[Lustre-devel] global epochs [an alternative proposal, long and dry].

Nikita Danilov Nikita.Danilov at Sun.COM
Tue Dec 23 02:00:56 PST 2008

Alex Zhuravlev writes:
 > Nikita Danilov wrote:
 > > Any message is used as a transport for epochs, including any reply
 > > from a server. So a typical scenario would be
 > I agree, but I think there will be cases with no messages at all.
 > like WBC doing flush every few minutes and then going idle. depending
 > on workload this may introduce additional network overhead on any node.

Indeed, but in any such case additional null rpc won't harm. In fact, no
node should sit isolated for minutes with something in its cache, as it
can miss a recovery.

 > > etc. Note, that nothing prevents server from increasing its local epoch
 > > before replying to every reintegration (this was mentioned in the
 > > original document as an "extreme case"). With this policy there is never
 > > more than one reintegration on a given client in a given epoch, and we
 > > can indeed implement stability algorithm without clients.
 > hmm? if it's client only who're aware of parts of distributed transaction,
 > how can we?

If we have no more than 1 reintegration in a given epoch on a given
client, then the server that received an OP = (U(0), ..., U(N)) in epoch
E from a client, can send to SC a message telling it that this client
contains N volatile updates in epoch E, and whenever some server commits
one of U's it sends to SC a message asking it to decrease a counter for
this client. Most obvious implementation will batch these notification,
i.e., when a server commits a transaction group it notifies SC about all
changes in one message. I personally don't think that is the best

 > > DLM plays no special role in the epochs mechanism. All that it is used
 > > for is to guarantee that conflicting operations are executed in the
 > > proper order (i.e., an epoch of dependent operation is never less than
 > > an epoch of an operation it depends on), but this is what DLM is for,
 > > and this has be guaranteed anyway.
 > conflict resolution can be delegated to some different mechanism when STL takes place.

Yes, and this mechanism (if it is correct at all) will guarantee that an
epoch cannot depend on a future epoch.

 > just to list my observations about global epochs:
 >   * it's a problem to implement synchronous operations
 >   * network overhead even with local-only changes depending on workload
 >   * disk overhead even with local-only changes
 >   * SC is a single point of failure with any topology as it's the only place to
 >     find final minimum
 >   * tree reduction isn't obvious thing because client can't report its minimum
 >     to any node, instead tree is rather static thing and any change should be
 >     done very carefully. otherwise it's very easy to lose minimum

Unfortunately, as far as I know, no other solution was described with a
level of detail sufficient to compare. :-)

 > thanks, Alex


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