> From: zfs-discuss-boun...@opensolaris.org [mailto:zfs-discuss-
> boun...@opensolaris.org] On Behalf Of Jim Klimov
>    For several times now I've seen statements on this list implying
> that a dedicated ZIL/SLOG device catching sync writes for the log,
> also allows for more streamlined writes to the pool during normal
> healthy TXG syncs, than is the case with the default ZIL located
> within the pool.

It might just be more clear, if it's stated differently:

At any given time, your pool is in one of four states:  idle, reading, writing, 
or idle with writes queued but not currently being written.  Now a sync write 
operation takes place.  If you have a dedicated log, it goes directly to the 
log, and it doesn't interfere with any of the other operations that might be 
occurring right now.  You don't have to interrupt your current activity, 
simply, your sync write goes to a dedicated device that's guaranteed to be idle 
in relation to all that other stuff.  Then the sync write becomes async, and 
gets coalesced into the pending TXG.

If you don't have a dedicated log, then the sync write jumps the write queue, 
and becomes next in line.  It waits for the present read or write operation to 
complete, and then the sync write hits the disk, and flushes the disk buffer.  
This means the sync write suffered a penalty waiting for the main pool disks to 
be interruptible.  Without slog, you're causing delay to your sync writes, and 
you're causing delay before the next read or write operation can begin...  But 
that's it.  Without slog, your operations are serial, whereas, with slog your 
sync write can occur in parallel to your other operations.

There's no extra fragmentation, with or without slog.  Because in either case, 
the sync write hits some dedicated and recyclable disk blocks, and then it 
becomes async and coalesced with all the other async writes.  The layout and/or 
fragmentation characteristics of the permanent TXG to be written to the pool is 
exactly the same either way.

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