Re: [PATCH 3/3] block: reimplement FLUSH/FUA to support merge

From: Darrick J. Wong
Date: Tue Jan 25 2011 - 17:56:34 EST

On Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 11:21:28AM +0100, Tejun Heo wrote:
> Hello, Darrick.
> On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 12:31:55PM -0800, Darrick J. Wong wrote:
> > > So, I think it's better to start with something simple and improve it
> > > with actual testing. If the current simple implementation can match
> > > Darrick's previous numbers, let's first settle the mechanisms. We can
> >
> > Yep, the fsync-happy numbers more or less match... at least for 2.6.37:
> >
> Good to hear. Thanks for the detailed testing.
> > I'll give 2.6.38-rc2 a try later, though -rc1 didn't boot for me, so these
> > numbers are based on a backport to .37. :(
> Well, there hasn' been any change in the area during the merge window
> anyway, so I think testing on 2.6.37 should be fine.

Well, I gave it a spin on -rc2 with no problems and no significant change in
performance, so:

Acked-by: Darrick J. Wong <djwong@xxxxxxxxxx>

> > > I don't really think we should design the whole thing around broken
> > > devices which incorrectly report writeback cache when it need not.
> > > The correct place to work around that is during device identification
> > > not in the flush logic.
> >
> > elm3a4_sas and elm3c71_extsas advertise writeback cache yet the
> > flush completion times are suspiciously low. I suppose it could be
> > useful to disable flushes to squeeze out that last bit of
> > performance, though I don't know how one goes about querying the
> > disk array to learn if there's a battery behind the cache. I guess
> > the current mechanism (admin knob that picks a safe default) is good
> > enough.
> Yeap, that or a blacklist of devices which lie.

Hmm... I don't think a blacklist would work for our arrays, since one can force
them to run with write cache and no battery. I _do_ have a patch that adds a
sysfs knob to the block layer to drop flush/fua if the admin really really
really wants it, so I'll send that out shortly along with another one to remove
the barrier= mount option from ext4.

(Unless the screams of objection rain from the skies. :))

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