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SubjectRe: Journaling pointless with today's hard disks?
"H. Peter Anvin" wrote:
>
> Followup to: <9tumf0$dvr$1@cesium.transmeta.com>
> By author: "H. Peter Anvin" <hpa@zytor.com>
> In newsgroup: linux.dev.kernel
> >
> > Indeed; having explicit write barriers would be a very useful feature,
> > but the drives MUST default to strict ordering unless reordering (with
> > write barriers) have been enabled explicitly by the OS.
> >
>
> On the subject of write barriers... such a setup probably should have
> a serial number field for each write barrier command, and a "WAIT FOR
> WRITE BARRIER NUMBER #" command -- which will wait until all writes
> preceeding the specified write barrier has been committed to stable
> storage. It might also be worthwhile to have the equivalent
> nonblocking operation -- QUERY LAST WRITE BARRIER COMMITTED.
>

For ext3 at least, all that is needed is a barrier which says
"don't reorder writes across here". Asynchronous behaviour
beyond that is OK - the disk is free to queue multiple transactions
internally as long as the barriers are observed. If the power
goes out we'll just recover up to and including the last-written
commit block.

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