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From: Dave Chinner <>
Subject: [PATCH 3/5] xfs: journal IO cache flush reductions
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2021 15:41:52 +1100	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

From: Steve Lord <>

Currently every journal IO is issued as REQ_PREFLUSH | REQ_FUA to
guarantee the ordering requirements the journal has w.r.t. metadata
writeback. THe two ordering constraints are:

1. we cannot overwrite metadata in the journal until we guarantee
that the dirty metadata has been written back in place and is

2. we cannot write back dirty metadata until it has been written to
the journal and guaranteed to be stable (and hence recoverable) in
the journal.

THe ordering guarantees of #1 are provided by REQ_PREFLUSH. This
causes the journal IO to issue a cache flush and wait for it to
complete before issuing the write IO to the journal. Hence all
completed metadata IO is guaranteed to be stable before the journal
overwrites the old metadata.

THe ordering guarantees of #2 are provided by the REQ_FUA, which
ensures the journal writes do not complete until they are on stable
storage. Hence by the time the last journal IO in a checkpoint
completes, we know that the entire checkpoint is on stable storage
and we can unpin the dirty metadata and allow it to be written back.

This is the mechanism by which ordering was first implemented in XFS
way back in 2002 by this commit:

commit 95d97c36e5155075ba2eb22b17562cfcc53fcf96
Author: Steve Lord <>
Date:   Fri May 24 14:30:21 2002 +0000

    Add support for drive write cache flushing - should the kernel
    have the infrastructure

A lot has changed since then, most notably we now use delayed
logging to checkpoint the filesystem to the journal rather than
write each individual transaction to the journal. Cache flushes on
journal IO are necessary when individual transactions are wholly
contained within a single iclog. However, CIL checkpoints are single
transactions that typically span hundreds to thousands of individual
journal writes, and so the requirements for device cache flushing
have changed.

That is, the ordering rules I state above apply to ordering of
atomic transactions recorded in the journal, not to the journal IO
itself. Hence we need to ensure metadata is stable before we start
writing a new transaction to the journal (guarantee #1), and we need
to ensure the entire transaction is stable in the journal before we
start metadata writeback (guarantee #2).

Hence we only need a REQ_PREFLUSH on the journal IO that starts a
new journal transaction to provide #1, and it is not on any other
journal IO done within the context of that journal transaction.

To ensure that the entire journal transaction is on stable storage
before we run the completion code that unpins all the dirty metadata
recorded in the journal transaction, the last write of the
transaction must also ensure that the entire journal transaction is
stable. We already know what IO that will be, thanks to the commit
record we explicitly write to complete the transaction. We can order
all the previous journal IO for this transaction by waiting for all
the previous iclogs containing the transaction data to complete
their IO, then issuing the commit record IO using REQ_PREFLUSH
| REQ_FUA. The preflush ensures all the previous journal IO is
stable before the commit record hits the log, and the REQ_FUA
ensures that the commit record is stable before completion is
signalled to the filesystem.

Hence using REQ_PREFLUSH on the first IO of a journal transaction,
and then ordering the journal IO before issuing the commit record
with REQ_PREFLUSH | REQ_FUA, we get all the same ordering guarantees
that we currently achieve by issuing all journal IO with cache

As an optimisation, when the commit record lands in the same iclog
as the journal transaction starts, we don't need to wait for
anything and can simply issue the journal IO with REQ_PREFLUSH |
REQ_FUA as we do right now. This means that for fsync() heavy
workloads, the cache flush behaviour is completely unchanged and
there is no degradation in performance as a result of optimise the
multi-IO transaction case.

To further simplify the implementation, we also issue the initial IO
in a journal transaction with REQ_FUA. THis ensures the journal is
dirtied by the first IO in a long running transaction as quickly as
possible. This helps ensure that log recovery will at least have a
transaction header for the incomplete transaction in the log similar
to the stable journal write behaviour we have now.

The most notable sign that there is less IO latency on my test
machine (nvme SSDs) is that the "noiclogs" rate has dropped
substantially. This metric indicates that the CIL push is blocking
in xlog_get_iclog_space() waiting for iclog IO completion to occur.
With 8 iclogs of 256kB, the rate is appoximately 1 noiclog event to
every 4 iclog writes. IOWs, every 4th call to xlog_get_iclog_space()
is blocking waiting for log IO. With the changes in this patch, this
drops to 1 noiclog event for every 100 iclog writes. Hence it is
clear that log IO is completing much faster than it was previously,
but it is also clear that for large iclog sizes, this isn't the
performance limiting factor on this hardware.

With smaller iclogs (32kB), however, there is a sustantial
difference. With the cache flush modifications, the journal is now
running at over 4000 write IOPS, and the journal throughput is
largely identical to the 256kB iclogs and the noiclog event rate
stays low at about 1:50 iclog writes. The existing code tops out at
about 2500 IOPS as the number of cache flushes dominate performance
and latency. The noiclog event rate is about 1:4, and the
performance variance is quite large as the journal throughput can
fall to less than half the peak sustained rate when the cache flush
rate prevents metadata writeback from keeping up and the log runs
out of space and throttles reservations.

As a result:

	logbsize	fsmark create rate	rm -rf
before	32kb		152851+/-5.3e+04	5m28s
patched	32kb		221533+/-1.1e+04	5m24s

before	256kb		220239+/-6.2e+03	4m58s
patched	256kb		228286+/-9.2e+03	5m06s

The rm -rf times are included because I ran them, but the
differences are largely noise. This workload is largely metadata
read IO latency bound and the changes to the journal cache flushing
doesn't really make any noticable difference to behaviour apart from
a reduction in noiclog events from background CIL pushing.

Signed-off-by: Dave Chinner <>
 fs/xfs/xfs_log.c      | 34 ++++++++++++++++++++++------------
 fs/xfs/xfs_log_priv.h |  3 +++
 2 files changed, 25 insertions(+), 12 deletions(-)

diff --git a/fs/xfs/xfs_log.c b/fs/xfs/xfs_log.c
index c5e3da23961c..8de93893e0e6 100644
--- a/fs/xfs/xfs_log.c
+++ b/fs/xfs/xfs_log.c
@@ -1804,8 +1804,7 @@ xlog_write_iclog(
 	struct xlog		*log,
 	struct xlog_in_core	*iclog,
 	uint64_t		bno,
-	unsigned int		count,
-	bool			need_flush)
+	unsigned int		count)
 	ASSERT(bno < log->l_logBBsize);
@@ -1843,10 +1842,11 @@ xlog_write_iclog(
 	 * writeback throttle from throttling log writes behind background
 	 * metadata writeback and causing priority inversions.
-	iclog->ic_bio.bi_opf = REQ_OP_WRITE | REQ_META | REQ_SYNC |
-	if (need_flush)
-		iclog->ic_bio.bi_opf |= REQ_PREFLUSH;
+	iclog->ic_bio.bi_opf = REQ_OP_WRITE | REQ_META | REQ_SYNC | REQ_IDLE;
+	if (iclog->ic_flags & XLOG_ICL_NEED_FLUSH) {
+		iclog->ic_bio.bi_opf |= REQ_PREFLUSH | REQ_FUA;
+		iclog->ic_flags &= ~XLOG_ICL_NEED_FLUSH;
+	}
 	if (xlog_map_iclog_data(&iclog->ic_bio, iclog->ic_data, count)) {
 		xfs_force_shutdown(log->l_mp, SHUTDOWN_LOG_IO_ERROR);
@@ -1949,7 +1949,7 @@ xlog_sync(
 	unsigned int		roundoff;       /* roundoff to BB or stripe */
 	uint64_t		bno;
 	unsigned int		size;
-	bool			need_flush = true, split = false;
+	bool			split = false;
 	ASSERT(atomic_read(&iclog->ic_refcnt) == 0);
@@ -2007,13 +2007,14 @@ xlog_sync(
 	 * synchronously here; for an internal log we can simply use the block
 	 * layer state machine for preflushes.
-	if (log->l_targ != log->l_mp->m_ddev_targp || split) {
+	if (log->l_targ != log->l_mp->m_ddev_targp ||
+	    (split && (iclog->ic_flags & XLOG_ICL_NEED_FLUSH))) {
-		need_flush = false;
+		iclog->ic_flags &= ~XLOG_ICL_NEED_FLUSH;
 	xlog_verify_iclog(log, iclog, count);
-	xlog_write_iclog(log, iclog, bno, count, need_flush);
+	xlog_write_iclog(log, iclog, bno, count);
@@ -2464,9 +2465,18 @@ xlog_write(
 		ASSERT(log_offset <= iclog->ic_size - 1);
 		ptr = iclog->ic_datap + log_offset;
-		/* start_lsn is the first lsn written to. That's all we need. */
-		if (!*start_lsn)
+		/*
+		 * Start_lsn is the first lsn written to. That's all the caller
+		 * needs to have returned. Setting it indicates the first iclog
+		 * of a new checkpoint or the commit record for a checkpoint, so
+		 * also mark the iclog as requiring a pre-flush to ensure all
+		 * metadata writeback or journal IO in the checkpoint is
+		 * correctly ordered against this new log write.
+		 */
+		if (!*start_lsn) {
 			*start_lsn = be64_to_cpu(iclog->ic_header.h_lsn);
+			iclog->ic_flags |= XLOG_ICL_NEED_FLUSH;
+		}
 		 * This loop writes out as many regions as can fit in the amount
diff --git a/fs/xfs/xfs_log_priv.h b/fs/xfs/xfs_log_priv.h
index a7ac85aaff4e..9f1e627ccb74 100644
--- a/fs/xfs/xfs_log_priv.h
+++ b/fs/xfs/xfs_log_priv.h
@@ -133,6 +133,8 @@ enum xlog_iclog_state {
 #define XLOG_COVER_OPS		5
+#define XLOG_ICL_NEED_FLUSH     (1 << 0)        /* iclog needs REQ_PREFLUSH */
 /* Ticket reservation region accounting */ 
 #define XLOG_TIC_LEN_MAX	15
@@ -201,6 +203,7 @@ typedef struct xlog_in_core {
 	u32			ic_size;
 	u32			ic_offset;
 	enum xlog_iclog_state	ic_state;
+	unsigned int		ic_flags;
 	char			*ic_datap;	/* pointer to iclog data */
 	/* Callback structures need their own cacheline */

  parent reply	other threads:[~2021-01-28  4:42 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 29+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2021-01-28  4:41 [PATCH 0/5] xfs: various log stuff Dave Chinner
2021-01-28  4:41 ` [PATCH 1/5] xfs: log stripe roundoff is a property of the log Dave Chinner
2021-01-28 14:57   ` Brian Foster
2021-01-28 20:59     ` Dave Chinner
2021-01-28 21:25   ` Darrick J. Wong
2021-01-28 22:00     ` Dave Chinner
2021-01-28  4:41 ` [PATCH 2/5] xfs: separate CIL commit record IO Dave Chinner
2021-01-28 15:07   ` Brian Foster
2021-01-28 21:22     ` Dave Chinner
     [not found]       ` <20210129145851.GB2660974@bfoster>
2021-01-29 22:25         ` Dave Chinner
2021-02-01 16:07           ` Brian Foster
2021-01-30  9:13   ` Chandan Babu R
2021-02-01 12:59   ` Christoph Hellwig
2021-01-28  4:41 ` Dave Chinner [this message]
2021-01-28 15:12   ` [PATCH 3/5] xfs: journal IO cache flush reductions Brian Foster
2021-01-28 21:46     ` Dave Chinner
2021-01-28 21:26   ` Dave Chinner
2021-01-30 12:56   ` Chandan Babu R
2021-01-28  4:41 ` [PATCH 4/5] xfs: Fix CIL throttle hang when CIL space used going backwards Dave Chinner
2021-01-28 16:53   ` Brian Foster
2021-02-02  5:52   ` Chandan Babu R
2021-02-17 11:33   ` Paul Menzel
2021-02-17 21:06   ` Donald Buczek
2021-01-28  4:41 ` [PATCH 5/5] xfs: reduce buffer log item shadow allocations Dave Chinner
2021-01-28 16:54   ` Brian Foster
2021-01-28 21:58     ` Dave Chinner
2021-02-02 12:01   ` Chandan Babu R
2021-02-01 12:39 ` [PATCH 0/5] xfs: various log stuff Christoph Hellwig
2021-02-03 21:20   ` Dave Chinner

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