On Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 10:35 PM, Raghavendra G <raghaven...@gluster.com>
wrote:

>
>
> On Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 8:15 PM, Vijay Bellur <vbel...@redhat.com> wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> On Sun, Feb 4, 2018 at 3:39 AM, Raghavendra Gowdappa <rgowd...@redhat.com
>> > wrote:
>>
>>> All,
>>>
>>> One of our users pointed out to the documentation that glusterfs is not
>>> good for storing "Structured data" [1], while discussing an issue [2].
>>
>>
>>
>> As far as I remember, the content around structured data in the Install
>> Guide is from a FAQ that was being circulated in Gluster, Inc. indicating
>> the startup's market positioning. Most of that was based on not wanting to
>> get into performance based comparisons of storage systems that are
>> frequently seen in the structured data space.
>>
>>
>>> Does any of you have more context on the feasibility of storing
>>> "structured data" on Glusterfs? Is one of the reasons for such a suggestion
>>> "staleness of metadata" as encountered in bugs like [3]?
>>>
>>
>>
>> There are challenges that distributed storage systems face when exposed
>> to applications that were written for a local filesystem interface. We have
>> encountered problems with applications like tar [4] that are not in the
>> realm of "Structured data". If we look at the common theme across all these
>> problems, it is related to metadata & read after write consistency issues
>> with the default translator stack that gets exposed on the client side.
>> While the default stack is optimal for other scenarios, it does seem that a
>> category of applications needing strict metadata consistency is not well
>> served by that. We have observed that disabling a few performance
>> translators and tuning cache timeouts for VFS/FUSE have helped to overcome
>> some of them. The WIP effort on timestamp consistency across the translator
>> stack, patches that have been merged as a result of the bugs that you
>> mention & other fixes for outstanding issues should certainly help in
>> catering to these workloads better with the file interface.
>>
>> There are deployments that I have come across where glusterfs is used for
>> storing structured data. gluster-block  & qemu-libgfapi overcome the
>> metadata consistency problem by exposing a file as a block device & by
>> disabling most of the performance translators in the default stack.
>> Workloads that have been deemed problematic with the file interface for the
>> reasons alluded above, function well with the block interface.
>>
>
> I agree that gluster-block due to its usage of a subset of glusterfs fops
> (mostly reads/writes I guess), runs into less number of consistency issues.
> However, as you've mentioned we seem to disable perf xlator stack in our
> tests/use-cases till now. Note that perf xlator stack is one of worst
> offenders as far as the metadata consistency is concerned (relatively less
> scenarios of data inconsistency). So, I wonder,
> * what would be the scenario if we enable perf xlator stack for
> gluster-block?
>


tcmu-runner opens block devices with O_DIRECT. So enabling perf xlators for
gluster-block would not make a difference as translators like io-cache &
read-ahead do not enable caching for open() with O_DIRECT. In addition,
since bulk of the operations happen to be reads & writes on large files
with gluster-block, md-cache & quick-read are not appropriate for the stack
that tcmu-runner operates on.


* Is performance on gluster-block satisfactory so that we don't need these
> xlators?
>   - Or is it that these xlators are not useful for the workload usually
> run on gluster-block (For random read/write workload, read/write caching
> xlators offer less or no advantage)?
>   - Or theoretically the workload is ought to benefit from perf xlators,
> but we don't see them in our results (there are open bugs to this effect)?
>


Owing to the reasons mentioned above, most performance xlators do not seem
very useful for gluster-block workloads.


 Regards,
Vijay
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