Re: [Xen-devel] [RFC KERNEL PATCH 0/2] Add Dom0 NVDIMM support for Xen

From: Andrew Cooper
Date: Tue Oct 11 2016 - 16:19:14 EST

On 11/10/16 20:48, Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 11, 2016 at 12:28:56PM -0700, Dan Williams wrote:
>> On Tue, Oct 11, 2016 at 11:33 AM, Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk
>> <konrad.wilk@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> On Tue, Oct 11, 2016 at 10:51:19AM -0700, Dan Williams wrote:
>> [..]
>>>> Right, but why does the libnvdimm core need to know about this
>>>> specific Xen reservation? For example, if Xen wants some in-kernel
>>> Let me turn this around - why does the libnvdimm core need to know about
>>> Linux specific parts? Shouldn't this be OS agnostic, so that FreeBSD
>>> for example can also poke a hole in this and fill it with its
>>> OS-management meta-data?
>> Specifically the core needs to know so that it can answer the Linux
>> specific question of whether the pfn returned by ->direct_access() has
>> a corresponding struct page or not. It's tied to the lifetime of the
>> device and the usage of the reservation needs to be coordinated
>> against the references of those pages. If FreeBSD decides it needs to
>> reserve "struct page" capacity at the start of the device, I would
>> hope that it reuses the same on-device info block that Linux is using
>> and not create a new "FreeBSD-mode" device type.
> The issue here (as I understand, I may be missing something new)
> is that the size of this special namespace may be different. That is
> the 'struct page' on FreeBSD could be 256 bytes while on Linux it is
> 64 bytes (numbers pulled out of the sky).
> Hence one would have to expand or such to re-use this.
>> To be honest I do not yet understand what metadata Xen wants to store
>> in the device, but it seems the producer and consumer of that metadata
>> is Xen itself and not the wider Linux kernel as is the case with
>> struct page. Can you fill me in on what problem Xen solves with this
> Exactly!
>> reservation?
> The same as Linux - its variant of 'struct page'. Which I think is
> smaller than the Linux one, but perhaps it is not?

There is still a bootstrapping issue though, which looks (in its current
form) to cause data corruption.

I hope I am mistaken, and apologies if I am, but clearly we cannot build
a solution that has data corruption in anything other than an
exceptional circumstance.

So far, the sequence of boot operations appears to look like this:

Xen boots, and may find some NVDIMM SPA/MFN ranges via the NFIT table.
Any ranges available only from AML need dynamically reporting back to
Xen at a later point, once OSPM is up and running.

The NVDIMMs must be mappable by dom0 so the contents can be inspected
and deemed to be safe by the nvdimm driver/host admin, before Xen starts
writing to any of it (for whatever reason).

If this isn't the case, then simply booting a Xen/dom0 combo will end up
corrupting a region before working out that it is safe to do so.