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Solving the ext3 latency problem

Solving the ext3 latency problem

Posted Apr 19, 2009 22:50 UTC (Sun) by bojan (subscriber, #14302)
In reply to: Solving the ext3 latency problem by tytso
Parent article: Solving the ext3 latency problem

> Chris Mason is also working on a data=guarded mode, which will cause files to be truncated (much like delayed allocation) on a crash with ext3. I will look into porting this mode into ext4, if it proves to be enough of a performance advantage for ext4 over data=ordered, and yet providing a tiny bit more safety than data=writeback. It's not clear to me that it will be worth it for ext4, however.

Unless there is a significant performance penalty by updating metadata only after the data has been written, instead of having another mode, this is probably how writeback mode should work.


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Solving the ext3 latency problem

Posted Apr 20, 2009 0:29 UTC (Mon) by tytso (subscriber, #9993) [Link]

Unless there is a significant performance penalty by updating metadata only after the data has been written, instead of having another mode, this is probably how writeback mode should work.

(Note that data=guarded is only deferring the update of i_size, and not any other form of metadata.)

We'll have to benchmark it and see. It does mean that i_size gets updated more, and so that means that the inode has to get updated as blocks are staged out to disk, so that means some extra writes to the journal and inode table. I don't think it should be noticeable, at least for most workloads, since it should be lost in the noise of the data block I/O, but it is extra seeks and extra writes.

Solving the ext3 latency problem

Posted Apr 20, 2009 3:43 UTC (Mon) by bojan (subscriber, #14302) [Link]

Thanks for the explanation.

I guess if i_size could be updated just once, when all the blocks are pushed out, then this would be even less of a problem. But, then again, I have no idea how this actually works inside the code, so this suggestion is probably naive.


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