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Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH for-2.7 v2 04/17] block: Introduce image file lo

From: Max Reitz
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH for-2.7 v2 04/17] block: Introduce image file locking
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2016 21:13:03 +0200
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On 18.04.2016 03:33, Fam Zheng wrote:
> On Sun, 04/17 01:29, Max Reitz wrote:
>> On 15.04.2016 05:27, Fam Zheng wrote:
>>> Block drivers can implement this new operation .bdrv_lockf to actually lock 
>>> the
>>> image in the protocol specific way.
>>> Signed-off-by: Fam Zheng <address@hidden>
>>> ---
>>>  block.c                   | 42 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>>>  include/block/block_int.h | 12 ++++++++++++
>>>  2 files changed, 54 insertions(+)
>> I'm prepared for everyone hating this idea, but I'm just bringing it up
>> so I can always say I did bring it up.
>> Heads up: This will be about qcow2 locking again.
>> Relax, though, it won't be about how much better qcow2 locking is better
>> than protocol locking.
>> Now that you know this feel free to drop out.
>> This patch implements locking by just trying to lock every single BDS
>> that is being opened. While it may fulfill its purpose, I don't think
>> that is what we actually want.
>> What we want is the following: qemu has a BDS graph. It is basically a
>> forest of trees. It may be a bit more complicated (DAGs instead of
>> trees), but let's just assume it is.
>> What we want to protect are leaves in this tree. Every leaf basically
>> corresponds to a physical resource such as a file or an NBD connection.
>> Every leaf is driven by a protocol block driver. We want to protect
>> these physical resources from concurrent access.
>> Ideally, we can just protect the physical resource itself. This works
>> for raw-posix, this works for gluster, this works for raw-win32, and
>> probably some other protocols, too. But I guess it won't work for all
>> protocols, and even if it does, it would need to be implemented.
>> But we can protect leaves in the BDS forest by locking non-leaves also:
>> If you lock a qcow2 node, all of its "file" subtree will be protected;
>> normally, that's just a single leaf.
>> Therefore, I think the ideal approach would be for each BDS tree that is
>> to be created we try to lock all of its leaves, and if that does not
>> work for some, we walk up the tree and try to lock inner nodes (e.g.
>> format BDSs which then use format locking) so that the leaves are still
>> protected even if their protocol does not support that.
>> This could be implemented like this: Whenever a leaf BDS is created, try
>> to lock it. If we can't, leave some information to the parent node that
>> its child could not be locked. Then, the parent will evaluate this
>> information and try to act upon it. This then recurses up the tree. Or,
>> well, down the tree, considering that in most natural trees the root is
>> at the bottom.
>> We could just implement qcow2 locking on top of this series as it is,
>> but this would result in qcow2 files being locked even if their files'
>> protocol nodes have been successfully locked. That would be superfluous
>> and we'd have all the issues with force-unlocking qcow2 files we have
>> discussed before.
>> So what am I saying? I think that it makes sense to consider format
>> locking as a backup alternative to protocol locking in case the latter
>> is not possible. I think it is possible to implement both using the same
>> framework.
>> I don't think we need to worry about the actual implementation of format
>> locking now. But I do think having a framework which supports both
>> format and protocol locking is possible and would be nice to have.
>> Such a framework would require more effort, however, than the basically
>> brute-force "just lock everything" method presented in this patch. Don't
>> get me wrong, this method here works for what it's supposed to do (I
>> haven't reviewed it yet, though), and it's very reasonable if protocol
>> locking is all we intend to have. I'm just suggesting that maybe we do
>> want to have more than that.
>> All in all, I won't object if the locking framework introduced by this
>> series is not supposed to and does not work with format locking. It can
>> always be added later if I really like it so much, and I can definitely
>> understand if it appears to be too much effort for basically no gain
>> right now.
>> As I said above, I just brought this up so I brought it up. :-)
> I don't hate this idea, but it is not necessarily much more effort.  We can
> always check the underlying file in qcow2's locking implementation, can't we?
>     int qcow2_lockf(BlockDriverState *bs, int cmd)
>     {
>         if ((cmd != BDRV_LOCKF_UNLOCK) && !bdrv_is_locked(bs->file)) {
>             return 0;
>         }
>         ...
>     }

Good point. I like that.

> The problem with doing this generically in block layer is the chicken-and-egg
> problem: it's not safe to just have format probling code or qcow2 driver to
> read the image or even writing to the header field for opening it, another
> process could be writing to the image already. A challenge with format
> locking is the lack of file level atomic operations (cmpxchg on the image
> header).

Well, I'm not sure whether we'd need to format-lock an image for
probing, but with the above, we'd circumvent the whole issue anyway.


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