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

Nikita Danilov Nikita.Danilov at Sun.COM
Tue Dec 23 04:50:24 PST 2008

Alex Zhuravlev writes:
 > Nikita Danilov wrote:
 > > We are talking about few megabytes of data in network or in memory. It's
 > > easy to replicate this state.
 > I disagree - whole state can be distributed over 100K and more nodes and
 > some operations many need all nodes to communicate their state. this is
 > especially problem with lossy network.

The question was about SC being the single point of failure. This can be
eliminated by replicating stability messages to a few nodes.

 > > Tree reduction is but an optimization. I am pretty convinced that core
 > > algorithm works, because this can be proved.
 > sorry, works doesn't always mean "meet requirements". in our case scalability
 > is the top one. in this regard I don't see how this model can work well with

But "works" always means at least "meet requirements". There is no such
thing as efficient (or scalable), but incorrect program. Ordinary Lustre
recovery was implemented years ago and it is still has problems. I bet
it looked very easy in the beginning, so it was tempting to optimize it.

 > >>   * once some distributed transaction is committed on all involved servers, we can prune
 > >>     it and all its local successors
 > > 
 > > Either I am misunderstanding this, or this is not correct, because not
 > > only a given operation, but also all operations it depends on have to be
 > > committed, and it is not clear how this is determined.
 > the algorithm works starting from oldest operations and discards them when there is no
 > undo before this one.

So let's suppose we have four servers and three operations:

     S0   S1   S2   S3
OP0  U1   U2
OP1       U3   U4
OP2            U5   U6

Where `U?' means that a given operation sent an update to a given
server, and all updates happen to be conflicting.

Suppose that transaction groups with these updates commit at the same
time and servers are ready to send information to each other. What
information each server sends and where?

 > > One reason I wrote so lengthy a text was that I want to spell out
 > > everything explicitly and unambiguously (and obviously failed in the
 > > latter, as ensued discussion has shown).
 > yes, it's well written and proven thing. the point is different - if it's clear that
 > in some cases it doesn't work well (see sync requirement), what the proof does?

It assures you that it _works_. Maybe sub-optimally, but it does. The
program that is lighting fast, consumes zero memory and scales across
the galaxy is useless if it is incorrect.

 > thanks, Alex


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