Re: [Drbd-dev] FLUSH/FUA documentation & code discrepancy

From: Vivek Goyal
Date: Tue Sep 11 2012 - 10:34:40 EST

On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 04:06:54PM -0700, Tejun Heo wrote:
> Hello, again.
> cc'ing Kent and Vivek. The original thread is at
> On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 03:54:42PM -0700, Tejun Heo wrote:
> > > We can possibly work around that by introducing an additional submitter thread,
> > > or at least our own list where we queue assembled bios until the lower
> > > level device queue drains.
> > >
> > > But we'd rather have the elevator see the FLUSH/FUA,
> > > and treat them as at least a soft barrier/reorder boundary.
> > >
> > > I may be wrong here, but all the necessary bits for this seem to be in
> > > place already, if the information would even reach the elevator in one
> > > way or other, and not be completely stripped away early.
> > >
> > > What would you rather see, the elevator recognizing reorder boundaries?
> > > Or additional higher level queueing and extra thread/work queue/whatever?
> > >
> > > Both are fine with me, I'm just asking for an opinion.
> >
> > First of all, using FLUSH/FUA for such purpose is an error-prone
> > abuse. You're trying to exploit an implementation detail which may
> > change at any time. I think what you want is to be able to specify
> > REQ_SOFTBARRIER on bio submission, which shouldn't be too hard but I'm
> > still lost why this is necessary. Can you please explain it a bit
> > more?
> The problem with exposing REQ_SOFTBARRIER at bio submission is that it
> would require block layer not to reorder bios while passing through
> stacked adrivers until it reaches a rq-based driver. I *suspect* this
> has been true until now but Kent's pending patch to fix possible
> deadlock issue breaks that.
> As for what the resolution should be, urgh... I don't know. :(

I think we should not go back to providing any kind of ordering interface
or gurantees. IIRC, Jens had mentioned that older ordering requirements
were problematic while implemeting multiqueue stuff he is working on. He
was glad that ordering requirements were gone.

Also if somebody is implementing caching target as stacked device, then
it can very well reorder the bios. It can submit bios to underlying device
it does not want to cache and hold back some of the bios it wants to

REQ_FLUSH/REQ_FUA never provided any ordering gurantees. Just that file
system needs to wait for previous IOs to finish and then submit REQ_FLUSH/
REQ_FUA to implement any kind of ordering. I guess any driver in the
stack needs to do the same if they need some kind of ordering behavior.

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