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SubjectRe: Are linux-fs's drive-fault-tolerant by concept?
On Sun, 20 Apr 2003 18:20:16 +0100 (BST)
John Bradford <john@grabjohn.com> wrote:

> > > > > Fault tolerance in a filesystem layer means in practical terms
> > > > > that you are guessing what a filesystem should look like, for the
> > > > > disk doesn't answer that question anymore. IMHO you don't want
> > > > > that to be done automagically, for it might go right sometimes,
> > > > > but also might trash everything on RW filesystems.
> > > >
> > > > Let me clarify again: I don't want fancy stuff inside the filesystem
> > > > that magically knows something about right-or-wrong. The only _very
> > > > small_ enhancement I would like to see is: driver tells fs there is an
> > > > error while writing a certain block => fs tries writing the same
> > > > data onto another block. That's it, no magic, no RAID
> > > > stuff. Very simple.
> > >
> > > That doesn't belong in the filesystem.
> > >
> > > Imagine you have ten blocks free, and you allocate data to all of them
> > > in the filesystem. The write goes to cache, and succeeds.
> > >
> > > 30 seconds later, the write cache is flushed, and an error is reported
> > > back from the device.
> >
> > And where's the problem?
> > Your case:
> > Immediate failure. Disk error.
> >
> > My case:
> > Immediate failure. Disk error (no space left for replacement)
> >
> > There's no difference.
>
> In my case, the machine can continue as normal. The filesystem is
> intact, (with no blocks free). The block device driver has to cope
> with the error, which could be as simple as holding the data in RAM
> until an operator has been paged to replace the disk.

Forgive my ignorance, but I have not seen a case up to today where ide, aicX or
3ware has called me up for a replacement unit, written to it and been ok
afterwards. What the heck are you talking of?
I am not really interested in what a low-level driver could do unless there is
none that does it...
And again, how do you think this should work out on your _root_ partition? (see
below)

> In your case, the filesystem is no longer in a usable state.

I have yet to see an fs thats in a writeable state after the medium is full ...

> If that
> was the root filesystem, the machine will, at best, probably go in to
> single user mode, with a read-only root filesystem.

How come?

> > Thing is: If there are 11 blocks free and not ten, then you fail
>
> Wrong. See above.

Please tell me when you were last "paged to replace the disk"? If you can't
tell me, then you know I am right by now.

> > and I succeed (if there's one bad block). You loose data, I don't.
>
> John.

Regards,
Stephan

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