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Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH 16/19] block/parallels: no need to flush on each

From: Roman Kagan
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH 16/19] block/parallels: no need to flush on each block allocation table update
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2015 17:50:12 +0300
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

On Tue, Dec 30, 2014 at 01:07:09PM +0300, Denis V. Lunev wrote:
> From the point of guest each write to real disk prior to disk barrier
> operation could be lost. Therefore there is no problem that "not synced"
> new block is lost due to not updated allocation table if QEMU is crashed.
> This patch improves writing performance of
>   qemu-img create -f parallels -o cluster_size=64k ./1.hds 64G
>   qemu-io -f parallels -c "write -P 0x11 0 1024k" 1.hds
> from 45 Mb/sec to 160 Mb/sec on my SSD disk. The gain on rotational media
> is much more sufficient, from 800 Kb/sec to 45 Mb/sec.
> Signed-off-by: Denis V. Lunev <address@hidden>
> CC: Kevin Wolf <address@hidden>
> CC: Stefan Hajnoczi <address@hidden>
> ---
>  block/parallels.c | 2 +-
>  1 file changed, 1 insertion(+), 1 deletion(-)
> diff --git a/block/parallels.c b/block/parallels.c
> index ddc3aee..46cf031 100644
> --- a/block/parallels.c
> +++ b/block/parallels.c
> @@ -194,7 +194,7 @@ static int64_t allocate_sector(BlockDriverState *bs, 
> int64_t sector_num)
>      tmp = cpu_to_le32(s->bat[idx]);
> -    ret = bdrv_pwrite_sync(bs->file, bat_offset(idx), &tmp, sizeof(tmp));
> +    ret = bdrv_pwrite(bs->file, bat_offset(idx), &tmp, sizeof(tmp));
>      if (ret < 0) {
>          return ret;
>      }

AFAICT this worsens the problem that existed before this patch:

if the preceding bdrv_truncate(+cluster_size) gets reordered with this
bat entry update, there's a risk that on poweroff (snapshot, etc.) the
bat entry gets written to the storage while the file size is not
updated.  As a result, the bat entry in the file would point at a
cluster which hadn't been allocated yet.  When a new block is eventually
added to the file, you'd have two bat entries pointing at the same

The _sync version used to leave this window quite narrow due to the
flush following the write.  The patch makes the reordering more likely.

I'm afraid the only reliable way to handle it is to put a barrier
between truncate and bat update, and mitigate the costs by batching the
file expansions, as you seem to do in the followup patches.


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