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SubjectRe: [patch] ext2/3: document conditions when reliable operation is possible
On 08/27/2009 04:51 PM, Rob Landley wrote:
> On Thursday 27 August 2009 06:43:49 Ric Wheeler wrote:
>> On 08/26/2009 11:53 PM, Rob Landley wrote:
>>> On Tuesday 25 August 2009 18:40:50 Ric Wheeler wrote:
>>>> Repeat experiment until you get up to something like google scale or the
>>>> other papers on failures in national labs in the US and then we can have
>>>> an informed discussion.
>>> On google scale anvil lightning can fry your machine out of a clear sky.
>>> However, there are still a few non-enterprise users out there, and
>>> knowing that specific usage patterns don't behave like they expect might
>>> be useful to them.
>> You are missing the broader point of both papers.
> No, I'm dismissing the papers (some of which I read when they first came out
> and got slashdotted) as irrelevant to the topic at hand.

I guess I have to dismiss your dismissing then.
> Pavel has two failure modes which he can trivially reproduce. The USB stick
> one is reproducible on a laptop by jostling said stick. I myself used to have
> a literal USB keychain, and the weight of keys dangling from it pulled it out
> of the USB socket fairly easily if I wasn't careful. At the time nobody had
> told me a journaling filesystem was not a reasonable safeguard here.
> Presumably the degraded raid one can be reproduced under an emulator, with no
> hardware directly involved at all, so talking about hardware failure rates
> ignores the fact that he's actually discussing a _software_ problem. It may
> happen in _response_ to hardware failures, but the damage he's attempting to
> document happens entirely in software.
> These failure modes can cause data loss which journaling can't help, but which
> journaling might (or might not) conceivably hide so you don't immediately
> notice it. They share a common underlying assumption that the storage
> device's update granularity is less than or equal to the filesystem's block
> size, which is not actually true of all modern storage devices. The fact he's
> only _found_ two instances where this assumption bites doesn't mean there
> aren't more waiting to be found, especially as more new storage media types
> get introduced.
> Pavel's response was to attempt to document this. Not that journaling is
> _bad_, but that it doesn't protect against this class of problem.
> Your response is to talk about google clusters, cloud storage, and cite
> academic papers of statistical hardware failure rates. As I understand the
> discussion, that's not actually the issue Pavel's talking about, merely one
> potential trigger for it.
> Rob

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