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SubjectRe: [RFC] extending splice for copy offloading
On Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 05:26:39PM -0400, Ric Wheeler wrote:
> On 09/26/2013 02:55 PM, Zach Brown wrote:
> >On Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 10:58:05AM +0200, Miklos Szeredi wrote:
> >>On Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 11:07 PM, Zach Brown <> wrote:
> >>>>A client-side copy will be slower, but I guess it does have the
> >>>>advantage that the application can track progress to some degree, and
> >>>>abort it fairly quickly without leaving the file in a totally undefined
> >>>>state--and both might be useful if the copy's not a simple constant-time
> >>>>operation.
> >>>I suppose, but can't the app achieve a nice middle ground by copying the
> >>>file in smaller syscalls? Avoid bulk data motion back to the client,
> >>>but still get notification every, I dunno, few hundred meg?
> >>Yes. And if "cp" could just be switched from a read+write syscall
> >>pair to a single splice syscall using the same buffer size. And then
> >>the user would only notice that things got faster in case of server
> >>side copy. No problems with long blocking times (at least not much
> >>worse than it was).
> >Hmm, yes, that would be a nice outcome.
> >
> >>However "cp" doesn't do reflinking by default, it has a switch for
> >>that. If we just want "cp" and the like to use splice without fearing
> >>side effects then by default we should try to be as close to
> >>read+write behavior as possible. No?
> >I guess? I don't find requiring --reflink hugely compelling. But there
> >it is.
> >
> >>That's what I'm really
> >>worrying about when you want to wire up splice to reflink by default.
> >>I do think there should be a flag for that. And if on the block level
> >>some magic happens, so be it. It's not the fs deverloper's worry any
> >>more ;)
> >Sure. So we'd have:
> >
> >- no flag default that forbids knowingly copying with shared references
> > so that it will be used by default by people who feel strongly about
> > their assumptions about independent write durability.
> >
> >- a flag that allows shared references for people who would otherwise
> > use the file system shared reference ioctls (ocfs2 reflink, btrfs
> > clone) but would like it to also do server-side read/write copies
> > over nfs without additional intervention.
> >
> >- a flag that requires shared references for callers who don't want
> > giant copies to take forever if they aren't instant. (The qemu guys
> > asked for this at Plumbers.)

Why not implement only the last flag only as the first step? It seems
like the simplest one. So I think that would mean:

- no worrying about cancelling, etc.
- apps should be told to pass the entire range at once (normally
the whole file).
- The NFS server probably shouldn't do the internal copy loop by

We can't prevent some storage system from implementing a high-latency
copy operation, but we can refuse to provide them any help (providing no
progress reports or easy way to cancel) and then they can deal with the
complaints from their users.

Also, I don't get the first option above at all. The argument is that
it's safer to have more copies? How much safety does another copy on
the same disk really give you? Do systems that do dedup provide
interfaces to turn it off per-file?

> This last flag should not prevent a remote target device (NFS or
> SCSI array) copy from working though since they often do reflink
> like operations inside of the remote target device....

In fact maybe that's the only case to care about on the first pass.

But I understand that Zach's tired of the woodshedding and I could live
with the above I guess....


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