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Re: [Qemu-devel] [RFC] Disk integrity in QEMU

From: Mark McLoughlin
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [RFC] Disk integrity in QEMU
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2008 09:12:48 +0100

On Fri, 2008-10-10 at 09:54 +0200, Gerd Hoffmann wrote:
> Hi,
> > Read performance should be unaffected by using O_DSYNC.  O_DIRECT will
> > significantly reduce read performance.  I think we should use O_DSYNC by
> > default and I have sent out a patch that contains that.  We will follow
> > up with benchmarks to demonstrate this.
> So O_SYNC on/off is pretty much equivalent to disk write caching being
> on/off, right?  So we could make that guest-controlled, i.e. toggeling
> write caching in the guest (using hdparm) toggles O_SYNC in qemu?

I don't think it's correct to equate disk write caching to completing
guest writes when the data has been copied to the host's page cache. The
host's page cache will cache much more data for much longer than a
typical disk, right?

If so, then this form of write caching is much more likely to result in
fs corruption if the host crashes. In that case, all qemu users would
really need to disable write caching in the guest using hdparm, which
they don't need to do on bare-metal.


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