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Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH v2 1/1] Add QMP bits for blockdev-snapshot-sync.

From: Jes Sorensen
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH v2 1/1] Add QMP bits for blockdev-snapshot-sync.
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2011 16:57:55 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv: Gecko/20110307 Fedora/3.1.9-0.39.b3pre.fc14 Thunderbird/3.1.9

On 04/28/11 16:46, Anthony Liguori wrote:
> On 04/28/2011 09:38 AM, Jes Sorensen wrote:
>> Sorry but this is utterly bogus.
>> The snapshot support as is works fine, and the command is in the
>> monitor. We should expose it in QMP as well.
> It went in for the monitor because it was considered an imperfect
> command so we held up the QMP side because we wanted a better interface.

I am not sure who is included in the 'we' here.....

> The current command does:
> 1) Create new image backing to current image
> 2) Flush outstanding I/O to old image
> 3) Close current image
> 4) Reopen newly created image
> 5) Go

> Operations (1) and (2) are very synchronous operations.  (4) can be too.
>  We really should have a bdrv_aio_snapshot() function that implements
> the logic for at least (2) in an asynchronous fashion.
> That sort of interface is going to affect how we expose things in QMP.
> As from a QMP perspective, we're going to do something like:
> a) start snapshot
> b) query snapshot progress
> c) receive notification of snapshot completion
> d) flip over image

Sorry this is inherently broken. The management tool should not be
keeping state in this process. I agree an async interface would be nice,
but the above process is plain wrong.

The async snapshot process needs to be doing the exact same as in the
current implementation, the main difference is that it would be running
asynchronously and that QMP would be able to query the state of it. You
definitely do *not* want the management tool to launch the snapshot
process, and then do the flip by the management tool later. It should
all happen as part of the original command. Being able to query it while
it is progressing is a different story.

The one reason why this isn't all that big an issue in the first place,
is that in the normal usage case, a user will run a guest agent which
freezes the guest file systems during the snapshot process, so the fact
that the existing command is synchronous pretty much disappears in the

> And of course, this needs to be carefully thought through for race
> conditions.  In the current command, what happens if you get a crash
> between (2) and (3)?  There's no way for the management tools to know
> that we didn't finish flushing writes.  How does the management tool
> know that (1) didn't fail mid way through resulting in a corrupted image?

There is no issue here, you have the exact same problem if you get a
crash during d) in your example. It is the same with the existing
command, the crash is only an issue if it happens right in the middle of
the switch over. Until then, only the original image remains valid.


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