• David Chinner's avatar
    [XFS] Lazy Superblock Counters · 92821e2b
    David Chinner authored
    When we have a couple of hundred transactions on the fly at once, they all
    typically modify the on disk superblock in some way.
    create/unclink/mkdir/rmdir modify inode counts, allocation/freeing modify
    free block counts.
    When these counts are modified in a transaction, they must eventually lock
    the superblock buffer and apply the mods. The buffer then remains locked
    until the transaction is committed into the incore log buffer. The result
    of this is that with enough transactions on the fly the incore superblock
    buffer becomes a bottleneck.
    The result of contention on the incore superblock buffer is that
    transaction rates fall - the more pressure that is put on the superblock
    buffer, the slower things go.
    The key to removing the contention is to not require the superblock fields
    in question to be locked. We do that by not marking the superblock dirty
    in the transaction. IOWs, we modify the incore superblock but do not
    modify the cached superblock buffer. In short, we do not log superblock
    modifications to critical fields in the superblock on every transaction.
    In fact we only do it just before we write the superblock to disk every
    sync period or just before unmount.
    This creates an interesting problem - if we don't log or write out the
    fields in every transaction, then how do the values get recovered after a
    crash? the answer is simple - we keep enough duplicate, logged information
    in other structures that we can reconstruct the correct count after log
    recovery has been performed.
    It is the AGF and AGI structures that contain the duplicate information;
    after recovery, we walk every AGI and AGF and sum their individual
    counters to get the correct value, and we do a transaction into the log to
    correct them. An optimisation of this is that if we have a clean unmount
    record, we know the value in the superblock is correct, so we can avoid
    the summation walk under normal conditions and so mount/recovery times do
    not change under normal operation.
    One wrinkle that was discovered during development was that the blocks
    used in the freespace btrees are never accounted for in the AGF counters.
    This was once a valid optimisation to make; when the filesystem is full,
    the free space btrees are empty and consume no space. Hence when it
    matters, the "accounting" is correct. But that means the when we do the
    AGF summations, we would not have a correct count and xfs_check would
    complain. Hence a new counter was added to track the number of blocks used
    by the free space btrees. This is an *on-disk format change*.
    As a result of this, lazy superblock counters are a mkfs option and at the
    moment on linux there is no way to convert an old filesystem. This is
    possible - xfs_db can be used to twiddle the right bits and then
    xfs_repair will do the format conversion for you. Similarly, you can
    convert backwards as well. At some point we'll add functionality to
    xfs_admin to do the bit twiddling easily....
    SGI-PV: 964999
    SGI-Modid: xfs-linux-melb:xfs-kern:28652a
    Signed-off-by: default avatarDavid Chinner <dgc@sgi.com>
    Signed-off-by: default avatarChristoph Hellwig <hch@infradead.org>
    Signed-off-by: default avatarTim Shimmin <tes@sgi.com>
xfs_alloc.h 7 KB