Re: Solaris ZFS on Linux [Was: Re: the " 'official' point of view"expressed by regarding reiser4 inclusion]

From: Theodore Tso
Date: Tue Aug 01 2006 - 02:46:49 EST

On Mon, Jul 31, 2006 at 09:41:02PM -0700, David Lang wrote:
> just becouse you have redundancy doesn't mean that your data is idle enough
> for you to run a repacker with your spare cycles. to run a repacker you
> need a time when the chunk of the filesystem that you are repacking is not
> being accessed or written to. it doesn't matter if that data lives on one
> disk or 9 disks all mirroring the same data, you can't just break off 1 of
> the copies and repack that becouse by the time you finish it won't match
> the live drives anymore.
> database servers have a repacker (vaccum), and they are under tremendous
> preasure from their users to avoid having to use it becouse of the
> performance hit that it generates. (the theory in the past is exactly what
> was presented in this thread, make things run faster most of the time and
> accept the performance hit when you repack). the trend seems to be for a
> repacker thread that runs continuously, causing a small impact all the time
> (that can be calculated into the capacity planning) instead of a large
> impact once in a while.

Ah, but as soon as the repacker thread runs continuously, then you
lose all or most of the claimed advantage of "wandering logs".
Specifically, the claim of the "wandering log" is that you don't have
to write your data twice --- once to the log, and once to the final
location on disk (whereas with ext3 you end up having to do double
writes). But if the repacker is running continuously, you end up
doing double writes anyway, as the repacker moves things from a
location that is convenient for the log, to a location which is
efficient for reading. Worse yet, if the repacker is moving disk
blocks or objects which are no longer in cache, it may end up having
to read objects in before writing them to a final location on disk.
So instead of a write-write overhead, you end up with a
write-read-write overhead.

But of course, people tend to disable the repacker when doing
benchmarks because they're trying to play the "my filesystem/database
has bigger performance numbers than yours" game....

- Ted
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