This is an archived copy of the Xen.org mailing list, which we have preserved to ensure that existing links to archives are not broken. The live archive, which contains the latest emails, can be found at http://lists.xen.org/
Home Products Support Community News


RE: [Xen-API] How snapshot work on LVMoISCS SR

To: Anthony Xu <anthony@xxxxxxxxx>, Julian Chesterfield <Julian.Chesterfield@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "\"; Dave.Scott\"@eu.citrix.com" <"; Dave.Scott"@eu.citrix.com>
Subject: RE: [Xen-API] How snapshot work on LVMoISCS SR
From: Ian Pratt <Ian.Pratt@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 2010 21:56:19 +0000
Accept-language: en-US
Acceptlanguage: en-US
Cc: Ian Pratt <Ian.Pratt@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "xen-api@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <xen-api@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Delivery-date: Tue, 26 Jan 2010 13:56:34 -0800
Envelope-to: www-data@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
In-reply-to: <1264536284.2901.103.camel@mobl-ant>
List-help: <mailto:xen-api-request@lists.xensource.com?subject=help>
List-id: Discussion of API issues surrounding Xen <xen-api.lists.xensource.com>
List-post: <mailto:xen-api@lists.xensource.com>
List-subscribe: <http://lists.xensource.com/mailman/listinfo/xen-api>, <mailto:xen-api-request@lists.xensource.com?subject=subscribe>
List-unsubscribe: <http://lists.xensource.com/mailman/listinfo/xen-api>, <mailto:xen-api-request@lists.xensource.com?subject=unsubscribe>
References: <1264477399.2927.58.camel@mobl-ant> <4B5EC521.5070401@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> <1264536284.2901.103.camel@mobl-ant>
Sender: xen-api-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Thread-index: Acqewtey38Xp4XuJRkKEPGWOveJyqgADTeug
Thread-topic: [Xen-API] How snapshot work on LVMoISCS SR
> I still have below questions.
> 1. if a non-leaf node is coalesce-able, it will be coalesced later on
> regardless how big the physical size of this node?

Yes: it's always good to coalesce the chain to improve access performance.
> 2. there is one leaf node for a snapshot, actually it may be empty, does
> it exist only because it can prevent coalesce.

Not quite sure what you're referring to here. The current code has a limitation 
whereby it is unable to coalesce a leaf into its parent, so after you've 
created one snapshot you'll always have a chain length of 2 even if you delete 
the snapshot (if you create a second snapshot it can be coalesced). 

Coalescing a leaf into its parent is on the todo list: its a little bit 
different from the other cases because it requires synchronization if the leaf 
is in active use. It's not a big deal from a performance point of view to have 
the slightly longer chain length, but it will be good to get this fixed for 

> 3. a clone will introduce a writable snapshot, it will prevent coalesce

A clone will produce a new writeable leaf linked to the parent.  It will 
prevent the linked snapshot from being coalesced, but any other snapshots above 
or below on the chain can still be coalesced by the garbage collector if the 
snapshots are deleted. 

The XCP storage management stuff is pretty cool IMO...


> - Anthony
> On Tue, 2010-01-26 at 02:34 -0800, Julian Chesterfield wrote:
> > Hi Anthony,
> >
> > Anthony Xu wrote: > Hi all, > > Basically snapshot on LVMoISCSI SR work
> >  well, it provides thin > provisioning, so it is fast and disk space
> >  efficient. > > > But I still have below concern. > > There is one more
> >  vhd chain when creating snapshot, if I creates 16 > snapshots, there
> >  are 16 vhd chains, that means when one VM accesses a > disk block, it
> >  may need to access 16 vhd lvm one by one, then get the > right block,
> >  it makes VM access disk slow. However, it is > understandable, it is
> >  part of snapshot IMO. >   The depth and speed of access will depend on
> >  the write pattern to the disk. In XCP we add an optimisation called a
> >  BATmap which stores one bit per BAT entry. This is a fast lookup table
> >  that is cached in memory while the VHD is open, and tells the block
> >  device handler whether a block has been fully allocated. Once the
> >  block is fully allocated (all logical 2MB written) the block handler
> >  knows that it doesn't need to read or write the Bitmap that
> >  corresponds to the data block, it can go directly to the disk offset.
> >  Scanning through the VHD chain can therefore be very quick, i.e. the
> >  block handler reads down the chain of BAT tables for each node until
> >  it detects a node that is allocated with hopefully the BATmap value
> >  set. The worst case is a random disk write workload which causes the
> >  disk to be fragmented and partially allocated. Every read or write
> >  will therefore potentially incur a bitmap check at every level of the
> >  chain. > But after I delete all these 16 snapshots, there is still 16
> >  vhd chains, > the disk access is still slow, which is not
> >  understandable and > reasonable, even though there may be only several
> >  KB difference between > each snapshot, >   There is a mechanism in XCP
> >  called the GC coalesce thread which gets kicked asynchronously
> >  following a VDI deletion event. It queries the VHD tree, and
> >  determines whether there is any coalescable work to do. Coalesceable
> >  work is defined as:
> >
> > 'a hidden child node that has no siblings'
> >
> > Hidden nodes are non-leaf nodes that reside within a chain. When the
> > snapshot leaf node is deleted therefore, it will leave redundant links
> > in the chain that can be safely coalesced. You can kick off a coalesce
> > by issuing an SR scan, although it should kick off automatically within
> > 30 seconds of deleting the snapshot node, handled by XAPI. If you look
> > in the /var/log/SMlog file you'll see a lot of debug information
> > including tree dependencies which will tell you a) whether the GC thread
> > is running, and b) whether there is coalescable work to do. Note that
> > deleting snapshot nodes does not always mean that there is coalescable
> > work to do since there may be other siblings, e.g. VDI clones.
> > > is there any way we can reduce depth of vhd chain after deleting
> > > snapshots? get VM back to normal disk performance.
> > >
> > The coalesce thread handles this, see above.
> > > And, I notice there are useless vhd volume exist after deleting snap
> > > shots, can we delete them automatically?
> > >
> > No. I do not recommend deleting VHDs manually since they are almost
> > certainly referenced by something else in the chain. If you delete them
> > manually you will break the chain, it will become unreadable, and you
> > potentially lose critical data. VHD chains must be correctly coalesced
> > in order to maintain data integrity.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Julian
> > >
> > > - Anthony
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > xen-api mailing list
> > > xen-api@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> > > http://lists.xensource.com/mailman/listinfo/xen-api
> > >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> xen-api mailing list
> xen-api@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> http://lists.xensource.com/mailman/listinfo/xen-api

xen-api mailing list