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    SubjectRe: [GIT PULL] Ext3 latency fixes

    On Fri, 3 Apr 2009, Linus Torvalds wrote:

    > On Fri, 3 Apr 2009, Theodore Ts'o wrote:
    > >
    > > Please pull from:
    > >
    > > git:// ext3-latency-fixes
    > Thanks, pulled. I'll be interested to see how it feels. Will report back
    > after I've rebuild and gone through a few more emails.


    The "overwrite" behavior may well be better, but it was smooth enough
    beforehand too (never having more than ~8MB dirty). The "create big file
    and sync" workload causes huge fsync pauses, though. IOW, try with

    while :
    time sh -c "dd if=/dev/zero of=bigfile bs=8M count=256 ; sync"

    and even really small fsync's end up being at the end of all that
    unrelated activity, and you see things like

    fsync(7) = 0 <32.756308>

    (that was my "switch email folders with update" test case, the full trace
    for that file descriptor is

    open("/home/torvalds/mail/git-list", O_RDWR) = 7 <0.000010>
    fstatfs(7, {f_type="EXT2_SUPER_MAGIC", f_bsize=4096, f_blocks=19230104, f_bfree=13853292, f_bavail=12876440, f_files=4890624
    flock(7, LOCK_EX) = 0 <0.000009>
    fstat(7, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0600, st_size=54231534, ...}) = 0 <0.000005>
    lseek(7, 0, SEEK_SET) = 0 <0.000006>
    write(7, "From MAILER-DAEMON Fri Apr 3 11:"..., 554) = 554 <0.000012>
    lseek(7, 54202529, SEEK_SET) = 54202529 <0.000007>
    read(7, "From torvalds@linux-foundation.or"..., 66) = 66 <0.000008>
    lseek(7, 54202595, SEEK_SET) = 54202595 <0.000006>
    read(7, "Return-Path: <git-owner@vger.kern"..., 2915) = 2915 <0.000007>
    lseek(7, 54202529, SEEK_SET) = 54202529 <0.000005>
    write(7, "From torvalds@linux-foundation.or"..., 2981) = 2981 <0.000009>
    ftruncate(7, 54231534) = 0 <0.000008>
    fsync(7) = 0 <32.756308>
    close(7) = 0 <0.000006>

    so it had done just a few kB of writes, but because it ended up behind
    the humongous backlog of 'bigfile' it didn't much help.

    Also, it's maybe worth noting that you don't actually need a 2GB file to
    trigger this behavior. Change that "count=256" into a "count=16", and you
    now have a simulation of just writing 128MB at a time, with a "sync" in
    between to make sure it hits the disk. It makes the pauses smaller, but
    they are still several seconds.

    (That, btw, is probably more the kind of thing I see when doign a "yum
    update". I assume a package manager would do exactly that kind of "unpack
    files and sync" in a loop).

    Btw, I assume this same thing holds true for ext4 too? Because it shows
    how two different "sync" operations interact, and one kills the
    performance of the other one. So as long as there is a _single_ fsync()
    user, you're fine. It's when you get more than one...

    Again, I have that Intel SSD that should do pretty reliably 40+MB/s even
    with really nasty write patterns, so I do need several hundred megs to
    really see painful pauses. On a slower disk you'd need much less).


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