync or async....

it sounds like you are using 'sync' for things where you really should be
saying 'metadata' (or 'journal contents'), it's happened to work well
enough in the past, but it's forcing you to keep tweaking the

Right, because there was no 'metadata' tagging, and 'sync' happened
to do exactly what we needed on all elevators at the time.

it may be better to try and define things from the
filesystem point of view and let the elevators do the tweaking.

basicly I'm proposing a complete rethink of the filesyste <-> elevator

Yeah, I've been saying that for a while w.r.t. the filesystem/block
layer interfaces, esp. now with discard requests, data integrity,
device alignment information, barriers, etc being exposed by the
layers below the filesystem, but with no interface for filesystems
to be able to access that information...



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