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Re: XFS filesystem corruption

To: Julien FERRERO <jferrero06@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: XFS filesystem corruption
From: Ric Wheeler <rwheeler@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 07 Mar 2013 08:40:36 -0500
Cc: Emmanuel Florac <eflorac@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx
Delivered-to: xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx
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On 03/07/2013 08:15 AM, Julien FERRERO wrote:
We actually test brutal "Power off" for xfs, ext4 and other file systems. If
your storage is configured properly and you have barriers enabled, they all
pass without corruption.

What hardware raid cards can do is to hide a volatile write cache. Either on
the raid HBA itself or, even worse, on the backend disks behind the card.
S-ata disks tend to default to write cache enabled and need to be checked
especially careful (sas drives tend to be write cache disabled by default).
Write cache is supposed to be disabled on the H/W RAID (according to
hdparm) and barrier are correctly enabled since xfs does not report
any warning at mount.

hdparm shows you the devices that the card shows, not the state of the write cache on the drives behind them.

You need special vendor tools to do....

The LSI controllers for example have megaraid tools.

Until your IO stack is properly configured, you really don't need to worry about the file system options :)


The odd thing is we never see this with kernel 2.6.18 where barriers
weren't yet available. An other difference is the "unwritten extend"
that was used to set to 0 by default. Now we cannot change this
setting according to an old thread I've found: "unwritten extents on
linux are generally a bad idea, this option should not be used.".
Unfortunately, the engineer that chose this setting is no longer
working with us...

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