Re: [RFC][PATCH] ChunkFS: fs fission for faster fsck

From: Valerie Henson
Date: Wed Apr 25 2007 - 19:04:07 EST

On Wed, Apr 25, 2007 at 08:54:34PM +1000, David Chinner wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 24, 2007 at 04:53:11PM -0500, Amit Gud wrote:
> >
> > The structure looks like this:
> >
> > ---------- ----------
> > | cnode 0 |---------->| cnode 0 |----------> to another cnode or NULL
> > ---------- ----------
> > | cnode 1 |----- | cnode 1 |-----
> > ---------- | ---------- |
> > | cnode 2 |-- | | cnode 2 |-- |
> > ---------- | | ---------- | |
> > | cnode 3 | | | | cnode 3 | | |
> > ---------- | | ---------- | |
> > | | | | | |
> >
> > inodes inodes or NULL
> How do you recover if fsfuzzer takes out a cnode in the chain? The
> chunk is marked clean, but clearly corrupted and needs fixing and
> you don't know what it was pointing at. Hence you have a pointer to
> a trashed cnode *somewhere* that you need to find and fix, and a
> bunch of orphaned cnodes that nobody points to *somewhere else* in
> the filesystem that you have to find. That's a full scan fsck case,
> isn't?

Excellent question. This is one of the trickier aspects of chunkfs -
the orphan inode problem (tricky, but solvable). The problem is what
if you smash/lose/corrupt an inode in one chunk that has a
continuation inode in another chunk? A back pointer does you no good
if the back pointer is corrupted.

What you do is keep tabs on whether you see damage that looks like
this has occurred - e.g., inode use/free counts wrong, you had to zero
a corrupted inode - and when this happens, you do a scan of all
continuation inodes in chunks that have links to the corrupted chunk.
What you need to make this go fast is (1) a pre-made list of which
chunks have links with which other chunks, (2) a fast way to read all
of the continuation inodes in a chunk (ignoring chunk-local inodes).
This stage is O(fs size) approximately, but it should be quite swift.

> It seems that any sort of damage to the underlying storage (e.g.
> media error, I/O error or user brain explosion) results in the need
> to do a full fsck and hence chunkfs gives you no benefit in this
> case.

I worry about this but so far haven't found something which couldn't
be cut down significantly with just a little extra work. It might be
helpful to look at an extreme case.

Let's say we're incredibly paranoid. We could be justified in running
a full fsck on the entire file system in between every single I/O.
After all, something *might* have been silently corrupted. But this
would be ridiculously slow. We could instead never check the file
system. But then we would end up panicking and corrupting the file
system a lot. So what's a good compromise?

In the chunkfs case, here's my rules of thumb so far:

1. Detection: All metadata has magic numbers and checksums.
2. Scrubbing: Random check of chunks when possible.
3. Repair: When we detect corruption, either by checksum error, file
system code assertion failure, or hardware tells us we have a bug,
check the chunk containing the error and any outside-chunk
information that could be affected by it.

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