Re: [RFC] extending splice for copy offloading

From: Zach Brown
Date: Fri Sep 27 2013 - 16:51:02 EST

> > >Sure. So we'd have:
> > >
> > >- no flag default that forbids knowingly copying with shared references
> > > so that it will be used by default by people who feel strongly about
> > > their assumptions about independent write durability.
> > >
> > >- a flag that allows shared references for people who would otherwise
> > > use the file system shared reference ioctls (ocfs2 reflink, btrfs
> > > clone) but would like it to also do server-side read/write copies
> > > over nfs without additional intervention.
> > >
> > >- a flag that requires shared references for callers who don't want
> > > giant copies to take forever if they aren't instant. (The qemu guys
> > > asked for this at Plumbers.)
> Why not implement only the last flag only as the first step? It seems
> like the simplest one. So I think that would mean:
> - no worrying about cancelling, etc.
> - apps should be told to pass the entire range at once (normally
> the whole file).
> - The NFS server probably shouldn't do the internal copy loop by
> default.
> We can't prevent some storage system from implementing a high-latency
> copy operation, but we can refuse to provide them any help (providing no
> progress reports or easy way to cancel) and then they can deal with the
> complaints from their users.

I can see where you're going with that, yeah.

It'd make less sense as a splice extension, then, perhaps. It'd be more
like a generic entry point for the existing ioctls. Maybe even just
defining the semantics of a common ioctl.


> Also, I don't get the first option above at all. The argument is that
> it's safer to have more copies? How much safety does another copy on
> the same disk really give you? Do systems that do dedup provide
> interfaces to turn it off per-file?

Yeah, got me. It's certainly nonsense on a lot of FTL logging
implementations (which are making their way into SMR drives in the

> But I understand that Zach's tired of the woodshedding and I could live
> with the above I guess....

No, it's fine. At least people are expressing some interest in the
interface! That's a marked improvement over the state of things in the

- z
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