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SubjectRe: Journaling pointless with today's hard disks?
Date
> 
> On Monday 26 November 2001 15:30, Andre Hedrick wrote:
> > On Mon, 26 Nov 2001, Rob Landley wrote:
>
> > > Just add an off-the-shelf capacitor to your circuit. The firmware
> > > already has to detect power failure in order to park the head sanely, so

> > Send me an outline/discription and I will present it during the Dec T13
> > meeting for a proposal number for inclusion into ATA-7.
>
> What kind of write-up do you want? (How formal?)
>
> The trick here is limiting the scope of the problem. Your buffer can't be
> larger than you can reliably write back on a sudden power failure. (This
> should be obvious.) So the obvious answer is to make your writeback cache
> SMALL. The problems that go with flushing it are then correspondingly small.
<snip>
>
> Now a cache large enough to hold 2 full tracks could also hold dozens of
> individual sectors scattered around the disk, which could take a full second
> to write off and power down. This is a "doctor, it hurts when I do this"
> question. DON'T DO THAT.

Or, to seek to a journal track, and write the cache to it.
Errors are a problem, writing twice may help.
This avoids having to block on bad write patterns, for example, if you
are writing mixed blocks that go to tracks 1 and 88, you can't start to
write blocks that would go to track 44.
Performance would rise if it can do the writes in elevator order.

<snip>
> That way, the power down problem is strictly limited:
>
> 1) write out the track you're over
> 2) seek to the second track
> 3) write that out too
> 4) park the head

Or 2) optionally seek to the journal track, and write the journal.

>
> What new hardware is involved?
>
> Add a capacitor.
>
> Add a power level sensor. (Drives may already have this to know when to park
> the head.)
Most drives I've taken apart recently seem to have passive means,
a spring to move the head to the side, and a magnet to hold it there.
<Snip>>
> I think that's it. Did I miss anything? Oh yeah, on power fail stop

It needs a power switch to stop back-feeding the computer.

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