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Re: [Qemu-devel] [RFC] Generic image streaming

From: Zhi Yong Wu
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [RFC] Generic image streaming
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2011 11:26:45 +0800

On Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 11:57 PM, Stefan Hajnoczi
<address@hidden> wrote:
> Here is my generic image streaming branch, which aims to provide a way
> to copy the contents of a backing file into an image file of a running
> guest without requiring specific support in the various block drivers
> (e.g.  qcow2, qed, vmdk):
> http://repo.or.cz/w/qemu/stefanha.git/shortlog/refs/heads/image-streaming-api
> The tree does not provide full image streaming yet but I'd like to
> discuss the approach taken in the code.  Here are the main points:
> The image streaming API is available through HMP and QMP commands.  When
> streaming is started on a block device a coroutine is created to do the
> background I/O work.  The coroutine can be cancelled.
> While the coroutine copies data from the backing file into the image
> file, the guest may be performing I/O to the image file.  Guest reads do
> not conflict with streaming but guest writes require special handling.
> If the guest writes to a region of the image file that we are currently
> copying, then there is the potential to clobber the guest write with old
> data from the backing file.
> Previously I solved this in a QED-specific way by taking advantage of
> the serialization of allocating write requests.  In order to do this
> generically we need to track in-flight requests and have the ability to
> queue I/O.  Guest writes that affect an in-flight streaming copy
> operation must wait for that operation to complete before being issued.
> Streaming copy operations must skip overlapping regions of guest writes.
> One big difference to the QED image streaming implementation is that
> this generic implementation is not based on copy-on-read operations.
> Instead we do a sequence of bdrv_is_allocated() to find regions for
> streaming, followed by bdrv_co_read() and bdrv_co_write() in order to
Why is the api not bdrv_aio_readv/writev? In your branch, it seems
that you only modify bdrv_read/write. Does your branch currently only
support sync read/write mode?

> populate the image file.
> It turns out that generic copy-on-read is not an attractive operation
> because it requires using bounce buffers for every request.  Kevin
> pointed out the case where a guest performs a read and pokes the data
> buffer before the read completes, copy-on-read would write out the
> modified memory into the image file unless we use a bounce buffer.
> There are a few pieces missing in my tree, which have mostly been solved
> in other places and just need to be reused:
> 1. Arbitration between guest and streaming requests (this is the only
>   real new thing).
> 2. Efficient zero handling (skip writing those regions or mark them as
>   zero clusters).
> 3. Queuing/dependencies when arbitration decides a request must wait.
>   I'm taking a look at reusing Zhi Yong's block queue.
> 4. Rate-limiting to ensure streaming I/O does not impact the guest.
>   Already exists in the QED-specific patches, it may make sense to
>   extract common code that both migration and the block layer can use.
> Ideas or questions?
> Stefan


Zhi Yong Wu

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