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SubjectRe: [RFC] Multi-path IO in 2.5/2.6 ?
On Tue, Sep 10, 2002 at 03:04:27PM +0200, Lars Marowsky-Bree wrote:
> On 2002-09-10T00:55:58,
> Jeremy Higdon <> said:
> > Is there any plan to do something for hardware RAIDs in which two different
> > RAID controllers can get to the same logical unit, but you pay a performance
> > penalty when you access the lun via both controllers?
> This is implemented in the md multipath patch in 2.4; it distinguishes between
> "active" and "spare" paths.
> The LVM1 patch also does this by having priorities for each path and only
> going to the next priority group if all paths in the current one have failed,
> which IMHO is slightly over the top but there is always someone who might need
> it ;-)
> This functionality is a generic requirement IMHO.
> Sincerely,
> Lars Marowsky-Brée <>

The current scsi multi-path has a default setting of "last path used", so
that it will always work with such controllers (I refer to such controllers
as fail-over devices). You have to modify the config, or boot with a
flag to get round-robin path selection. Right now, all paths will start
out on the same adapter (initiator), this is bad if you have more than
a few arrays attached to and adapter.

I was planning on implementing something similiar to what you describe
for LVM1, with path weighting. Yes, it seems a bit heavy, but if there
are only two weights or priorities, it looks just like your active/spare
code, and is a bit more flexible.

Figuring out what ports are active or spare is not easy, and varies
from array to array. This is a (another) good canidate for user level
probing/configuration. I will likely probably hard-code device
personallity information into the kernel for now, and hopefully in
2.7 we could move SCSI to user level probe/scan/configure.

I have heard that some arrays at one time had a small penalty for
switching controllers, and it was best to use the last path used,
but it was still OK to use both at the same time (cache warmth). I
was trying to think of a way to allow good load balancing in such
cases, but didn't come up with a good solution. Like use last path
used selection, and once a path is too "busy" move to another path
- but then all devices might switch at the same time; some hearistics
or timing could probably be added to avoid such problems. The code
allows for path selection in a single function, so it should not
be difficult to add more complex path selection.

I have also put NUMA path selection into the latest code. I've tested
it with 2.5.32, and a bunch of NUMA + NUMAQ patches on IBM/Sequent
NUMAQ systems.

-- Patrick Mansfield
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