Re: [PATCH] ext4: Return EIO on read error in ext4_find_entry

From: Andreas Dilger
Date: Fri Jun 23 2017 - 19:35:12 EST

On Jun 23, 2017, at 5:26 PM, Theodore Ts'o <tytso@xxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 03:33:46PM -0700, Khazhismel Kumykov wrote:
>> Giving up early or checking future blocks both work, critical thing
>> here is not returning NULL after seeing a read error.
>> Previously to this the behavior was to continue to check future blocks
>> after a read error, and it seemed OK.
> Whether or not it is OK probably depends on how big the directory is.
> If we need to suffer through N long error retries, whether it is
> caused by long SCSI error retries, or long iSCSI error retries, sooner
> or later it's going to be problematic if the process which is taking
> forever to search through the whole directory has a some kind health
> monitoring service or other watchdog timer.

I think this is a problem regardless of what is being done by the filesystem,
basically if the block device is broken then there will be a lot of retries
and/or errors. I agree it doesn't make sense to return a benign error like
"ENOENT" if there are IO errors.

> Still, I agree that there will be some cases where instead of "Fast
> fail", having the file server try as hard as possible fetch the file
> from the failing disk is worthwhile. I tend to be focused on the
> cluster file system case where if it's going to several hundred
> milliseconds to fetch the file, you're better off getting it from the
> one other replicated copies from another server, or start the
> reed-solomon reconstruction from.

Sure, but that is a problem independent of the readdir case I think?

> However, if you have an
> architecture where the only copy of the file is on the particular file
> server (perhaps because you are depending on RAID instead of n=3
> replication or reed-solomon erasure codes), having the file server try
> as hard as possible to find the file is a good thing.
> I wonder if the right answer is to have "fastfail" and "nofastfail"
> mount option.

Wouldn't it just make sense to mount the filesystem with "errors=remount-ro"
or "errors=panic" in your case, where you can give up on a single node
easily if it detects device-level errors, rather than "errors=continue" as
it seems you currently have? This is what we do in HA environments, and
fail the storage over to a backup server in case the problem is with the
node, SCSI cards, cables, etc. and not the disk (preventing further automatic
failback to prevent node ping-pong if there is actually a media error).

Cheers, Andreas

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