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Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH v7 RFC] block/vxhs: Initial commit to add Verita

From: Stefan Hajnoczi
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [PATCH v7 RFC] block/vxhs: Initial commit to add Veritas HyperScale VxHS block device support
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 11:35:08 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.7.1 (2016-10-04)

On Fri, Nov 25, 2016 at 08:27:26AM +0000, Ketan Nilangekar wrote:
> On 11/24/16, 9:38 PM, "Stefan Hajnoczi" <address@hidden> wrote:
>     On Thu, Nov 24, 2016 at 11:31:14AM +0000, Ketan Nilangekar wrote:
>     > On 11/24/16, 4:41 PM, "Stefan Hajnoczi" <address@hidden> wrote:
>     >     On Thu, Nov 24, 2016 at 05:44:37AM +0000, Ketan Nilangekar wrote:
>     >     > On 11/24/16, 4:07 AM, "Paolo Bonzini" <address@hidden> wrote:
>     >     > >On 23/11/2016 23:09, ashish mittal wrote:
>     >     > >> On the topic of protocol security -
>     >     > >> 
>     >     > >> Would it be enough for the first patch to implement only
>     >     > >> authentication and not encryption?
>     >     > >
>     >     > >Yes, of course.  However, as we introduce more and more 
> QEMU-specific
>     >     > >characteristics to a protocol that is already QEMU-specific (it 
> doesn't
>     >     > >do failover, etc.), I am still not sure of the actual benefit of 
> using
>     >     > >libqnio versus having an NBD server or FUSE driver.
>     >     > >
>     >     > >You have already mentioned performance, but the design has 
> changed so
>     >     > >much that I think one of the two things has to change: either 
> failover
>     >     > >moves back to QEMU and there is no (closed source) translator 
> running on
>     >     > >the node, or the translator needs to speak a well-known and
>     >     > >already-supported protocol.
>     >     > 
>     >     > IMO design has not changed. Implementation has changed 
> significantly. I would propose that we keep resiliency/failover code out of 
> QEMU driver and implement it entirely in libqnio as planned in a subsequent 
> revision. The VxHS server does not need to understand/handle failover at all. 
>     >     > 
>     >     > Today libqnio gives us significantly better performance than any 
> NBD/FUSE implementation. We know because we have prototyped with both. 
> Significant improvements to libqnio are also in the pipeline which will use 
> cross memory attach calls to further boost performance. Ofcourse a big reason 
> for the performance is also the HyperScale storage backend but we believe 
> this method of IO tapping/redirecting can be leveraged by other solutions as 
> well.
>     >     
>     >     By "cross memory attach" do you mean
>     >     process_vm_readv(2)/process_vm_writev(2)?
>     >   
>     > Ketan> Yes.
>     >   
>     >     That puts us back to square one in terms of security.  You have
>     >     (untrusted) QEMU + (untrusted) libqnio directly accessing the 
> memory of
>     >     another process on the same machine.  That process is therefore also
>     >     untrusted and may only process data for one guest so that guests 
> stay
>     >     isolated from each other.
>     >     
>     > Ketan> Understood but this will be no worse than the current network 
> based communication between qnio and vxhs server. And although we have 
> questions around QEMU trust/vulnerability issues, we are looking to implement 
> basic authentication scheme between libqnio and vxhs server.
>     This is incorrect.
>     Cross memory attach is equivalent to ptrace(2) (i.e. debugger) access.
>     It means process A reads/writes directly from/to process B memory.  Both
>     processes must have the same uid/gid.  There is no trust boundary
>     between them.
> Ketan> Not if vxhs server is running as root and initiating the cross mem 
> attach. Which is also why we are proposing a basic authentication mechanism 
> between qemu-vxhs. But anyway the cross memory attach is for a near future 
> implementation. 
>     Network communication does not require both processes to have the same
>     uid/gid.  If you want multiple QEMU processes talking to a single server
>     there must be a trust boundary between client and server.  The server
>     can validate the input from the client and reject undesired operations.
> Ketan> This is what we are trying to propose. With the addition of 
> authentication between qemu-vxhs server, we should be able to achieve this. 
> Question is, would that be acceptable?
>     Hope this makes sense now.
>     Two architectures that implement the QEMU trust model correctly are:
>     1. Cross memory attach: each QEMU process has a dedicated vxhs server
>        process to prevent guests from attacking each other.  This is where I
>        said you might as well put the code inside QEMU since there is no
>        isolation anyway.  From what you've said it sounds like the vxhs
>        server needs a host-wide view and is responsible for all guests
>        running on the host, so I guess we have to rule out this
>        architecture.
>     2. Network communication: one vxhs server process and multiple guests.
>        Here you might as well use NBD or iSCSI because it already exists and
>        the vxhs driver doesn't add any unique functionality over existing
>        protocols.
> Ketan> NBD does not give us the performance we are trying to achieve. Besides 
> NBD does not have any authentication support.

NBD over TCP supports TLS with X.509 certificate authentication.  I
think Daniel Berrange mentioned that.

NBD over AF_UNIX does not need authentication because it relies on file
permissions for access control.  Each guest should have its own UNIX
domain socket that it connects to.  That socket can only see exports
that have been assigned to the guest.

> There is a hybrid 2.a approach which uses both 1 & 2 but I’d keep that for a 
> later discussion.

Please discuss it now so everyone gets on the same page.  I think there
is a big gap and we need to communicate so that progress can be made.

>     >     There's an easier way to get even better performance: get rid of 
> libqnio
>     >     and the external process.  Move the code from the external process 
> into
>     >     QEMU to eliminate the process_vm_readv(2)/process_vm_writev(2) and
>     >     context switching.
>     >     
>     >     Can you remind me why there needs to be an external process?
>     >  
>     > Ketan>  Apart from virtualizing the available direct attached storage 
> on the compute, vxhs storage backend (the external process) provides features 
> such as storage QoS, resiliency, efficient use of direct attached storage, 
> automatic storage recovery points (snapshots) etc. Implementing this in QEMU 
> is not practical and not the purpose of proposing this driver.
>     This sounds similar to what QEMU and Linux (file systems, LVM, RAID,
>     etc) already do.  It brings to mind a third architecture:
>     3. A Linux driver or file system.  Then QEMU opens a raw block device.
>        This is what the Ceph rbd block driver in Linux does.  This
>        architecture has a kernel-userspace boundary so vxhs does not have to
>        trust QEMU.
>     I suggest Architecture #2.  You'll be able to deploy on existing systems
>     because QEMU already supports NBD or iSCSI.  Use the time you gain from
>     switching to this architecture on benchmarking and optimizing NBD or
>     iSCSI so performance is closer to your goal.
> Ketan> We have made a choice to go with QEMU driver approach after serious 
> evaluation of most if not all standard IO tapping mechanisms including NFS, 
> NBD and FUSE. None of these has been able to deliver the performance that we 
> have set ourselves to achieve. Hence the effort to propose this new IO tap 
> which we believe will provide an alternate to the existing mechanisms and 
> hopefully benefit the community.

I thought the VxHS block driver was another network block driver like
GlusterFS or Sheepdog but you are actually proposing a new local I/O tap
with the goal of better performance.

Please share fio(1) or other standard benchmark configuration files and
performance results.

NBD and libqnio wire protocols have comparable performance
characteristics.  There is no magic that should give either one a
fundamental edge over the other.  Am I missing something?

The main performance difference is probably that libqnio opens 8
simultaneous connections but that's not unique to the wire protocol.
What happens when you run 8 NBD simultaneous TCP connections?


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