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SubjectRe: [PATCH] writeback: reset inode dirty time when adding it back to empty s_dirty list
On Wed, 25 Mar 2009 22:16:18 +0800
Wu Fengguang <fengguang.wu@intel.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 10:00:49PM +0800, Jeff Layton wrote:
> > On Wed, 25 Mar 2009 22:38:47 +0900
> > Ian Kent <raven@themaw.net> wrote:
> >
> > > Ian Kent wrote:
> > > > Jeff Layton wrote:
> > > >> On Wed, 25 Mar 2009 20:17:43 +0800
> > > >> Wu Fengguang <fengguang.wu@intel.com> wrote:
> > > >>
> > > >>> On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 07:51:10PM +0800, Jeff Layton wrote:
> > > >>>> On Wed, 25 Mar 2009 10:50:37 +0800
> > > >>>> Wu Fengguang <fengguang.wu@intel.com> wrote:
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>>>> Given the right situation though (or maybe the right filesystem), it's
> > > >>>>>> not too hard to imagine this problem occurring even in current mainline
> > > >>>>>> code with an inode that's frequently being redirtied.
> > > >>>>> My reasoning with recent kernel is: for kupdate, s_dirty enqueues only
> > > >>>>> happen in __mark_inode_dirty() and redirty_tail(). Newly dirtied
> > > >>>>> inodes will be parked in s_dirty for 30s. During which time the
> > > >>>>> actively being-redirtied inodes, if their dirtied_when is an old stuck
> > > >>>>> value, will be retried for writeback and then re-inserted into a
> > > >>>>> non-empty s_dirty queue and have their dirtied_when refreshed.
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>> Doesn't that assume that there are new inodes that are being dirtied?
> > > >>>> If you only have the same inodes being redirtied and never any new
> > > >>>> ones, the problem still occurs, right?
> > > >>> Yes. But will a production server run months without making one single
> > > >>> new dirtied inode? (Just out of curiosity. Not that I'm not willing to
> > > >>> fix this possible issue.:)
> > > >>>
> > > >> Yes. It's not that the box will run that long without creating a
> > > >> single new dirtied inode, but rather that it won't necessarily create
> > > >> one on all of its mounts. It's often the case that someone has a
> > > >> mountpoint for a dedicated purpose.
> > > >>
> > > >> Consider a host that has a mountpoint that contains logfiles that are
> > > >> being heavily written. There's nothing that says that they must rotate
> > > >> those logs over a particular period (assuming the fs has enough space,
> > > >> etc). If the same ones are constantly being redirtied and no new
> > > >> ones are created, then I think this problem can easily happen.
> > > >>
> > > >>>>>>> ...I see no obvious reasons against unconditionally resetting dirtied_when.
> > > >>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>> (a) Delaying an inode's writeback for 30s maybe too long - its blocking
> > > >>>>>>> condition may well go away within 1s. (b) And it would be very undesirable
> > > >>>>>>> if one big file is repeatedly redirtied hence its writeback being
> > > >>>>>>> delayed considerably.
> > > >>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>> However, redirty_tail() currently only tries to speedup writeback-after-redirty
> > > >>>>>>> in a _best effort_ way. It at best partially hides the above issues,
> > > >>>>>>> if there are any. In particular, if (b) is possible, the bug should
> > > >>>>>>> already show up at least in some situations.
> > > >>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>> For XFS, immediately sync of redirtied inode is actually discouraged:
> > > >>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>> http://lkml.org/lkml/2008/1/16/491
> > > >>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>>>
> > > >>>>>> Ok, those are good points that I need to think about.
> > > >>>>>>
> > > >>>>>> Thanks for the help so far. I'd welcome any suggestions you have on
> > > >>>>>> how best to fix this.
> > > >>>>> For NFS, is it desirable to retry a redirtied inode after 30s, or
> > > >>>>> after a shorter 5s, or after 0.1~5s? Or the exact timing simply
> > > >>>>> doesn't matter?
> > > >>>>>
> > > >>>> I don't really consider NFS to be a special case here. It just happens
> > > >>>> to be where we saw the problem originally. Some of its characteristics
> > > >>>> might make it easier to hit this, but I'm not certain of that.
> > > >>> Now there are now two possible solutions:
> > > >>> - unconditionally update dirtied_when in redirty_tail();
> > > >>> - keep dirtied_when and redirty inodes to a new dedicated queue.
> > > >>> The first one involves less code, the second one allows more flexible timing.
> > > >>>
> > > >>> NFS/XFS could be a good starting point for discussing the
> > > >>> requirements, so that we can reach a suitable solution.
> > > >>>
> > > >> It sounds like it, yes. I saw that you posted some patches in January
> > > >> (including your s_more_io_wait patch). I'll give those a closer look.
> > > >> Adding the new s_more_io_wait queue is interesting and might sidestep
> > > >> this problem nicely.
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > > Yes, I was looking at that bit of code but, so far, I think it won't be
> > > > called for the case we are trying to describe.
> > >
> > > I take that back.
> > > As Jeff pointed out I haven't seen these patches and can't seem to find
> > > them in my fsdevel list folder, Wu can you send me a copy please?
> > >
> >
> > Actually, I think you were right. We still have this check in
> > generic_sync_sb_inodes() even with Wu's January 2008 patches:
> >
> > /* Was this inode dirtied after sync_sb_inodes was called? */
> > if (time_after(inode->dirtied_when, start))
> > break;
>
> Yeah, ugly code. Jens' per-bdi flush daemons should eliminate it...
>

Ok, good to know. I need to look at those more closely I guess...

> > ...this check is the crux of the problem. We're assuming that the
> > dirtied_when value will never appear to be in the future. If we change
> > this check so that it's checking that dirtied_when is between "start"
> > and "now", then this problem basically goes away.
>
> Yeah that turns the problem into a temporary and tolerable one.
>

Yes.

> > We'll probably also need to change the test in move_expired_inodes
> > too, unless Wu's changes go in.
>
> So the most simple (and complete) solution is still this one ;-)
>

I suppose so. I guess that also takes care of the problem on XFS (and
maybe other filesystems too?) of inodes getting flushed too frequently
when they're redirtied.

The downside sounds like that it'll mean that big files that are being
frequently redirtied might get less frequent writeout attempts. We can
easily dirty pages faster than we can write them out (at least with
most filesystems). Will that cause problem where we accumulate too many
dirty pages for the inode? That also means that the I/O will be more
"spiky"...

pdflush writes out some data
inode goes back on s_dirty and dirtied_when gets restamped
wait 30s...
pdflush writes out more data
etc...

That seems sub-optimal.

--
Jeff Layton <jlayton@redhat.com>


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