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SubjectRe: Proposal and plan for ext2/3 future development work
On Fri, 2006-06-30 at 11:24 -0700, Joel Becker wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 30, 2006 at 10:13:06AM -0700, Badari Pulavarty wrote:
> > I tried adding "delayed allocation" for ext3 earlier. Yes. VFS level
> > infrastructure would be nice. But, I haven't found much that we can
> > do at VFS - which is common across all the filesystems (except
> > mpage_writepage(s) handling). Most of the stuff is specific to
> > filesystem implementation (even though it could be common) - coming
> > out with VFS level interfaces to suite all the different filesystem
> > delalloc would be *interesting* exercise.
> Well, to be fair, I'm just going by what little I know about
> XFS. They maintain a cache of all pages waiting on delayed allocation
> for writepack. Why have this entire cache (hash, list, whatever) when
> we could create some state on in the pagecache? We save a large chunk
> of memory and some complex writeback code. I suspect you were thinking
> of this when you said "mpage_writepage(s) handling". But this is a
> large complexity win if we can do it.
> The same with metadata/data ordering issues. ie, data=ordered
> or even plain "creat(2); write(2)". I don't know how generic the
> ordering is for each filesystem, but there is always room for play.
> On-disk, of course each filesystem is going to be different.
> I'm not sure we could fit a fully-generic aops->reserve_space() &
> aops->commit_space() API. But I don't think we need to.

Unfortunately, I haven't looked at XFS delalloc implementation indetail
to understand what exact they would need from VFS (or could be pushed to
VFS). I purely tried to work with current ext3 code and current VFS
support. What I find is that -

1) Instead of allocating a block at prepare time, we need to be able to
"reserve" a block (so it won't file as part of writeback). And, as
part of writeback - we need a way to figure out if a given page did
indeed really reserve the block. (we need to make sure the allocation
succeeds for those). We might need a pageflag for this (but I haven't
decided that its absolutely needed).

2) Needed a way to cluster bunch of (contig) pages and allocate disk
blocksfor those in a single shot - which is NOT a direct delalloc
requirement, but that is the whole reason for doing delalloc.
(Suprana did few radix_tree interfaces for this).

Other than these general VFS level ones - I had to play with journal
lock ordering issues (very specific to ext3 stuff). To work around
the journalling issues, I had to do my own mpage_writepages() since
the changes I need are specific to ext3 journalling - I am not sure
if they are going to be useful for other filesystems or not.

If you can think of general infrastructure you need for OCFS2, please
let me know - we can come with commonality.


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