Patchwork virtio-spec: document block CMD and FLUSH

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Submitter Michael S. Tsirkin
Date Feb. 18, 2010, 10:22 p.m.
Message ID <20100218222220.GA14847@redhat.com>
Download mbox | patch
Permalink /patch/45817/
State New
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Comments

Michael S. Tsirkin - Feb. 18, 2010, 10:22 p.m.
I took a stub at documenting CMD and FLUSH request types in virtio
block.  Christoph, could you look over this please?

I note that the interface seems full of warts to me,
this might be a first step to cleaning them.

One issue I struggled with especially is how type
field mixes bits and non-bit values. I ended up
simply defining all legal values, so that we have
CMD = 2, CMD_OUT = 3 and so on.

I also avoided instroducing inhdr/outhdr structures
that virtio blk driver in linux uses, I was concerned
that nesting tables will confuse the reader.

Comments welcome.

Signed-off-by: Michael S. Tsirkin <mst@redhat.com>

--
Michael S. Tsirkin - April 19, 2010, 9:26 p.m.
On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 12:22:20AM +0200, Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> I took a stub at documenting CMD and FLUSH request types in virtio
> block.

Any comments?
Jamie Lokier - April 20, 2010, 1:46 a.m.
Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> I took a stub at documenting CMD and FLUSH request types in virtio
> block.  Christoph, could you look over this please?
> 
> I note that the interface seems full of warts to me,
> this might be a first step to cleaning them.
> 
> One issue I struggled with especially is how type
> field mixes bits and non-bit values. I ended up
> simply defining all legal values, so that we have
> CMD = 2, CMD_OUT = 3 and so on.
> 
> I also avoided instroducing inhdr/outhdr structures
> that virtio blk driver in linux uses, I was concerned
> that nesting tables will confuse the reader.
> 
> Comments welcome.
> 
> Signed-off-by: Michael S. Tsirkin <mst@redhat.com>
> 
> --
> 
> diff --git a/virtio-spec.lyx b/virtio-spec.lyx
> index d16104a..ed35893 100644
> --- a/virtio-spec.lyx
> +++ b/virtio-spec.lyx
> @@ -67,7 +67,11 @@ IBM Corporation
>  \end_layout
>  
>  \begin_layout Standard
> +
> +\change_deleted 0 1266531118
>  FIXME: virtio block scsi passthrough section
> +\change_unchanged
> +
>  \end_layout
>  
>  \begin_layout Standard
> @@ -4376,7 +4380,7 @@ struct virtio_net_ctrl_mac {
>  The device can filter incoming packets by any number of destination MAC
>   addresses.
>  \begin_inset Foot
> -status open
> +status collapsed
>  
>  \begin_layout Plain Layout
>  Since there are no guarentees, it can use a hash filter orsilently switch
> @@ -4549,6 +4553,22 @@ blk_size
>  \end_inset
>  
>  .
> +\change_inserted 0 1266444580
> +
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\begin_layout Description
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266471229
> +VIRTIO_BLK_F_SCSI (7) Device supports scsi packet commands.
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\begin_layout Description
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266444605
> +VIRTIO_BLK_F_FLUSH (9) Cache flush command support.
> +\change_unchanged
> +
>  \end_layout
>  
>  \begin_layout Description
> @@ -4700,17 +4720,25 @@ struct virtio_blk_req {
>  
>  \begin_layout Plain Layout
>  
> +\change_deleted 0 1266472188
> +
>  #define VIRTIO_BLK_T_IN          0
>  \end_layout
>  
>  \begin_layout Plain Layout
>  
> +\change_deleted 0 1266472188
> +
>  #define VIRTIO_BLK_T_OUT         1
>  \end_layout
>  
>  \begin_layout Plain Layout
>  
> +\change_deleted 0 1266472188
> +
>  #define VIRTIO_BLK_T_BARRIER	 0x80000000
> +\change_unchanged
> +
>  \end_layout
>  
>  \begin_layout Plain Layout
> @@ -4735,11 +4763,15 @@ struct virtio_blk_req {
>  
>  \begin_layout Plain Layout
>  
> +\change_deleted 0 1266472204
> +
>  #define VIRTIO_BLK_S_OK        0
>  \end_layout
>  
>  \begin_layout Plain Layout
>  
> +\change_deleted 0 1266472204
> +
>  #define VIRTIO_BLK_S_IOERR     1
>  \end_layout
>  
> @@ -4759,32 +4791,481 @@ struct virtio_blk_req {
>  \end_layout
>  
>  \begin_layout Standard
> -The type of the request is either a read (VIRTIO_BLK_T_IN) or a write (VIRTIO_BL
> -K_T_OUT); the high bit indicates that this request acts as a barrier and
> - that all preceeding requests must be complete before this one, and all
> - following requests must not be started until this is complete.
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266472490
> +If the device has VIRTIO_BLK_F_SCSI feature, it can also support scsi packet
> + command requests, each of these requests is of form:
> +\begin_inset listings
> +inline false
> +status open
> +
> +\begin_layout Plain Layout
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266472395
> +
> +struct virtio_scsi_pc_req {
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\begin_layout Plain Layout
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266472375
> +
> +	u32 type;
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\begin_layout Plain Layout
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266472375
> +
> +	u32 ioprio;
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\begin_layout Plain Layout
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266474298
> +
> +	u64 sector;
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\begin_layout Plain Layout
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266474308
> +
> +    char cmd[];
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\begin_layout Plain Layout
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266505809
> +
> +	char data[][512];
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\begin_layout Plain Layout
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266505825
> +
> +#define SCSI_SENSE_BUFFERSIZE   96
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\begin_layout Plain Layout
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266505848
> +
> +    u8 sense[SCSI_SENSE_BUFFERSIZE];
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\begin_layout Plain Layout
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266472969
> +
> +    u32 errors;
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\begin_layout Plain Layout
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266472979
> +
> +    u32 data_len;
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\begin_layout Plain Layout
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266472984
> +
> +    u32 sense_len;
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\begin_layout Plain Layout
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266472987
> +
> +    u32 residual;
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\begin_layout Plain Layout
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266472375
> +
> +	u8 status;
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\begin_layout Plain Layout
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266472375
> +
> +};
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\end_inset
> +
> +
> +\change_unchanged
> +
>  \end_layout
>  
>  \begin_layout Standard
> -The ioprio field is a hint about the relative priorities of requests to
> - the device: higher numbers indicate more important requests.
> +The 
> +\emph on
> +type
> +\emph default
> + of the request is either a read (VIRTIO_BLK_T_IN)
> +\change_inserted 0 1266495815
> +,
> +\change_unchanged
> + 
> +\change_deleted 0 1266495817
> +or
> +\change_unchanged
> + a write (VIRTIO_BLK_T_OUT)
> +\change_inserted 0 1266497316
> +, a scsi packet command (VIRTIO_BLK_T_SCSI_CMD or VIRTIO_BLK_T_SCSI_CMD_OUT
> +\begin_inset Foot
> +status open
> +
> +\begin_layout Plain Layout
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266497390
> +the SCSI_CMD and SCSI_CMD_OUT types are equivalent, the device does not
> + distinguish between them
> +\change_unchanged
> +
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\end_inset
> +
> +) or a flush (VIRTIO_BLK_T_FLUSH or VIRTIO_BLK_T_FLUSH_OUT
> +\begin_inset Foot
> +status open
> +
> +\begin_layout Plain Layout
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266497402
> +the FLUSH and FLUSH_OUT types are equivalent, the device does not distinguish
> + between them
> +\change_unchanged
> +
> +\end_layout
> +
> +\end_inset
> +
> +)
> +\change_deleted 0 1266503753
> +;
> +\change_inserted 0 1266503758
> +.
> +
> +\change_unchanged
> + 
> +\change_inserted 0 1266497301
> +If the device has VIRTIO_BLK_F_BARRIER feature
> +\begin_inset space ~
> +\end_inset
> +
> +
> +\change_unchanged
> +the high bit
> +\change_inserted 0 1266497301

> + (VIRTIO_BLK_T_BARRIER)
> +\change_unchanged
> + indicates that this request acts as a barrier and that all preceeding requests
> + must be complete before this one, and all following requests must not be
> + started until this is complete.
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266504385
> + Note that a barrier does not flush caches in the underlying backend device
> + in host, and thus does not serve as data consistency guarantee.
> + Driver must use FLUSH request to flush the host cache.
> +\change_unchanged
> +

Does this mean that virtio-blk supports all three combinations?

   1. FLUSH that isn't a barrier
   2. FLUSH that is also a barrier
   3. Barrier that is not a flush

1 is good for fsync-like operations;
2 is good for journalling-like ordered operations.
3 sounds like it doesn't mean a lot as the host cache provides no
guarantees and has no ordering facility that can be used.

-- Jamie
Paul Brook - April 20, 2010, 1:22 p.m.
> Does this mean that virtio-blk supports all three combinations?
> 
>    1. FLUSH that isn't a barrier
>    2. FLUSH that is also a barrier
>    3. Barrier that is not a flush
> 
> 1 is good for fsync-like operations;
> 2 is good for journalling-like ordered operations.
> 3 sounds like it doesn't mean a lot as the host cache provides no
> guarantees and has no ordering facility that can be used.

(3) allows the guest to queue overlapping transfers with well defined results.
I have no idea how useful this is in practice, but it's certainly plausible.

Paul
Michael S. Tsirkin - April 21, 2010, 10:39 a.m.
On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 02:22:58PM +0100, Paul Brook wrote:
> > Does this mean that virtio-blk supports all three combinations?
> > 
> >    1. FLUSH that isn't a barrier
> >    2. FLUSH that is also a barrier
> >    3. Barrier that is not a flush
> > 
> > 1 is good for fsync-like operations;
> > 2 is good for journalling-like ordered operations.
> > 3 sounds like it doesn't mean a lot as the host cache provides no
> > guarantees and has no ordering facility that can be used.
> 
> (3) allows the guest to queue overlapping transfers with well defined results.
> I have no idea how useful this is in practice, but it's certainly plausible.
> 
> Paul

In theory, yes.
At the moment, qemu only implements FLUSH and lguest only
implements barrier without FLUSH.

If you think it's useful, maybe start by using FLUSH+barrier
in linux guest driver, that'd demonstrate how it's used.
Michael S. Tsirkin - April 28, 2010, 3:52 p.m.
On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 12:26:27AM +0300, Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 12:22:20AM +0200, Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> > I took a stub at documenting CMD and FLUSH request types in virtio
> > block.
> 
> Any comments?

Rusty?
Rusty Russell - May 4, 2010, 4:38 a.m.
On Fri, 19 Feb 2010 08:52:20 am Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> I took a stub at documenting CMD and FLUSH request types in virtio
> block.  Christoph, could you look over this please?
> 
> I note that the interface seems full of warts to me,
> this might be a first step to cleaning them.

ISTR Christoph had withdrawn some patches in this area, and was waiting
for him to resubmit?

I've given up on figuring out the block device.  What seem to me to be sane
semantics along the lines of memory barriers are foreign to disk people: they
want (and depend on) flushing everywhere.

For example, tdb transactions do not require a flush, they only require what
I would call a barrier: that prior data be written out before any future data.
Surely that would be more efficient in general than a flush!  In fact, TDB
wants only writes to *that file* (and metadata) written out first; it has no
ordering issues with other I/O on the same device.

A generic I/O interface would allow you to specify "this request depends on these
outstanding requests" and leave it at that.  It might have some sync flush
command for dumb applications and OSes.  The userspace API might be not be as
precise and only allow such a barrier against all prior writes on this fd.

ISTR someone mentioning a desire for such an API years ago, so CC'ing the
usual I/O suspects...

Cheers,
Rusty.
Stefan Hajnoczi - May 4, 2010, 6:56 a.m.
A userspace barrier API would be very useful instead of doing fsync when
only ordering is required. I'd like to follow that discussion too.

Stefan

On 4 May 2010 05:39, "Rusty Russell" <rusty@rustcorp.com.au> wrote:

On Fri, 19 Feb 2010 08:52:20 am Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> I took a stub at documenting CMD and FLU...
ISTR Christoph had withdrawn some patches in this area, and was waiting
for him to resubmit?

I've given up on figuring out the block device.  What seem to me to be sane
semantics along the lines of memory barriers are foreign to disk people:
they
want (and depend on) flushing everywhere.

For example, tdb transactions do not require a flush, they only require what
I would call a barrier: that prior data be written out before any future
data.
Surely that would be more efficient in general than a flush!  In fact, TDB
wants only writes to *that file* (and metadata) written out first; it has no
ordering issues with other I/O on the same device.

A generic I/O interface would allow you to specify "this request depends on
these
outstanding requests" and leave it at that.  It might have some sync flush
command for dumb applications and OSes.  The userspace API might be not be
as
precise and only allow such a barrier against all prior writes on this fd.

ISTR someone mentioning a desire for such an API years ago, so CC'ing the
usual I/O suspects...

Cheers,
Rusty.
Avi Kivity - May 4, 2010, 8:34 a.m.
On 05/04/2010 07:38 AM, Rusty Russell wrote:
> On Fri, 19 Feb 2010 08:52:20 am Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
>    
>> I took a stub at documenting CMD and FLUSH request types in virtio
>> block.  Christoph, could you look over this please?
>>
>> I note that the interface seems full of warts to me,
>> this might be a first step to cleaning them.
>>      
> ISTR Christoph had withdrawn some patches in this area, and was waiting
> for him to resubmit?
>
> I've given up on figuring out the block device.  What seem to me to be sane
> semantics along the lines of memory barriers are foreign to disk people: they
> want (and depend on) flushing everywhere.
>
> For example, tdb transactions do not require a flush, they only require what
> I would call a barrier: that prior data be written out before any future data.
> Surely that would be more efficient in general than a flush!  In fact, TDB
> wants only writes to *that file* (and metadata) written out first; it has no
> ordering issues with other I/O on the same device.
>    

I think that's SCSI ordered tags.

> A generic I/O interface would allow you to specify "this request depends on these
> outstanding requests" and leave it at that.  It might have some sync flush
> command for dumb applications and OSes.  The userspace API might be not be as
> precise and only allow such a barrier against all prior writes on this fd.
>    

Depends on all previous requests, and will commit before all following 
requests.  ie a full barrier.

> ISTR someone mentioning a desire for such an API years ago, so CC'ing the
> usual I/O suspects...
>    

I'd love to see TCQ exposed to user space.
Jens Axboe - May 4, 2010, 8:41 a.m.
On Tue, May 04 2010, Rusty Russell wrote:
> On Fri, 19 Feb 2010 08:52:20 am Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> > I took a stub at documenting CMD and FLUSH request types in virtio
> > block.  Christoph, could you look over this please?
> > 
> > I note that the interface seems full of warts to me,
> > this might be a first step to cleaning them.
> 
> ISTR Christoph had withdrawn some patches in this area, and was waiting
> for him to resubmit?
> 
> I've given up on figuring out the block device.  What seem to me to be sane
> semantics along the lines of memory barriers are foreign to disk people: they
> want (and depend on) flushing everywhere.
> 
> For example, tdb transactions do not require a flush, they only require what
> I would call a barrier: that prior data be written out before any future data.
> Surely that would be more efficient in general than a flush!  In fact, TDB
> wants only writes to *that file* (and metadata) written out first; it has no
> ordering issues with other I/O on the same device.
> 
> A generic I/O interface would allow you to specify "this request depends on these
> outstanding requests" and leave it at that.  It might have some sync flush
> command for dumb applications and OSes.  The userspace API might be not be as
> precise and only allow such a barrier against all prior writes on this fd.
> 
> ISTR someone mentioning a desire for such an API years ago, so CC'ing the
> usual I/O suspects...

It would be nice to have a more fuller API for this, but the reality is
that only the flush approach is really workable. Even just strict
ordering of requests could only be supported on SCSI, and even there the
kernel still lacks proper guarantees on error handling to prevent
reordering there.
Christoph Hellwig - May 4, 2010, 10:05 a.m.
On Tue, May 04, 2010 at 02:08:24PM +0930, Rusty Russell wrote:
> On Fri, 19 Feb 2010 08:52:20 am Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> > I took a stub at documenting CMD and FLUSH request types in virtio
> > block.  Christoph, could you look over this please?
> > 
> > I note that the interface seems full of warts to me,
> > this might be a first step to cleaning them.
> 
> ISTR Christoph had withdrawn some patches in this area, and was waiting
> for him to resubmit?

Any patches I've withdrawn in this area are withdrawn for good.  But
what I really need to do is to review Michaels spec updates, sorry.

UI'll get back to it today.
Christoph Hellwig - May 4, 2010, 6:54 p.m.
On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 12:22:20AM +0200, Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> I took a stub at documenting CMD and FLUSH request types in virtio
> block.  Christoph, could you look over this please?
> 
> I note that the interface seems full of warts to me,
> this might be a first step to cleaning them.

The whole virtio-blk interface is full of warts.  It has been
extended rather ad-hoc, so that is rather expected.

> One issue I struggled with especially is how type
> field mixes bits and non-bit values. I ended up
> simply defining all legal values, so that we have
> CMD = 2, CMD_OUT = 3 and so on.

It's basically a complete mess without much logic behind it.

> +\change_unchanged
> +the high bit
> +\change_inserted 0 1266497301
> + (VIRTIO_BLK_T_BARRIER)
> +\change_unchanged
> + indicates that this request acts as a barrier and that all preceeding requests
> + must be complete before this one, and all following requests must not be
> + started until this is complete.
> +
> +\change_inserted 0 1266504385
> + Note that a barrier does not flush caches in the underlying backend device
> + in host, and thus does not serve as data consistency guarantee.
> + Driver must use FLUSH request to flush the host cache.
> +\change_unchanged

I'm not sure it's even worth documenting it.  I can't see any way to
actually implement safe behaviour with the VIRTIO_BLK_T_BARRIER-style
barriers.


Btw, did I mention that .lyx is a a really horrible format to review
diffs for?  Plain latex would be a lot better..
Christoph Hellwig - May 4, 2010, 6:56 p.m.
On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 02:46:35AM +0100, Jamie Lokier wrote:
> Does this mean that virtio-blk supports all three combinations?
> 
>    1. FLUSH that isn't a barrier
>    2. FLUSH that is also a barrier
>    3. Barrier that is not a flush
> 
> 1 is good for fsync-like operations;
> 2 is good for journalling-like ordered operations.
> 3 sounds like it doesn't mean a lot as the host cache provides no
> guarantees and has no ordering facility that can be used.

No.  The Linux virtio_blk guest driver either supports data integrity
by using FLUSH or can send down BARRIER requests which aren't much
help at all.  Qemu only implements FLUSH anyway.
Michael S. Tsirkin - May 4, 2010, 6:56 p.m.
On Tue, May 04, 2010 at 08:54:59PM +0200, Christoph Hellwig wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 12:22:20AM +0200, Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> > I took a stub at documenting CMD and FLUSH request types in virtio
> > block.  Christoph, could you look over this please?
> > 
> > I note that the interface seems full of warts to me,
> > this might be a first step to cleaning them.
> 
> The whole virtio-blk interface is full of warts.  It has been
> extended rather ad-hoc, so that is rather expected.
> 
> > One issue I struggled with especially is how type
> > field mixes bits and non-bit values. I ended up
> > simply defining all legal values, so that we have
> > CMD = 2, CMD_OUT = 3 and so on.
> 
> It's basically a complete mess without much logic behind it.
> 
> > +\change_unchanged
> > +the high bit
> > +\change_inserted 0 1266497301
> > + (VIRTIO_BLK_T_BARRIER)
> > +\change_unchanged
> > + indicates that this request acts as a barrier and that all preceeding requests
> > + must be complete before this one, and all following requests must not be
> > + started until this is complete.
> > +
> > +\change_inserted 0 1266504385
> > + Note that a barrier does not flush caches in the underlying backend device
> > + in host, and thus does not serve as data consistency guarantee.
> > + Driver must use FLUSH request to flush the host cache.
> > +\change_unchanged
> 
> I'm not sure it's even worth documenting it.  I can't see any way to
> actually implement safe behaviour with the VIRTIO_BLK_T_BARRIER-style
> barriers.

lguest seems to still use this.
I guess if you have a reliable host, VIRTIO_BLK_T_BARRIER is enough?

> Btw, did I mention that .lyx is a a really horrible format to review
> diffs for?  Plain latex would be a lot better..
Michael S. Tsirkin - May 4, 2010, 6:58 p.m.
On Tue, May 04, 2010 at 09:56:18PM +0300, Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> On Tue, May 04, 2010 at 08:54:59PM +0200, Christoph Hellwig wrote:
> > On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 12:22:20AM +0200, Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> > > I took a stub at documenting CMD and FLUSH request types in virtio
> > > block.  Christoph, could you look over this please?
> > > 
> > > I note that the interface seems full of warts to me,
> > > this might be a first step to cleaning them.
> > 
> > The whole virtio-blk interface is full of warts.  It has been
> > extended rather ad-hoc, so that is rather expected.
> > 
> > > One issue I struggled with especially is how type
> > > field mixes bits and non-bit values. I ended up
> > > simply defining all legal values, so that we have
> > > CMD = 2, CMD_OUT = 3 and so on.
> > 
> > It's basically a complete mess without much logic behind it.
> > 
> > > +\change_unchanged
> > > +the high bit
> > > +\change_inserted 0 1266497301
> > > + (VIRTIO_BLK_T_BARRIER)
> > > +\change_unchanged
> > > + indicates that this request acts as a barrier and that all preceeding requests
> > > + must be complete before this one, and all following requests must not be
> > > + started until this is complete.
> > > +
> > > +\change_inserted 0 1266504385
> > > + Note that a barrier does not flush caches in the underlying backend device
> > > + in host, and thus does not serve as data consistency guarantee.
> > > + Driver must use FLUSH request to flush the host cache.
> > > +\change_unchanged
> > 
> > I'm not sure it's even worth documenting it.  I can't see any way to
> > actually implement safe behaviour with the VIRTIO_BLK_T_BARRIER-style
> > barriers.
> 
> lguest seems to still use this.

Sorry, it doesn't. No idea why I thought it does.

> I guess if you have a reliable host, VIRTIO_BLK_T_BARRIER is enough?
> 
> > Btw, did I mention that .lyx is a a really horrible format to review
> > diffs for?  Plain latex would be a lot better..
Michael S. Tsirkin - May 4, 2010, 7:01 p.m.
On Tue, May 04, 2010 at 08:56:14PM +0200, Christoph Hellwig wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 02:46:35AM +0100, Jamie Lokier wrote:
> > Does this mean that virtio-blk supports all three combinations?
> > 
> >    1. FLUSH that isn't a barrier
> >    2. FLUSH that is also a barrier
> >    3. Barrier that is not a flush
> > 
> > 1 is good for fsync-like operations;
> > 2 is good for journalling-like ordered operations.
> > 3 sounds like it doesn't mean a lot as the host cache provides no
> > guarantees and has no ordering facility that can be used.
> 
> No.  The Linux virtio_blk guest driver either supports data integrity
> by using FLUSH or can send down BARRIER requests which aren't much
> help at all.

It seems we use BARRIER when we get REQ_HARDBARRIER, right?
What does the REQ_HARDBARRIER flag in request mean and when is it set?

>  Qemu only implements FLUSH anyway.
Jamie Lokier - May 4, 2010, 8:17 p.m.
Jens Axboe wrote:
> On Tue, May 04 2010, Rusty Russell wrote:
> > ISTR someone mentioning a desire for such an API years ago, so CC'ing the
> > usual I/O suspects...
> 
> It would be nice to have a more fuller API for this, but the reality is
> that only the flush approach is really workable. Even just strict
> ordering of requests could only be supported on SCSI, and even there the
> kernel still lacks proper guarantees on error handling to prevent
> reordering there.

There's a few I/O scheduling differences that might be useful:

1. The I/O scheduler could freely move WRITEs before a FLUSH but not
   before a BARRIER.  That might be useful for time-critical WRITEs,
   and those issued by high I/O priority.

2. The I/O scheduler could move WRITEs after a FLUSH if the FLUSH is
   only for data belonging to a particular file (e.g. fdatasync with
   no file size change, even on btrfs if O_DIRECT was used for the
   writes being committed).  That would entail tagging FLUSHes and
   WRITEs with a fs-specific identifier (such as inode number), opaque
   to the scheduler which only checks equality.

3. By delaying FLUSHes through reordering as above, the I/O scheduler
   could merge multiple FLUSHes into a single command.

4. On MD/RAID, BARRIER requires every backing device to quiesce before
   sending the low-level cache-flush, and all of those to finish
   before resuming each backing device.  FLUSH doesn't require as much
   synchronising.  (With per-file FLUSH; see 2; it could even avoid
   FLUSH altogether to some backing devices for small files).

In other words, FLUSH can be more relaxed than BARRIER inside the
kernel.  It's ironic that we think of fsync as stronger than
fbarrier outside the kernel :-)

-- Jamie
Jamie Lokier - May 4, 2010, 8:32 p.m.
Rusty Russell wrote:
> On Fri, 19 Feb 2010 08:52:20 am Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> > I took a stub at documenting CMD and FLUSH request types in virtio
> > block.  Christoph, could you look over this please?
> > 
> > I note that the interface seems full of warts to me,
> > this might be a first step to cleaning them.
> 
> ISTR Christoph had withdrawn some patches in this area, and was waiting
> for him to resubmit?
> 
> I've given up on figuring out the block device.  What seem to me to be sane
> semantics along the lines of memory barriers are foreign to disk people: they
> want (and depend on) flushing everywhere.
> 
> For example, tdb transactions do not require a flush, they only require what
> I would call a barrier: that prior data be written out before any future data.
> Surely that would be more efficient in general than a flush!  In fact, TDB
> wants only writes to *that file* (and metadata) written out first; it has no
> ordering issues with other I/O on the same device.

I've just posted elsewhere on this thread, that an I/O level flush can
be more efficient than an I/O level barrier (implemented using a
cache-flush really), because the barrier has stricter ordering
requirements at the I/O scheduling level.

By the time you work up to tdb, another way to think of it is
distinguishing "eager fsync" from "fsync but I'm not in a hurry -
delay as long as is convenient".  The latter makes much more sense
with AIO.

> A generic I/O interface would allow you to specify "this request
> depends on these outstanding requests" and leave it at that.  It
> might have some sync flush command for dumb applications and OSes.

For filesystems, it would probably be easy to label in-place
overwrites and fdatasync data flushes when there's no file extension
with an opqaue per-file identifier for certain operations.  Typically
over-writing in place and fdatasync would match up and wouldn't need
ordering against anything else.  Other operations would tend to get
labelled as ordered against everything including these.

-- Jamie
Rusty Russell - May 5, 2010, 4:58 a.m.
On Wed, 5 May 2010 05:47:05 am Jamie Lokier wrote:
> Jens Axboe wrote:
> > On Tue, May 04 2010, Rusty Russell wrote:
> > > ISTR someone mentioning a desire for such an API years ago, so CC'ing the
> > > usual I/O suspects...
> > 
> > It would be nice to have a more fuller API for this, but the reality is
> > that only the flush approach is really workable. Even just strict
> > ordering of requests could only be supported on SCSI, and even there the
> > kernel still lacks proper guarantees on error handling to prevent
> > reordering there.
> 
> There's a few I/O scheduling differences that might be useful:
> 
> 1. The I/O scheduler could freely move WRITEs before a FLUSH but not
>    before a BARRIER.  That might be useful for time-critical WRITEs,
>    and those issued by high I/O priority.

This is only because noone actually wants flushes or barriers, though
I/O people seem to only offer that.  We really want "<these writes> must
occur before <this write>".  That offers maximum choice to the I/O subsystem
and potentially to smart (virtual?) disks.

> 2. The I/O scheduler could move WRITEs after a FLUSH if the FLUSH is
>    only for data belonging to a particular file (e.g. fdatasync with
>    no file size change, even on btrfs if O_DIRECT was used for the
>    writes being committed).  That would entail tagging FLUSHes and
>    WRITEs with a fs-specific identifier (such as inode number), opaque
>    to the scheduler which only checks equality.

This is closer.  In userspace I'd be happy with a "all prior writes to this
struct file before all future writes".  Even if the original guarantees were
stronger (ie. inode basis).  We currently implement transactions using 4 fsync
/msync pairs.

	write_recovery_data(fd);
	fsync(fd);
	msync(mmap);
	write_recovery_header(fd);
	fsync(fd);
	msync(mmap);
	overwrite_with_new_data(fd);
	fsync(fd);
	msync(mmap);
	remove_recovery_header(fd);
	fsync(fd);
	msync(mmap);

Yet we really only need ordering, not guarantees about it actually hitting
disk before returning.

> In other words, FLUSH can be more relaxed than BARRIER inside the
> kernel.  It's ironic that we think of fsync as stronger than
> fbarrier outside the kernel :-)

It's an implementation detail; barrier has less flexibility because it has
less information about what is required. I'm saying I want to give you as
much information as I can, even if you don't use it yet.

Thanks,
Rusty.
Rusty Russell - May 5, 2010, 5 a.m.
On Wed, 5 May 2010 04:24:59 am Christoph Hellwig wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 12:22:20AM +0200, Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> > I took a stub at documenting CMD and FLUSH request types in virtio
> > block.  Christoph, could you look over this please?
> > 
> > I note that the interface seems full of warts to me,
> > this might be a first step to cleaning them.
> 
> The whole virtio-blk interface is full of warts.  It has been
> extended rather ad-hoc, so that is rather expected.
> 
> > One issue I struggled with especially is how type
> > field mixes bits and non-bit values. I ended up
> > simply defining all legal values, so that we have
> > CMD = 2, CMD_OUT = 3 and so on.
> 
> It's basically a complete mess without much logic behind it.
> 
> > +\change_unchanged
> > +the high bit
> > +\change_inserted 0 1266497301
> > + (VIRTIO_BLK_T_BARRIER)
> > +\change_unchanged
> > + indicates that this request acts as a barrier and that all preceeding requests
> > + must be complete before this one, and all following requests must not be
> > + started until this is complete.
> > +
> > +\change_inserted 0 1266504385
> > + Note that a barrier does not flush caches in the underlying backend device
> > + in host, and thus does not serve as data consistency guarantee.
> > + Driver must use FLUSH request to flush the host cache.
> > +\change_unchanged
> 
> I'm not sure it's even worth documenting it.  I can't see any way to
> actually implement safe behaviour with the VIRTIO_BLK_T_BARRIER-style
> barriers.
> 
> 
> Btw, did I mention that .lyx is a a really horrible format to review
> diffs for?  Plain latex would be a lot better..

Yeah, or export as text post that diff for content review.  I do like the
patches to the lyx source though (I check all versions into revision control,
before and after merging changes, which makes it easy to produce annotated
versions).

Cheers,
Rusty.

>
Neil Brown - May 5, 2010, 6:03 a.m.
On Wed, 5 May 2010 14:28:41 +0930
Rusty Russell <rusty@rustcorp.com.au> wrote:

> On Wed, 5 May 2010 05:47:05 am Jamie Lokier wrote:
> > Jens Axboe wrote:
> > > On Tue, May 04 2010, Rusty Russell wrote:
> > > > ISTR someone mentioning a desire for such an API years ago, so CC'ing the
> > > > usual I/O suspects...
> > > 
> > > It would be nice to have a more fuller API for this, but the reality is
> > > that only the flush approach is really workable. Even just strict
> > > ordering of requests could only be supported on SCSI, and even there the
> > > kernel still lacks proper guarantees on error handling to prevent
> > > reordering there.
> > 
> > There's a few I/O scheduling differences that might be useful:
> > 
> > 1. The I/O scheduler could freely move WRITEs before a FLUSH but not
> >    before a BARRIER.  That might be useful for time-critical WRITEs,
> >    and those issued by high I/O priority.
> 
> This is only because noone actually wants flushes or barriers, though
> I/O people seem to only offer that.  We really want "<these writes> must
> occur before <this write>".  That offers maximum choice to the I/O subsystem
> and potentially to smart (virtual?) disks.
> 
> > 2. The I/O scheduler could move WRITEs after a FLUSH if the FLUSH is
> >    only for data belonging to a particular file (e.g. fdatasync with
> >    no file size change, even on btrfs if O_DIRECT was used for the
> >    writes being committed).  That would entail tagging FLUSHes and
> >    WRITEs with a fs-specific identifier (such as inode number), opaque
> >    to the scheduler which only checks equality.
> 
> This is closer.  In userspace I'd be happy with a "all prior writes to this
> struct file before all future writes".  Even if the original guarantees were
> stronger (ie. inode basis).  We currently implement transactions using 4 fsync
> /msync pairs.
> 
> 	write_recovery_data(fd);
> 	fsync(fd);
> 	msync(mmap);
> 	write_recovery_header(fd);
> 	fsync(fd);
> 	msync(mmap);
> 	overwrite_with_new_data(fd);
> 	fsync(fd);
> 	msync(mmap);
> 	remove_recovery_header(fd);
> 	fsync(fd);
> 	msync(mmap);

Seems over-zealous.
If the recovery_header held a strong checksum of the recovery_data you would
not need the first fsync, and as long as you have two places to write recovery
data, you don't need the 3rd and 4th syncs.
Just:
  write_internally_checksummed_recovery_data_and_header_to_unused_log_space()
  fsync / msync
  overwrite_with_new_data()

To recovery you choose the most recent log_space and replay the content.
That may be a redundant operation, but that is no loss.

Also cannot see the point of msync if you have already performed an fsync,
and if there is a point, I would expect you to call msync before
fsync... Maybe there is some subtlety there that I am not aware of.

> 
> Yet we really only need ordering, not guarantees about it actually hitting
> disk before returning.
> 
> > In other words, FLUSH can be more relaxed than BARRIER inside the
> > kernel.  It's ironic that we think of fsync as stronger than
> > fbarrier outside the kernel :-)
> 
> It's an implementation detail; barrier has less flexibility because it has
> less information about what is required. I'm saying I want to give you as
> much information as I can, even if you don't use it yet.

Only we know that approach doesn't work.
People will learn that they don't need to give the extra information to still
achieve the same result - just like they did with ext3 and fsync.
Then when we improve the implementation to only provide the guarantees that
you asked for, people will complain that they are getting empty files that
they didn't expect.

The abstraction I would like to see is a simple 'barrier' that contains no
data and has a filesystem-wide effect.

If a filesystem wanted a 'full' barrier such as the current BIO_RW_BARRER,
it would send an empty barrier, then the data, then another empty barrier.
(However I suspect most filesystems don't really need barriers on both sides.)
A low level driver might merge these together if the underlying hardware
supported that combined operation (which I believe some do).
I think this merging would be less complex that the current need to split a
BIO_RW_BARRIER in to the three separate operations when only a flush is
possible (I know it would make md code a lot nicer :-).

I would probably expose this to user-space as extra flags to sync_file_range:
   SYNC_FILE_RANGE_BARRIER_BEFORE
   SYNC_FILE_RANGE_BARRIER_AFTER

This would make it clear that a barrier does *not* imply a sync, it only
applies to data for which a sync has already been requested. So data that has
already been 'synced' is stored strictly before data which has not yet been
submitted with write() (or by changing a mmapped area).
The barrier would still be filesystem wide in that if you
SYNC_FILE_WRITE_WRITE one file, then SYNC_FILE_RANGE_BARRIER_BEFORE another
file on the same filesystem, the pages scheduled in the first file would be
affect by the barrier request on the second file.

Implementing this would probably require a new address_space_operation so
that the filesystem would have a chance to ensure all necessary writes were
queued before issuing the barrier.


NeilBrown
Rusty Russell - May 6, 2010, 6:05 a.m.
On Wed, 5 May 2010 03:33:43 pm Neil Brown wrote:
> On Wed, 5 May 2010 14:28:41 +0930
> Rusty Russell <rusty@rustcorp.com.au> wrote:
> 
> > On Wed, 5 May 2010 05:47:05 am Jamie Lokier wrote:
> > > Jens Axboe wrote:
> > > > On Tue, May 04 2010, Rusty Russell wrote:
> > > > > ISTR someone mentioning a desire for such an API years ago, so CC'ing the
> > > > > usual I/O suspects...
> > > > 
> > > > It would be nice to have a more fuller API for this, but the reality is
> > > > that only the flush approach is really workable. Even just strict
> > > > ordering of requests could only be supported on SCSI, and even there the
> > > > kernel still lacks proper guarantees on error handling to prevent
> > > > reordering there.
> > > 
> > > There's a few I/O scheduling differences that might be useful:
> > > 
> > > 1. The I/O scheduler could freely move WRITEs before a FLUSH but not
> > >    before a BARRIER.  That might be useful for time-critical WRITEs,
> > >    and those issued by high I/O priority.
> > 
> > This is only because noone actually wants flushes or barriers, though
> > I/O people seem to only offer that.  We really want "<these writes> must
> > occur before <this write>".  That offers maximum choice to the I/O subsystem
> > and potentially to smart (virtual?) disks.
> > 
> > > 2. The I/O scheduler could move WRITEs after a FLUSH if the FLUSH is
> > >    only for data belonging to a particular file (e.g. fdatasync with
> > >    no file size change, even on btrfs if O_DIRECT was used for the
> > >    writes being committed).  That would entail tagging FLUSHes and
> > >    WRITEs with a fs-specific identifier (such as inode number), opaque
> > >    to the scheduler which only checks equality.
> > 
> > This is closer.  In userspace I'd be happy with a "all prior writes to this
> > struct file before all future writes".  Even if the original guarantees were
> > stronger (ie. inode basis).  We currently implement transactions using 4 fsync
> > /msync pairs.
> > 
> > 	write_recovery_data(fd);
> > 	fsync(fd);
> > 	msync(mmap);
> > 	write_recovery_header(fd);
> > 	fsync(fd);
> > 	msync(mmap);
> > 	overwrite_with_new_data(fd);
> > 	fsync(fd);
> > 	msync(mmap);
> > 	remove_recovery_header(fd);
> > 	fsync(fd);
> > 	msync(mmap);
> 
> Seems over-zealous.
> If the recovery_header held a strong checksum of the recovery_data you would
> not need the first fsync, and as long as you have two places to write recovery
> data, you don't need the 3rd and 4th syncs.
> Just:
>   write_internally_checksummed_recovery_data_and_header_to_unused_log_space()
>   fsync / msync
>   overwrite_with_new_data()
> 
> To recovery you choose the most recent log_space and replay the content.
> That may be a redundant operation, but that is no loss.

I think you missed a checksum for the new data?  Otherwise we can't tell if
the new data is completely written.  But yes, I will steal this scheme for
TDB2, thanks!

In practice, it's the first sync which is glacial, the rest are pretty cheap.

> Also cannot see the point of msync if you have already performed an fsync,
> and if there is a point, I would expect you to call msync before
> fsync... Maybe there is some subtlety there that I am not aware of.

I assume it's this from the msync man page:

       msync()  flushes  changes  made  to the in-core copy of a file that was
       mapped into memory using mmap(2) back to disk.   Without  use  of  this
       call  there  is  no guarantee that changes are written back before mun‐
       map(2) is called. 

> > It's an implementation detail; barrier has less flexibility because it has
> > less information about what is required. I'm saying I want to give you as
> > much information as I can, even if you don't use it yet.
> 
> Only we know that approach doesn't work.
> People will learn that they don't need to give the extra information to still
> achieve the same result - just like they did with ext3 and fsync.
> Then when we improve the implementation to only provide the guarantees that
> you asked for, people will complain that they are getting empty files that
> they didn't expect.

I think that's an oversimplification: IIUC that occurred to people *not*
using fsync().  They weren't using it because it was too slow.  Providing
a primitive which is as fast or faster and more specific doesn't have the
same magnitude of social issues.

And we can't write userspace interfaces for idiots only.

> The abstraction I would like to see is a simple 'barrier' that contains no
> data and has a filesystem-wide effect.

I think you lack ambition ;)

Thinking about the single-file use case (eg. kvm guest or tdb), isn't that
suboptimal for md?  Since you have to hand your barrier to every device
whereas a file-wide primitive may theoretically only go to some.

Cheers,
Rusty.
Jamie Lokier - May 6, 2010, 2:57 p.m.
Rusty Russell wrote:
> > Seems over-zealous.
> > If the recovery_header held a strong checksum of the recovery_data you would
> > not need the first fsync, and as long as you have two places to write recovery
> > data, you don't need the 3rd and 4th syncs.
> > Just:
> >   write_internally_checksummed_recovery_data_and_header_to_unused_log_space()
> >   fsync / msync
> >   overwrite_with_new_data()
> > 
> > To recovery you choose the most recent log_space and replay the content.
> > That may be a redundant operation, but that is no loss.
> 
> I think you missed a checksum for the new data?  Otherwise we can't tell if
> the new data is completely written.

The data checksum can go in the recovery-data block.  If there's
enough slack in the log, by the time that recovery-data block is
overwritten, you can be sure that an fsync has been done for that
data (by a later commit).

> But yes, I will steal this scheme for TDB2, thanks!

Take a look at the filesystems.  I think ext4 did some optimisations
in this area, and that checksums had to be added anyway due to a
subtle replay-corruption problem that happens when the log is
partially corrupted, and followed by non-corrupt blocks.

Also, you can remove even more fsyncs by adding a bit of slack to the
data space and writing into unused/fresh areas some of the time -
i.e. a bit like btrfs/zfs or anything log-structured, but you don't
have to go all the way with that.

> In practice, it's the first sync which is glacial, the rest are pretty cheap.

The 3rd and 4th fsyncs imply a disk seek each, just because the
preceding writes are to different areas of the disk.  Seeks are quite
slow - but not as slow as ext3 fsyncs :-) What do you mean by cheap?
That it's only a couple of seeks, or that you don't see even that?

> 
> > Also cannot see the point of msync if you have already performed an fsync,
> > and if there is a point, I would expect you to call msync before
> > fsync... Maybe there is some subtlety there that I am not aware of.
> 
> I assume it's this from the msync man page:
> 
>        msync()  flushes  changes  made  to the in-core copy of a file that was
>        mapped into memory using mmap(2) back to disk.   Without  use  of  this
>        call  there  is  no guarantee that changes are written back before mun‐
>        map(2) is called. 

Historically, that means msync() ensures dirty mapping data is written
to the file as if with write(), and that mapping pages are removed or
refreshed to get the effect of read() (possibly a lazy one).  It's
more obvious in the early mmap implementations where mappings don't
share pages with the filesystem cache, so msync() has explicit
behaviour.

Like with write(), after calling msync() you would then call fsync()
to ensure the data is flushed to disk.

If you've been calling fsync then msync, I guess that's another fine
example of how these function are so hard to test, that they aren't.

Historically on Linux, msync has been iffy on some architectures, and
I'm still not sure it has the same semantics as other unixes.  fsync
as we know has also been iffy, and even now that fsync is tidier it
does not always issue a hardware-level cache commit.

But then historically writable mmap has been iffy on a boatload of
unixes.

> > > It's an implementation detail; barrier has less flexibility because it has
> > > less information about what is required. I'm saying I want to give you as
> > > much information as I can, even if you don't use it yet.
> > 
> > Only we know that approach doesn't work.
> > People will learn that they don't need to give the extra information to still
> > achieve the same result - just like they did with ext3 and fsync.
> > Then when we improve the implementation to only provide the guarantees that
> > you asked for, people will complain that they are getting empty files that
> > they didn't expect.
> 
> I think that's an oversimplification: IIUC that occurred to people *not*
> using fsync().  They weren't using it because it was too slow.  Providing
> a primitive which is as fast or faster and more specific doesn't have the
> same magnitude of social issues.

I agree with Rusty.  Let's make it perform well so there is no reason
to deliberately avoid using it, and let's make say what apps actually
want to request without being way too strong.

And please, if anyone has ideas on how we could make correct use of
these functions *testable* by app authors, I'm all ears.  Right now it
is quite difficult - pulling power on hard disks mid-transaction is
not a convenient method :)

> > The abstraction I would like to see is a simple 'barrier' that contains no
> > data and has a filesystem-wide effect.
> 
> I think you lack ambition ;)
> 
> Thinking about the single-file use case (eg. kvm guest or tdb), isn't that
> suboptimal for md?  Since you have to hand your barrier to every device
> whereas a file-wide primitive may theoretically only go to some.

Yes.

Note that database-like programs still need fsync-like behaviour
*sometimes*: The "D" in ACID depends on it, and the "C" in ACID also
depends on it where multiple files are involved which must contain
consistent data with each other after crash/recovery (Perhaps Samba
depends on this?)

Single-file sync is valuable just like single-file barrier, and so is
the combination.

Since you mentioned ambition, think about multi-file updates.  They're
analogous in userspace to MD's barrier/sync requirements in
kernelspace.

One API that supports multi-file update barriers is "long aio-fsync":
Something which returns when the data in earlier writes (to one file)
is committed, but does not force the commit to happen more quickly
than normal.  Both single-file barriers (like you want for TDB) and
multi-file barriers can be implemented on top of that, but it's much
more difficult to use than an fbarrier() syscall, which is only
suitable for single-file.  But I wonder if there would be many users
of fbarrier() who aren't perfectly capable of using something else if
needed.

-- Jamie
Jamie Lokier - May 6, 2010, 3:25 p.m.
Rusty Russell wrote:
> On Wed, 5 May 2010 05:47:05 am Jamie Lokier wrote:
> > Jens Axboe wrote:
> > > On Tue, May 04 2010, Rusty Russell wrote:
> > > > ISTR someone mentioning a desire for such an API years ago, so CC'ing the
> > > > usual I/O suspects...
> > > 
> > > It would be nice to have a more fuller API for this, but the reality is
> > > that only the flush approach is really workable. Even just strict
> > > ordering of requests could only be supported on SCSI, and even there the
> > > kernel still lacks proper guarantees on error handling to prevent
> > > reordering there.
> > 
> > There's a few I/O scheduling differences that might be useful:
> > 
> > 1. The I/O scheduler could freely move WRITEs before a FLUSH but not
> >    before a BARRIER.  That might be useful for time-critical WRITEs,
> >    and those issued by high I/O priority.
> 
> This is only because noone actually wants flushes or barriers, though
> I/O people seem to only offer that.  We really want "<these writes> must
> occur before <this write>".  That offers maximum choice to the I/O subsystem
> and potentially to smart (virtual?) disks.

We do want flushes for the "D" in ACID - such things as after
receiving a mail, or blog update into a database file (could be TDB),
and confirming that to the sender, to have high confidence that the
update won't disappear on system crash or power failure.

Less obviously, it's also needed for the "C" in ACID when more than
one file is involved.  "C" is about differently updated things staying
consistent with each other.

For example, imagine you have a TDB file mapping Samba usernames to
passwords, and another mapping Samba usernames to local usernames.  (I
don't know if you do this; it's just an illustration).

To rename a Samba user involves updating both.  Let's ignore transient
transactional issues :-) and just think about what happens with
per-file barriers and no sync, when a crash happens long after the
updates, and before the system has written out all data and issued low
level cache flushes.

After restarting, due to lack of sync, the Samba username could be
present in one file and not the other.

> > 2. The I/O scheduler could move WRITEs after a FLUSH if the FLUSH is
> >    only for data belonging to a particular file (e.g. fdatasync with
> >    no file size change, even on btrfs if O_DIRECT was used for the
> >    writes being committed).  That would entail tagging FLUSHes and
> >    WRITEs with a fs-specific identifier (such as inode number), opaque
> >    to the scheduler which only checks equality.
> 
> This is closer.  In userspace I'd be happy with a "all prior writes to this
> struct file before all future writes".  Even if the original guarantees were
> stronger (ie. inode basis).  We currently implement transactions using 4 fsync
> /msync pairs.
> 
> 	write_recovery_data(fd);
> 	fsync(fd);
> 	msync(mmap);
> 	write_recovery_header(fd);
> 	fsync(fd);
> 	msync(mmap);
> 	overwrite_with_new_data(fd);
> 	fsync(fd);
> 	msync(mmap);
> 	remove_recovery_header(fd);
> 	fsync(fd);
> 	msync(mmap);
> 
> Yet we really only need ordering, not guarantees about it actually hitting
> disk before returning.
> 
> > In other words, FLUSH can be more relaxed than BARRIER inside the
> > kernel.  It's ironic that we think of fsync as stronger than
> > fbarrier outside the kernel :-)
> 
> It's an implementation detail; barrier has less flexibility because it has
> less information about what is required. I'm saying I want to give you as
> much information as I can, even if you don't use it yet.

I agree, and I've started a few threads about it over the last couple of years.

An fsync_range() system call would be very easy to use and
(most importantly) easy to understand.

With optional flags to weaken it (into fdatasync, barrier without sync,
sync without barrier, one-sided barrier, no lowlevel cache-flush, don't rush,
etc.), it would be very versatile, and still easy to understand.

With an AIO version, and another flag meaning don't rush, just return
when satisfied, and I suspect it would be useful for the most
demanding I/O apps.

-- Jamie

Patch

diff --git a/virtio-spec.lyx b/virtio-spec.lyx
index d16104a..ed35893 100644
--- a/virtio-spec.lyx
+++ b/virtio-spec.lyx
@@ -67,7 +67,11 @@  IBM Corporation
 \end_layout
 
 \begin_layout Standard
+
+\change_deleted 0 1266531118
 FIXME: virtio block scsi passthrough section
+\change_unchanged
+
 \end_layout
 
 \begin_layout Standard
@@ -4376,7 +4380,7 @@  struct virtio_net_ctrl_mac {
 The device can filter incoming packets by any number of destination MAC
  addresses.
 \begin_inset Foot
-status open
+status collapsed
 
 \begin_layout Plain Layout
 Since there are no guarentees, it can use a hash filter orsilently switch
@@ -4549,6 +4553,22 @@  blk_size
 \end_inset
 
 .
+\change_inserted 0 1266444580
+
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Description
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266471229
+VIRTIO_BLK_F_SCSI (7) Device supports scsi packet commands.
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Description
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266444605
+VIRTIO_BLK_F_FLUSH (9) Cache flush command support.
+\change_unchanged
+
 \end_layout
 
 \begin_layout Description
@@ -4700,17 +4720,25 @@  struct virtio_blk_req {
 
 \begin_layout Plain Layout
 
+\change_deleted 0 1266472188
+
 #define VIRTIO_BLK_T_IN          0
 \end_layout
 
 \begin_layout Plain Layout
 
+\change_deleted 0 1266472188
+
 #define VIRTIO_BLK_T_OUT         1
 \end_layout
 
 \begin_layout Plain Layout
 
+\change_deleted 0 1266472188
+
 #define VIRTIO_BLK_T_BARRIER	 0x80000000
+\change_unchanged
+
 \end_layout
 
 \begin_layout Plain Layout
@@ -4735,11 +4763,15 @@  struct virtio_blk_req {
 
 \begin_layout Plain Layout
 
+\change_deleted 0 1266472204
+
 #define VIRTIO_BLK_S_OK        0
 \end_layout
 
 \begin_layout Plain Layout
 
+\change_deleted 0 1266472204
+
 #define VIRTIO_BLK_S_IOERR     1
 \end_layout
 
@@ -4759,32 +4791,481 @@  struct virtio_blk_req {
 \end_layout
 
 \begin_layout Standard
-The type of the request is either a read (VIRTIO_BLK_T_IN) or a write (VIRTIO_BL
-K_T_OUT); the high bit indicates that this request acts as a barrier and
- that all preceeding requests must be complete before this one, and all
- following requests must not be started until this is complete.
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266472490
+If the device has VIRTIO_BLK_F_SCSI feature, it can also support scsi packet
+ command requests, each of these requests is of form:
+\begin_inset listings
+inline false
+status open
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266472395
+
+struct virtio_scsi_pc_req {
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266472375
+
+	u32 type;
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266472375
+
+	u32 ioprio;
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266474298
+
+	u64 sector;
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266474308
+
+    char cmd[];
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266505809
+
+	char data[][512];
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266505825
+
+#define SCSI_SENSE_BUFFERSIZE   96
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266505848
+
+    u8 sense[SCSI_SENSE_BUFFERSIZE];
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266472969
+
+    u32 errors;
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266472979
+
+    u32 data_len;
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266472984
+
+    u32 sense_len;
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266472987
+
+    u32 residual;
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266472375
+
+	u8 status;
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266472375
+
+};
+\end_layout
+
+\end_inset
+
+
+\change_unchanged
+
 \end_layout
 
 \begin_layout Standard
-The ioprio field is a hint about the relative priorities of requests to
- the device: higher numbers indicate more important requests.
+The 
+\emph on
+type
+\emph default
+ of the request is either a read (VIRTIO_BLK_T_IN)
+\change_inserted 0 1266495815
+,
+\change_unchanged
+ 
+\change_deleted 0 1266495817
+or
+\change_unchanged
+ a write (VIRTIO_BLK_T_OUT)
+\change_inserted 0 1266497316
+, a scsi packet command (VIRTIO_BLK_T_SCSI_CMD or VIRTIO_BLK_T_SCSI_CMD_OUT
+\begin_inset Foot
+status open
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266497390
+the SCSI_CMD and SCSI_CMD_OUT types are equivalent, the device does not
+ distinguish between them
+\change_unchanged
+
+\end_layout
+
+\end_inset
+
+) or a flush (VIRTIO_BLK_T_FLUSH or VIRTIO_BLK_T_FLUSH_OUT
+\begin_inset Foot
+status open
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266497402
+the FLUSH and FLUSH_OUT types are equivalent, the device does not distinguish
+ between them
+\change_unchanged
+
+\end_layout
+
+\end_inset
+
+)
+\change_deleted 0 1266503753
+;
+\change_inserted 0 1266503758
+.
+
+\change_unchanged
+ 
+\change_inserted 0 1266497301
+If the device has VIRTIO_BLK_F_BARRIER feature
+\begin_inset space ~
+\end_inset
+
+
+\change_unchanged
+the high bit
+\change_inserted 0 1266497301
+ (VIRTIO_BLK_T_BARRIER)
+\change_unchanged
+ indicates that this request acts as a barrier and that all preceeding requests
+ must be complete before this one, and all following requests must not be
+ started until this is complete.
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266504385
+ Note that a barrier does not flush caches in the underlying backend device
+ in host, and thus does not serve as data consistency guarantee.
+ Driver must use FLUSH request to flush the host cache.
+\change_unchanged
+
 \end_layout
 
 \begin_layout Standard
-The sector number indicates the offset (multiplied by 512) where the read
- or write is to occur.
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266472135
+\begin_inset listings
+inline false
+status open
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266495783
+
+#define VIRTIO_BLK_T_IN           0
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266495782
+
+#define VIRTIO_BLK_T_OUT          1
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266495781
+
+#define VIRTIO_BLK_T_SCSI_CMD     2
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266495799
+
+#define VIRTIO_BLK_T_SCSI_CMD_OUT 3
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266497225
+
+#define VIRTIO_BLK_T_FLUSH        4
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266497237
+
+#define VIRTIO_BLK_T_FLUSH_OUT    5
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266472135
+
+#define VIRTIO_BLK_T_BARRIER	 0x80000000
+\end_layout
+
+\end_inset
+
+
 \end_layout
 
 \begin_layout Standard
-Note that these first three fields are always read-only: the data field
- is either read-only or write-only, depending on the type of the request.
+The 
+\emph on
+ioprio
+\emph default
+ field is a hint about the relative priorities of requests to the device:
+ higher numbers indicate more important requests.
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Standard
+The 
+\emph on
+sector
+\emph default
+ number indicates the offset (multiplied by 512) where the read or write
+ is to occur.
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266504683
+ This field is unused and set to 0 for scsi packet commands and for flush
+ commands.
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Standard
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266527996
+The 
+\emph on
+cmd
+\emph default
+ field is only present for scsi packet command requests, and indicates the
+ command to perform.
+ This field must reside in a single, separate read-only buffer; command
+ length can be derived from the length of this buffer.
+ 
+\change_unchanged
+
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Standard
+Note that these first three
+\change_inserted 0 1266504407
+ (four for scsi packet commands)
+\change_unchanged
+ fields are always read-only: the 
+\emph on
+data
+\emph default
+ field is either read-only or write-only, depending on 
+\change_deleted 0 1266505122
+the type of
+\change_unchanged
+ the request.
  The size of the read or write can be derived from the total size of the
- request buffer.
+ request buffer
+\change_inserted 0 1266504916
+s
+\change_unchanged
+.
+\change_inserted 0 1266506030
+
 \end_layout
 
 \begin_layout Standard
-The final byte is written by the device: either VIRTIO_BLK_S_OK or VIRTIO_BLK_S_
-IOERR.
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266528308
+The
+\emph on
+ sense
+\emph default
+ field is only present for scsi packet command requests, and indicates the
+ buffer for scsi sense data.
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Standard
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266528658
+The 
+\emph on
+data_len
+\emph default
+ field is only present for scsi packet command requests, this field is deprecate
+d, and should be ignored by the driver.
+ Historically, devices copied data length there.
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Standard
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266528675
+The 
+\emph on
+sense_len
+\emph default
+ field is only present for scsi packet command requests and indicates the
+ number of bytes actually written to the 
+\emph on
+sense
+\emph default
+ buffer.
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Standard
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266528717
+The 
+\emph on
+residual
+\emph default
+ field is only present for scsi packet command requests and indicates the
+ residual size, calculated as data length - number of bytes actually transferred.
+\change_unchanged
+
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Standard
+The final 
+\change_inserted 0 1266471813
+
+\emph on
+status
+\emph default
+ 
+\change_unchanged
+byte is written by the device: either VIRTIO_BLK_S_OK
+\change_inserted 0 1266528888
+ for success,
+\change_deleted 0 1266528889
+ or
+\change_unchanged
+ VIRTIO_BLK_S_IOERR
+\change_inserted 0 1266529171
+ for host or guest error or VIRTIO_BLK_S_UNSUPP for a request unsupported
+ by host:
+\change_deleted 0 1266471769
+.
+\change_inserted 0 1266471782
+
+\begin_inset listings
+inline false
+status open
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266471782
+
+#define VIRTIO_BLK_S_OK        0
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266528846
+
+#define VIRTIO_BLK_S_IOERR     1
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Plain Layout
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266528863
+
+#define VIRTIO_BLK_S_UNSUPP    2
+\change_unchanged
+
+\end_layout
+
+\end_inset
+
+
+\end_layout
+
+\begin_layout Standard
+
+\change_inserted 0 1266528247
+Historically, devices assumed that the fields 
+\emph on
+type
+\emph default
+, 
+\emph on
+ioprio
+\emph default
+ and 
+\emph on
+sector
+\emph default
+ reside in a single, separate read-only buffer; the fields 
+\emph on
+errors
+\emph default
+, 
+\emph on
+data_len
+\emph default
+, 
+\emph on
+sense_len
+\emph default
+ and 
+\emph on
+residual
+\emph default
+ reside in a single, separate write-only buffer; the 
+\emph on
+sense
+\emph default
+ field in a separate write-only buffer of size 96 bytes, by itself; the
+ fields 
+\emph on
+errors
+\emph default
+, 
+\emph on
+data_len
+\emph default
+, 
+\emph on
+sense_len
+\emph default
+ and 
+\emph on
+residual
+\emph default
+ in a single write-only buffer; and the 
+\emph on
+status
+\emph default
+ field is a separate read-only buffer of size 1 byte, by itself.
 \end_layout
 
 \begin_layout Chapter*