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Re: [PATCH 23/22] xfs: add metadata CRC documentation

To: xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [PATCH 23/22] xfs: add metadata CRC documentation
From: Hans-Peter Jansen <hpj@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 05 Apr 2013 12:45:02 +0200
Cc: Dave Chinner <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Delivered-to: xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx
In-reply-to: <20130405070006.GJ12011@dastard>
References: <1364965892-19623-1-git-send-email-david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> <20130405070006.GJ12011@dastard>
User-agent: KMail/4.10.2 (Linux/3.4.33-2.24-desktop; KDE/4.10.2; x86_64; ; )
Hi Dave,

On Freitag, 5. April 2013 18:00:06 Dave Chinner wrote:
> xfs: add metadata CRC documentation
> From: Dave Chinner <dchinner@xxxxxxxxxx>
> Add some documentation about the self describing metadata and the
> code templates used to implement it.

Nice text. This is the coolest addition to XFS since invention of sliced bread.

One question arose from reading: since only the metadata is protected, any
corruption of data blocks (file content) will still go unnoticed, does it?

Allow me to propose some minor corrections (from the nitpick department..).

> Signed-off-by: Dave Chinner <dchinner@xxxxxxxxxx>
> ---
>  .../filesystems/xfs-self-describing-metadata.txt   |  352 
> ++++++++++++++++++++
>  1 file changed, 352 insertions(+)
> diff --git a/Documentation/filesystems/xfs-self-describing-metadata.txt 
> b/Documentation/filesystems/xfs-self-describing-metadata.txt
> new file mode 100644
> index 0000000..da7edc9
> --- /dev/null
> +++ b/Documentation/filesystems/xfs-self-describing-metadata.txt
> @@ -0,0 +1,352 @@
> +XFS Self Describing Metadata
> +----------------------------
> +
> +Introduction
> +------------
> +
> +The largest scalability problem facing XFS is not one of algorithmic
> +scalability, but of verification of the filesystem structure. Scalabilty of 
> the
> +structures and indexes on disk and the algorithms for iterating them are
> +adequate for supporting PB scale filesystems with billions of inodes, 
> however it
> +is this very scalability that causes the verification problem.
> +
> +Almost all metadata on XFS is dynamically allocated. The only fixed location
> +metadata is the allocation group headers (SB, AGF, AGFL and AGI), while all
> +other metadata structures need to be discovered by walking the filesystem
> +structure in different ways. While this is already done by userspace tools 
> for
> +validating and repairing the structure, there are limits to what they can
> +verify, and this in turn limits the supportable size of an XFS filesystem.
> +
> +For example, it is entirely possible to manually use xfs_db and a bit of
> +scripting to analyse the structure of a 100TB filesystem when trying to
> +determine the root cause of a corruption problem, but it is still mainly a
> +manual task of verifying that things like single bit errors or misplaced 
> writes
> +weren't the ultimate cause of a corruption event. It may take a few hours to 
> a
> +few days to perform such forensic analysis, so for at this scale root cause
> +analysis is entirely possible.
> +
> +However, if we scale the filesystem up to 1PB, we now have 10x as much 
> metadata
> +to analyse and so that analysis blows out towards weeks/months of forensic 
> work.
> +Most of the analysis work is slow and tedious, so as the amount of analysis 
> goes
> +up, the more likely that the cause will be lost in the noise.  Hence the 
> primary
> +concern for supporting PB scale filesystems is minimising the time and effort
> +required for basic forensic analysis of the filesystem structure.
> +
> +
> +Self Describing Metadata
> +------------------------
> +
> +One of the problems with the current metadata format is that apart from the
> +magic number in the metadata block, we have no other way of identifying what 
> it
> +is supposed to be. We can't even identify if it is the right place. Put 
> simply,
> +you can't look at a single metadata block in isolation and say "yes, it is
> +supposed to be there and the contents are valid".
> +
> +Hence most of the time spent on forensic analysis is spent doing basic
> +verification of metadata values, looking for values that are in range (and 
> hence
> +not detected by automated verification checks) but are not correct. Finding 
> and
> +understanding how things like cross linked block lists (e.g. sibling
> +pointers in a btree end up with loops in them) are the key to understanding 
> what
> +went wrong, but it is impossible to tell what order the blocks were linked 
> into
> +each other or written to disk after the fact.
> +
> +Hence we need to record more information into the metadata to allow us to
> +quickly determine if the metadata is intact and can be ignored for the 
> purpose
> +of analysis. We can't protect against every possible type of error, but we 
> can
> +ensure that common types of errors are easily detectable.  Hence the concept 
> of
> +self describing metadata.
> +
> +The first, fundamental requirement of self describing metadata is that the
> +metadata object contains some form of unique identifier in a well known
> +location. This allows us to identify the expected contents of the block and
> +hence parse and verify the metadata object. IF we can't independently 
> identify
> +the type of metadata in the object, then the metadata doesn't describe itself
> +very well at all!
> +
> +Luckily, almost all XFS metadata has magic numbers embedded already - only 
> the
> +AGFL, remote symlinks and remote attribute blocks do not contain identifying
> +magic numbers. Hence we can change the on-disk format of all these objects to
> +add more identifying information and detect this simply by changing the magic
> +numbers in the metadata objects. That is, if it has the current magic number,
> +the metadata isn't self identifying. If it contains a new magic number, it is
> +self identifying and we can do much more expansive automated verification of 
> the
> +metadata object at runtime, during forensic analysis or repair.
> +
> +As a primary concern, self describing metadata needs to some form of overall

                                                        ^^ scratch that

> +integrity checking. We cannot trust the metadata if we cannot verify that it 
> has
> +not been changed as a result of external influences. Hence we need some form 
> of
> +integrity check, and this is done by adding CRC32c validation to the metadata
> +block. If we can verify the block contains the metadata it was intended to
> +contain, a large amount of the manual verification work can be skipped.
> +
> +CRC32c was selected as metadata cannot be more than 64k in length in XFS and
> +hence a 32 bit CRC is more than sufficient to detect multi-bit errors in
> +metadata blocks. CRC32c is also now hardware accelerated on common CPUs so 
> it is
> +fast. So while CRC32c is not the strongest of integrity checks that could be

                                                ^ possible (perhaps)

> +used, it is more than sufficient for our needs and has relatively little
> +overhead. Adding support for larger integrity fields and/or algorithms does


> +really provide any extra value over CRC32c, but it does add a lot of 
> complexity
> +and so there is no provision for changing the integrity checking mechanism.
> +
> +Self describing metadata needs to contain enough information so that the
> +metadata block can be verified as being in the correct place without needing 
> to
> +look at any other metadata. This means it needs to contain location 
> information.
> +Just adding a block number to the metadata is not sufficient to protect 
> against
> +mis-directed writes - a write might be misdirected to the wrong LUN and so be
> +written to the "correct block" of the wrong filesystem. Hence location
> +information must contain a filesystem identifier as well as a block number.
> +
> +Another key information point in forensic analysis is knowing who the 
> metadata
> +block belongs to. We already know it's type, it's location, that it's valid

       shouldn't this spelled:       its        its 

> +and/or corrupted, and how long ago that it was last modified. Knowing the 
> owner
> +of the block is important as it allows us to find other related metadata to
> +determine the scope of the corruption. For example, if we have a extent btree
> +object, we don't know what inode it belongs to and hence have to walk the 
> entire
> +filesystem to find the owner of the block. Worse, the corruption could mean 
> that
> +no owner can be found (i.e. it's an orphan block), and so without an owner 
> field
> +in the metadata we have no idea of the scope of the corruption. If we have an
> +owner field in the metadata object, we can immediately do top down 
> validation to
> +determine the scope of the problem.
> +
> +Different types of metadata have different owner identifiers. For example,
> +directory, attribute and extent tree blocks are all owned by an inode, whilst
> +freespace btree blocks are owned by an allocation group. Hence the size and
> +contents of the owner field are determined by the type of metadata object we 
> are
> +looking at. For example, directories, extent maps and attributes are owned by
> +inodes, while freespace btree blocks are owned by a specific allocation 
> group.
> +THe owner information can also identify misplaced writes (e.g. freespace 
> btree


> +block written to the wrong AG).
> +
> +Self describing metadata also needs to contain some indication of when it was
> +written to the filesystem. One of the key information points when doing 
> forensic
> +analysis is how recently the block was modified. Correlation of set of 
> corrupted
> +metadata blocks based on modification times is important as it can indicate
> +whether the corruptions are related, whether there's been multiple corruption
> +events that lead to the eventual failure, and even whether there are 
> corruptions
> +present that the run-time verification is not detecting.
> +
> +For example, we can determine whether a metadata object is supposed to be 
> free
> +space or still allocated when it is still referenced by it's owner can be


> +determined by looking at when the free space btree block that contains the 
> block
> +was last written compared to when the metadata object itself was last 
> written.
> +If the free space block is more recent than the object and the objects owner,
> +then there is a very good chance that the block should have been removed from
> +it's owner.
> +
> +To provide this "written timestamp", each metadata block gets the Log 
> Sequence
> +Number (LSN) of the most recent transaction it was modified on written into 
> it.
> +This number will always increase over the life of the filesystem, and the 
> only
> +thing that resets it is running xfs_repair on the filesystem. Further, by 
> use of
> +the LSN we can tell if the corrupted metadata all belonged to the same log
> +checkpoint and hence have some idea of how much modification occurred between
> +the first and last instance of corrupt metadata on disk and, further, how 
> much
> +modification occurred between the corruption being written and  when it was
> +detected.
> +
> +Runtime Validation
> +------------------
> +
> +Validation of self-describing metadata takes place at runtime in two places:
> +
> +     - immediately after a successful read from disk
> +     - immediately prior to write IO submission
> +
> +The verification is completely stateless - it is done independently of the
> +modification process, and seeks only to check that the metadata is what it 
> says
> +it is and that the metadata fields are within bounds and internally 
> consistent.
> +As such, we cannot catch all types of corruption that can occur within a 
> block
> +as there may be certain limitations that operational state enforces of the
> +metadata, or there may be corruption of interblock relationships (e.g. 
> corrupted
> +sibling pointer lists). Hence we still need stateful checking in the main 
> code
> +body, but in general most of the per-field validation is handled by the
> +verifiers.
> +
> +For read verification, the caller needs to specify the expected type of 
> metadata
> +that it should see, and the IO completion process verifies that the metadata
> +object matches what was expected. If the verification process fails, then it
> +marks the object being read as EFSCORRUPTED. The caller needs to catch this
> +error (same as for IO errors), and if it needs to take special action due to 
> a
> +verification error it can do so by catching the EFSCORRUPTED error value. If 
> we
> +need more discrimination of error type at higher levels, we can define new
> +error numbers for different errors as necessary.
> +
> +The first step in read verification is checking the magic number and 
> determining
> +whether CRC validating is necessary. If it is, the CRC32c is caluclated and


> +compared against the value stored in the object itself. Once this is 
> validated,
> +further checks are made against the location information, followed by 
> extensive
> +object specific metadata validation. If any of these checks fail, then the
> +buffer is considered corrupt and the EFSCORRUPTED error is set appropriately.
> +
> +Write verification is the opposite of the read verification - first the 
> object
> +is extensively verified and if it is OK we then update the LSN from the last
> +modification made to the object, After this, we calculate the CRC and insert 
> it
> +into the object. Once this is done the write IO is allowed to continue. If 
> any
> +error occurs during this process, the buffer is again marked with a 
> +error for the higher layers to catch.
> +
> +Structures
> +----------
> +
> +A typical on-disk structure needs to contain the following information:
> +
> +struct xfs_ondisk_hdr {
> +        __be32  magic;               /* magic number */
> +        __be32  crc;         /* CRC, not logged */
> +        uuid_t  uuid;                /* filesystem identifier */
> +        __be64  owner;               /* parent object */
> +        __be64  blkno;               /* location on disk */
> +        __be64  lsn;         /* last modification in log, not logged */
> +};
> +
> +Depending on the metadata, this information may be part of a header stucture


> +separate to the metadata contents, or may be distributed through an existing
> +structure. The latter occurs with metadata that already contains some of this
> +information, such as the superblock and AG headers.
> +
> +Other metadata may have different formats for the information, but the same
> +level of information is generally provided. For example:
> +
> +     - short btree blocks have a 32 bit owner (ag number) and a 32 bit block
> +       number for location. The two of these combined provide the same
> +       information as @owner and @blkno in eh above structure, but using 8
> +       bytes less space on disk.
> +
> +     - directory/attribute node blocks have a 16 bit magic number, and the
> +       header that contains the magic number has other information in it as
> +       well. hence the additional metadata headers change the overall format
> +       of the metadata.
> +
> +A typical buffer read verifier is structured as follows:
> +
> +#define XFS_FOO_CRC_OFF              offsetof(struct xfs_ondisk_hdr, crc)
> +
> +static void
> +xfs_foo_read_verify(
> +     struct xfs_buf  *bp)
> +{
> +       struct xfs_mount *mp = bp->b_target->bt_mount;
> +
> +        if ((xfs_sb_version_hascrc(&mp->m_sb) &&
> +             !xfs_verify_cksum(bp->b_addr, BBTOB(bp->b_length),
> +                                     XFS_FOO_CRC_OFF)) ||
> +            !xfs_foo_verify(bp)) {
> +                XFS_CORRUPTION_ERROR(__func__, XFS_ERRLEVEL_LOW, mp, 
> bp->b_addr);
> +                xfs_buf_ioerror(bp, EFSCORRUPTED);
> +        }
> +}
> +
> +The code ensures that the CRC is only checked if the filesystem has CRCs 
> enabled
> +by checking the superblock of the feature bit, and then if the CRC verifies 
> OK
> +(or is not needed) it then verifies the actual contents of the block.

                         ^^^^ scratch then perhaps

> +
> +The verifier function will take a couple of different forms, depending on
> +whether the magic number can be used to determine the format of the block. In
> +the case it can't, the code will is structured as follows:
> +
> +static bool
> +xfs_foo_verify(
> +     struct xfs_buf          *bp)
> +{
> +        struct xfs_mount     *mp = bp->b_target->bt_mount;
> +        struct xfs_ondisk_hdr        *hdr = bp->b_addr;
> +
> +        if (hdr->magic != cpu_to_be32(XFS_FOO_MAGIC))
> +                return false;
> +
> +        if (!xfs_sb_version_hascrc(&mp->m_sb)) {
> +             if (!uuid_equal(&hdr->uuid, &mp->m_sb.sb_uuid))
> +                     return false;
> +             if (bp->b_bn != be64_to_cpu(hdr->blkno))
> +                     return false;
> +             if (hdr->owner == 0)
> +                     return false;
> +     }
> +
> +     /* object specific verification checks here */
> +
> +        return true;
> +}
> +
> +If there are different magic numbers for the different formats, the verifier
> +will look like:
> +
> +static bool
> +xfs_foo_verify(
> +     struct xfs_buf          *bp)
> +{
> +        struct xfs_mount     *mp = bp->b_target->bt_mount;
> +        struct xfs_ondisk_hdr        *hdr = bp->b_addr;
> +
> +        if (hdr->magic == cpu_to_be32(XFS_FOO_CRC_MAGIC)) {
> +             if (!uuid_equal(&hdr->uuid, &mp->m_sb.sb_uuid))
> +                     return false;
> +             if (bp->b_bn != be64_to_cpu(hdr->blkno))
> +                     return false;
> +             if (hdr->owner == 0)
> +                     return false;
> +     } else if (hdr->magic != cpu_to_be32(XFS_FOO_MAGIC))
> +             return false;
> +
> +     /* object specific verification checks here */
> +
> +        return true;
> +}
> +
> +Write verifiers are very similar to the read verifiers, they just do things 
> in
> +the opposite order to the read verifiers. A typical write verifier:
> +
> +static void
> +xfs_foo_write_verify(
> +     struct xfs_buf  *bp)
> +{
> +     struct xfs_mount        *mp = bp->b_target->bt_mount;
> +     struct xfs_buf_log_item *bip = bp->b_fspriv;
> +
> +     if (!xfs_foo_verify(bp)) {
> +             XFS_CORRUPTION_ERROR(__func__, XFS_ERRLEVEL_LOW, mp, 
> bp->b_addr);
> +             xfs_buf_ioerror(bp, EFSCORRUPTED);
> +             return;
> +     }
> +
> +     if (!xfs_sb_version_hascrc(&mp->m_sb))
> +             return;
> +
> +
> +     if (bip) {
> +             struct xfs_ondisk_hdr   *hdr = bp->b_addr;
> +             hdr->lsn = cpu_to_be64(bip->bli_item.li_lsn);
> +     }
> +     xfs_update_cksum(bp->b_addr, BBTOB(bp->b_length), XFS_FOO_CRC_OFF);
> +}
> +
> +This will verify the internal structure of the metadata before we go any
> +further, detecting corruptions that have occurred as the metadata has been
> +modified in memory. If the metadata verifies OK, and CRCs are enabled, we 
> then
> +update the LSN field (when it was last modified) and calculate the CRC on the
> +metadata. Once this is done, we can issue the IO.
> +
> +Inodes and Dquots
> +-----------------
> +
> +Inodes and dquots are special snowflakes. They have per-object CRC and
> +self-identifiers, but they are packed so that there are multiple objects per
> +buffer. Hence we do not use per-buffer verifiers to do the work of per-object
> +verification and CRC calculations. The per-buffer verifiers simply perform 
> basic
> +identification of the buffer - that they contain inodes or dquots, and that
> +there are magic numbers in all the expected spots. All further CRC and
> +verification checks are done when each inode is read from or written back to 
> the
> +buffer.
> +
> +The structure of the verifiers and the identifiers checks is very similar to 
> the
> +buffer code described above. The only difference is where they are called. 
> For
> +example, inode read verification is done in xfs_iread() when the inode is 
> first
> +read out of the buffer and the struct xfs_inode is instantiated. The inode is
> +already extensively verified during writeback in xfs_iflush_int, so the only
> +addition here add the LSN and CRC to the inode as it is copied back into the
              is to

> +buffer.
> +
> +XXX: inode unlinked list modification doesn't recalculate the inode CRC! 
> None of
> +the unlinked list modifications check or update CRCs, neither during unlink 
> nor
> +log recovery. So, it's gone unnoticed until now. This won't matter 
> immediately -
> +repair will probably complain about it - but it needs to be fixed.
> +


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