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Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH block-next 0/3] qemu-img check/qcow2: Allow fixi

From: Zhi Yong Wu
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH block-next 0/3] qemu-img check/qcow2: Allow fixing refcounts
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2012 16:26:59 +0800

On Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 4:06 PM, Stefan Hajnoczi <address@hidden> wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 6:22 AM, Zhi Yong Wu <address@hidden> wrote:
>> On Thu, May 31, 2012 at 5:26 PM, Stefan Hajnoczi <address@hidden> wrote:
>>> On Wed, May 30, 2012 at 9:31 AM, Zhi Yong Wu <address@hidden> wrote:
>>>> On Sat, May 12, 2012 at 12:48 AM, Kevin Wolf <address@hidden> wrote:
>>>>> A prerequisite for a "QED mode" in qcow2, which doesn't update the 
>>>>> refcount
>>>> Recently some new concepts such as "QED mode" in qcow2 are seen
>>>> frequencely, can anyone explain what it means? thanks.
>>> qcow2 has more metadata than qed.  More metadata means more write
>>> operations when allocating new clusters.
>>> In order to overcome this performance issue qcow2 has a metadata
>>> cache.  But when QEMU is launched with -drive ...,cache=writethrough
>>> (the default) the metadata cache *must* be in writethrough mode
>> Why must i be? If the option with -drive ..,cache=writethrough is
>> specified. it means that host page cache is on while guest disk cache
>> is off. Since the metadata cache exists in host page cache, not guest,
>> i think that it is in writeback mode.
> Since the emulated disk write cache is off, we must ensure that guest
> writes are on disk before completing them.  Therefore we cannot cache
> metadata updates in host RAM - it would be lost on power failure but
But host page cache is *on* in this mode, which means that metadata
should be cached in host RAM. how do you explain this?

> we promised the guest its writes reached the disk!
>>> instead of writeback mode.  In other words, every metadata update
>>> needs to be written to the image file before we complete the guest's
>> What will mean one guest's wirte request is completed?
> For example, virtio-blk fills in the success status code and raises an
> interrupt.  This notifies the guest that the write is done.
Great, thanks.
>>> write request.  This means the metadata cache only hides the metadata
>>> performance issue when -drive ...,cache=direct|writeback are used
>>> because there we can keep metadata changes buffered in memory until
>>> the guest flushes the emulated disk write cache.
>>> "QED mode" is a solution for -drive ...,cache=writethrough|directsync.
>>>  It simply doesn't update refcount metadata in the qcow2 image file
l1/l2 info need to be updated to qcow2 image file?
>>> immediately in exchange for a refcount fixup step that is introduced
>> Can you say this with more details? Why is this step need only when
>> image file is opened? After image file is opened, and some guest's
>> write requests are completed, maybe the refcount fixup step need to be
>> done once.
> If we don't update refcounts on disk then they become outdated and no
> longer reflect the true allocation information.  It's not safe to rely
> on outdated refcount information since we could allocate the same
> cluster multiple times - this means data corruption.  By running a
> consistency check when opening a dirty image file we guarantee that we
> have accurate refcount information again.
ah, i got it now.
> As an optimization we will commit refcount information to disk when
> closing the image file and mark it clean.  This means a clean QEMU
> shutdown does not require a consistency check on startup - but in the
> worst case (power failure or crash) we will have a dirty image file.
Yeah, a consistency check on startup is good, i think. thanks.
> Stefan


Zhi Yong Wu

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