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[Qemu-devel] [PATCHv3] Improve the documentation of NBD_CMD_FLUSH and NB

From: Alex Bligh
Subject: [Qemu-devel] [PATCHv3] Improve the documentation of NBD_CMD_FLUSH and NBD_CMD_FLAG_FUA.
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2016 13:07:45 +0100

Improve the documentation of NBD_CMD_FLUSH and NBD_CMD_FLAG_FUA. Specifically
the latter may be set on any command, and its semantics on commands other
than NBD_CMD_WRITE need explaining. Further, explain how these relate to
reordering of commands.

Signed-off-by: Alex Bligh <address@hidden>
 doc/proto.md | 51 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++----------
 1 file changed, 41 insertions(+), 10 deletions(-)

ARRRGH - this time with a proper commit header.

Changes since version 2:

* Rebase on master

* Remove bogus 'SHOULD' for FLUSH in relation to writes that are in flight
  but not yet completed

* After consultation with lkml etc., document that FUA on things that do not
  write does nothing

* Document that sending FUA for commands that do nothing is permissible, but
  'SHOULD NOT' be done; an existing client does this.

* Document that FUA on TRIM should do something after all, per Kevin Wolf's

I'm hoping this is now complete.

diff --git a/doc/proto.md b/doc/proto.md
index 35a3266..d7d9939 100644
--- a/doc/proto.md
+++ b/doc/proto.md
@@ -217,6 +217,33 @@ handle as was sent by the client in the corresponding 
request.  In
 this way, the client can correlate which request is receiving a
+#### Ordering of messages and writes
+The server MAY process commands out of order, and MAY reply out of
+order, save that:
+* All write commands (that includes both `NBD_CMD_WRITE` and
+  `NBD_CMD_TRIM`) that the server completes (i.e. replies to)
+  prior to processing to a `NBD_CMD_FLUSH` MUST be written to non-volatile
+  storage prior to replying to that `NBD_CMD_FLUSH`. This
+  paragraph only applies if `NBD_FLAG_SEND_FLUSH` is set within
+  the transmission flags, as otherwise `NBD_CMD_FLUSH` will never
+  be sent by the client to the server.
+* A server MUST NOT reply to a command that has `NBD_CMD_FLAG_FUA` set
+  in its command flags until the data (if any) written by that command
+  is persisted to non-volatile storage. This only applies if
+  `NBD_FLAG_SEND_FLUSH` is set within the transmission flags, as otherwise
+  `NBD_CMD_FLAG_FUA` will not be set on any commands sent to the server
+  by the client.
+`NBD_CMD_FLUSH` is modelled on the Linux kernel empty bio with
+`REQ_FLUSH` set. `NBD_CMD_FLAG_FUA` is modelled on the Linux
+kernel bio with `REQ_FUA` set. In case of ambiguity in this
+specification, the
+may be useful.
 #### Request message
 The request message, sent by the client, looks as follows:
@@ -483,10 +510,20 @@ affects a particular command.  Clients MUST NOT set a 
command flag bit
 that is not documented for the particular command; and whether a flag is
 valid may depend on negotiation during the handshake phase.
-- bit 0, `NBD_CMD_FLAG_FUA`; valid during `NBD_CMD_WRITE` and
-  `NBD_CMD_WRITE_ZEROES` commands.  SHOULD be set to 1 if the client requires
-  "Force Unit Access" mode of operation.  MUST NOT be set unless transmission
-  flags included `NBD_FLAG_SEND_FUA`.
+- bit 0, `NBD_CMD_FLAG_FUA`; This flag is valid for all commands provided
+  `NBD_FLAG_SEND_FUA` has been negotiated, in which case the server MUST
+  accept all commands with this bit set (even by ignoring the bit). The
+  client SHOULD NOT set this bit unless the command has the potential of
+  writing data (current commands are `NBD_CMD_WRITE`, `NBD_CMD_WRITE_ZEROES`
+  and `NBD_CMD_TRIM`); existing clients are known to set this bit on
+  other commands; subject to that, provided `NBD_FLAG_SEND_FUA` is
+  negotiated, the client MAY set this bit as it wishes. If the server
+  receives a command with `NBD_CMD_FLAG_FUA` set it MUST NOT send its
+  reply to that command until all write operations (if any) associated with
+  that command command have been completed and persisted to non-volatile
+  storage. If the command does not in fact write data (for instance on an
+  `NBD_CMD_TRIM` which does is ignored), the server MAY ignore this bit
+  being set on such a command.
 - bit 1, `NBD_CMD_NO_HOLE`; defined by the experimental `WRITE_ZEROES`
   extension; see below.
 - bit 2, `NBD_CMD_FLAG_DF`; defined by the experimental `STRUCTURED_REPLY`
@@ -535,12 +572,6 @@ The following request types exist:
     message. The server MAY send the reply message before the data has
     reached permanent storage.
-    If the `NBD_FLAG_SEND_FUA` flag ("Force Unit Access") was set in the
-    transmission flags field, the client MAY set the flag `NBD_CMD_FLAG_FUA` in
-    the command flags field. If this flag was set, the server MUST NOT send
-    the reply until it has ensured that the newly-written data has reached
-    permanent storage.
     If an error occurs, the server SHOULD set the appropriate error code
     in the error field. The server MAY then close the connection.

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