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SubjectRe: Linux Cluster using shared scsi
"Eric Z. Ayers" wrote:
> Doug Ledford writes:
> (James Bottomley commented about the need for SCSI reservation kernel patches)
> >
> > I agree. It's something that needs fixed in general, your software needs it
> > as well, and I've written (about 80% done at this point) some open source
> > software geared towards getting/holding reservations that also requires the
> > same kernel patches (plus one more to be fully functional, an ioctl to allow a
> > SCSI reservation to do a forced reboot of a machine). I'll be releasing that
> > package in the short term (once I get back from my vacation anyway).
> >
> Hello Doug,
> Does this package also tell the kernel to "re-establish" a
> reservation for all devices after a bus reset, or at least inform a
> user level program? Finding out when there has been a bus reset has
> been a stumbling block for me.

It doesn't have to. The kernel changes are minimal (basically James' SCSI
reset patch that he's been carrying around, the scsi reservation conflict
patch, and I need to write a third patch that makes the system optionally
reboot immediately on a reservation conflict and which is controlled by an
ioctl, but I haven't done that patch yet). All of the rest is implemented in
user space via the /dev/sg entries. As such, it doesn't have any more
information about bus resets than you do. However, because of the policy
enacted in the code, it doesn't need to. Furthermore, because there are so
many ways to loose a reservation silently, it's foolhardy to try and keep
reservation consistency any way other than something similar to what I outline

The package is meant to be a sort of "scsi reservation" library. The
application that uses the library is responsible for setting policy. I wrote
a small, simple application that actually does a decent job of implementing
policy on the system. The policy it does implement is simple:

If told to get a reservation, then attempt to get it. If the attempt is
blocked by an existing reservation and we aren't suppossed to reset the drive,
then exit. If it's blocked and we are suppossed to reset the drive, then send
a device reset, then wait 5 seconds, then try to get the reservation. If we
again fail, then the other machine is still alive (as proven by the fact that
it re-established its reservation after the reset) and we exit, else we now
have the reservation.

If told to forcefully get a reservation, then attempt to get it. If the
attempt fails, then reset the device and try again immediately (no 5 second
wait), if it fails again, then exit.

If told to hold a reservation, then resend your reservation request once every
2 seconds (this actually has very minimal CPU/BUS usage and isn't as big a
deal as requesting a reservation every 2 seconds might sound). The first time
the reservation is refused, consider the reservation stolen by another machine
and exit (or optionally, reboot).

The package is meant to lock against itself (in other words, a malicious user
with write access to the /dev/sg entries could confuse this locking mechanism,
but it will work cooperatively with other copies of itself running on other
machines), the requirements for the locking to be safe are as follows:

1) A machine is not allowed to mount or otherwise use a drive in any way
shape or form until it has successfully acquired a reservation.

2) Once a machine has a reservation, it is not allowed to ever take any
action to break another machines reservation, so that if the reservation is
stolen, this machine is required to "gracefully" step away from the drive
(rebooting is the best way to accomplish this since even the act of unmounting
the drive will attempt to write to it).

3) The timeouts in the program must be honored (resend your reservation, when
you hold it, every 2 seconds so that a passive attempt to steal the
reservation will see you are still alive within the 5 second timeout and leave
you be, which is a sort of heartbeat in and of itself).

Anyway, as I said in my previous email, it's about 80% complete. It currently
is up and running on SCSI-2 LUN based reservations. There is code to do
SCSI-2 and SCSI-3 extent based reservations but it hasn't been tested due to
lack of devices that support extent based reservations (my test bed is a
multipath FC setup, so I'm doing all my testing on FC drives over two FC
controllers in the same machine). I've still got to add the SCSI-3 Persistent
Reservation code to the library (again, I'm lacking test drives for this
scenario). The library itself requires that the program treat all
reservations as extent/persistent reservations and it silently falls back to
LUN reservations when neither of those two are available. My simple program
that goes with the application just makes extent reservations of the whole
disc, so it acts like a LUN reservation regardless, but there is considerably
more flexibility in the library if a person wishes to program to it.


Doug Ledford <>
Please check my web site for aic7xxx updates/answers before
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