Re: [Lsf-pc] [LSF/MM TOPIC] really large storage sectors - goingbeyond 4096 bytes

From: James Bottomley
Date: Wed Jan 22 2014 - 11:03:20 EST

On Wed, 2014-01-22 at 15:14 +0000, Chris Mason wrote:
> On Wed, 2014-01-22 at 09:34 +0000, Mel Gorman wrote:
> > On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 10:04:29PM -0500, Ric Wheeler wrote:
> > > One topic that has been lurking forever at the edges is the current
> > > 4k limitation for file system block sizes. Some devices in
> > > production today and others coming soon have larger sectors and it
> > > would be interesting to see if it is time to poke at this topic
> > > again.
> > >
> >
> > Large block support was proposed years ago by Christoph Lameter
> > ( I think I was just getting started
> > in the community at the time so I do not recall any of the details. I do
> > believe it motivated an alternative by Nick Piggin called fsblock though
> > ( At the very least it would be nice to
> > know why neither were never merged for those of us that were not around
> > at the time and who may not have the chance to dive through mailing list
> > archives between now and March.
> >
> > FWIW, I would expect that a show-stopper for any proposal is requiring
> > high-order allocations to succeed for the system to behave correctly.
> >
> My memory is that Nick's work just didn't have the momentum to get
> pushed in. It all seemed very reasonable though, I think our hatred of
> buffered heads just wasn't yet bigger than the fear of moving away.
> But, the bigger question is how big are the blocks going to be? At some
> point (64K?) we might as well just make a log structured dm target and
> have a single setup for both shingled and large sector drives.

There is no real point. Even with 4k drives today using 4k sectors in
the filesystem, we still get 512 byte writes because of journalling and
the buffer cache.

The question is what would we need to do to support these devices and
the answer is "try to send IO in x byte multiples x byte aligned" this
really becomes an ioscheduler problem, not a supporting large page


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