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From: General Zed <>
To: "Austin S. Hemmelgarn" <>
Subject: Re: Feature requests: online backup - defrag - change RAID level
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2019 15:40:46 -0400
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

Quoting "Austin S. Hemmelgarn" <>:

> On 2019-09-13 12:54, General Zed wrote:
>> Quoting "Austin S. Hemmelgarn" <>:
>>> On 2019-09-12 18:21, General Zed wrote:
>>>> Quoting "Austin S. Hemmelgarn" <>:
>>>>> On 2019-09-12 15:18, wrote:
>>>>>> Quoting "Austin S. Hemmelgarn" <>:
>>>>>>> On 2019-09-11 17:37, wrote:
>>>>>>>> Quoting "Austin S. Hemmelgarn" <>:
>>>>>>>>> On 2019-09-11 13:20, wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> Quoting "Austin S. Hemmelgarn" <>:
>>>>>>>>>>> On 2019-09-10 19:32, wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>> Quoting "Austin S. Hemmelgarn" <>:
>>>>>>>>>>> Given this, defrag isn't willfully unsharing anything,  
>>>>>>>>>>> it's just a side-effect of how it works (since it's  
>>>>>>>>>>> rewriting the block layout of the file in-place).
>>>>>>>>>> The current defrag has to unshare because, as you said,  
>>>>>>>>>> because it is unaware of the full reflink structure. If it  
>>>>>>>>>> doesn't know about all reflinks, it has to unshare, there  
>>>>>>>>>> is no way around that.
>>>>>>>>>>> Now factor in that _any_ write will result in unsharing  
>>>>>>>>>>> the region being written to, rounded to the nearest full  
>>>>>>>>>>> filesystem block in both directions (this is mandatory,  
>>>>>>>>>>> it's a side effect of the copy-on-write nature of BTRFS,  
>>>>>>>>>>> and is why files that experience heavy internal rewrites  
>>>>>>>>>>> get fragmented very heavily and very quickly on BTRFS).
>>>>>>>>>> You mean: when defrag performs a write, the new data is  
>>>>>>>>>> unshared because every write is unshared? Really?
>>>>>>>>>> Consider there is an extent E55 shared by two files A and  
>>>>>>>>>> B. The defrag has to move E55 to another location. In order  
>>>>>>>>>> to do that, defrag creates a new extent E70. It makes it  
>>>>>>>>>> belong to file A by changing the reflink of extent E55 in  
>>>>>>>>>> file A to point to E70.
>>>>>>>>>> Now, to retain the original sharing structure, the defrag  
>>>>>>>>>> has to change the reflink of extent E55 in file B to point  
>>>>>>>>>> to E70. You are telling me this is not possible? Bullshit!
>>>>>>>>>> Please explain to me how this 'defrag has to unshare' story  
>>>>>>>>>> of yours isn't an intentional attempt to mislead me.
>>>>>>>>> As mentioned in the previous email, we actually did have a  
>>>>>>>>> (mostly) working reflink-aware defrag a few years back.  It  
>>>>>>>>> got removed because it had serious performance issues.  Note  
>>>>>>>>> that we're not talking a few seconds of extra time to defrag  
>>>>>>>>> a full tree here, we're talking double-digit _minutes_ of  
>>>>>>>>> extra time to defrag a moderate sized (low triple digit GB)  
>>>>>>>>> subvolume with dozens of snapshots, _if you were lucky_ (if  
>>>>>>>>> you weren't, you would be looking at potentially multiple  
>>>>>>>>> _hours_ of runtime for the defrag).  The performance scaled  
>>>>>>>>> inversely proportionate to the number of reflinks involved  
>>>>>>>>> and the total amount of data in the subvolume being  
>>>>>>>>> defragmented, and was pretty bad even in the case of only a  
>>>>>>>>> couple of snapshots.
>>>>>>>> You cannot ever make the worst program, because an even worse  
>>>>>>>> program can be made by slowing down the original by a factor  
>>>>>>>> of 2.
>>>>>>>> So, you had a badly implemented defrag. At least you got some  
>>>>>>>> experience. Let's see what went wrong.
>>>>>>>>> Ultimately, there are a couple of issues at play here:
>>>>>>>>> * Online defrag has to maintain consistency during  
>>>>>>>>> operation.  The current implementation does this by  
>>>>>>>>> rewriting the regions being defragmented (which causes them  
>>>>>>>>> to become a single new extent (most of the time)), which  
>>>>>>>>> avoids a whole lot of otherwise complicated logic required  
>>>>>>>>> to make sure things happen correctly, and also means that  
>>>>>>>>> only the file being operated on is impacted and only the  
>>>>>>>>> parts being modified need to be protected against concurrent  
>>>>>>>>> writes.  Properly handling reflinks means that _every_ file  
>>>>>>>>> that shares some part of an extent with the file being  
>>>>>>>>> operated on needs to have the reflinked regions locked for  
>>>>>>>>> the defrag operation, which has a huge impact on  
>>>>>>>>> performance. Using your example, the update to E55 in both  
>>>>>>>>> files A and B has to happen as part of the same commit,  
>>>>>>>>> which can contain no other writes in that region of the  
>>>>>>>>> file, otherwise you run the risk of losing writes to file B  
>>>>>>>>> that occur while file A is being defragmented.
>>>>>>>> Nah. I think there is a workaround. You can first  
>>>>>>>> (atomically) update A, then whatever, then you can update B  
>>>>>>>> later. I know, your yelling "what if E55 gets updated in B".  
>>>>>>>> Doesn't matter. The defrag continues later by searching for  
>>>>>>>> reflink to E55 in B. Then it checks the data contained in  
>>>>>>>> E55. If the data matches the E70, then it can safely update  
>>>>>>>> the reflink in B. Or the defrag can just verify that neither  
>>>>>>>> E55 nor E70 have been written to in the meantime. That means  
>>>>>>>> they still have the same data.
>>>>>>> So, IOW, you don't care if the total space used by the data is  
>>>>>>> instantaneously larger than what you started with?  That seems  
>>>>>>> to be at odds with your previous statements, but OK, if we  
>>>>>>> allow for that then this is indeed a non-issue.
>>>>>> It is normal and common for defrag operation to use some disk  
>>>>>> space while it is running. I estimate that a reasonable limit  
>>>>>> would be to use up to 1% of total partition size. So, if a  
>>>>>> partition size is 100 GB, the defrag can use 1 GB. Lets call  
>>>>>> this "defrag operation space".
>>>>>> The defrag should, when started, verify that there is  
>>>>>> "sufficient free space" on the partition. In the case that  
>>>>>> there is no sufficient free space, the defrag should output the  
>>>>>> message to the user and abort. The size of "sufficient free  
>>>>>> space" must be larger than the "defrag operation space". I  
>>>>>> would estimate that a good limit would be 2% of the partition  
>>>>>> size. "defrag operation space" is a part of "sufficient free  
>>>>>> space" while defrag operation is in progress.
>>>>>> If, during defrag operation, sufficient free space drops below  
>>>>>> 2%, the defrag should output a message and abort. Another  
>>>>>> possibility is for defrag to pause until the user frees some  
>>>>>> disk space, but this is not common in other defrag  
>>>>>> implementations AFAIK.
>>>>>>>>> It's not horrible when it's just a small region in two  
>>>>>>>>> files, but it becomes a big issue when dealing with lots of  
>>>>>>>>> files and/or particularly large extents (extents in BTRFS  
>>>>>>>>> can get into the GB range in terms of size when dealing with  
>>>>>>>>> really big files).
>>>>>>>> You must just split large extents in a smart way. So, in the  
>>>>>>>> beginning, the defrag can split large extents (2GB) into  
>>>>>>>> smaller ones (32MB) to facilitate more responsive and easier  
>>>>>>>> defrag.
>>>>>>>> If you have lots of files, update them one-by one. It is  
>>>>>>>> possible. Or you can update in big batches. Whatever is faster.
>>>>>>> Neither will solve this though.  Large numbers of files are an  
>>>>>>> issue because the operation is expensive and has to be done on  
>>>>>>> each file, not because the number of files somehow makes the  
>>>>>>> operation more espensive. It's O(n) relative to files, not  
>>>>>>> higher time complexity.
>>>>>> I would say that updating in big batches helps a lot, to the  
>>>>>> point that it gets almost as fast as defragging any other file  
>>>>>> system. What defrag needs to do is to write a big bunch of  
>>>>>> defragged file (data) extents to the disk, and then update the  
>>>>>> b-trees. What happens is that many of the updates to the  
>>>>>> b-trees would fall into the same disk sector/extent, so instead  
>>>>>> of many writes there will be just one write.
>>>>>> Here is the general outline for implementation:
>>>>>>     - write a big bunch of defragged file extents to disk
>>>>>>         - a minimal set of updates of the b-trees that cannot  
>>>>>> be delayed is performed (this is nothing or almost nothing in  
>>>>>> most circumstances)
>>>>>>         - put the rest of required updates of b-trees into  
>>>>>> "pending operations buffer"
>>>>>>     - analyze the "pending operations buffer", and find out  
>>>>>> (approximately) the biggest part of it that can be flushed out  
>>>>>> by doing minimal number of disk writes
>>>>>>         - flush out that part of "pending operations buffer"
>>>>>>     - repeat
>>>>> It helps, but you still can't get around having to recompute the  
>>>>> new tree state, and that is going to take time proportionate to  
>>>>> the number of nodes that need to change, which in turn is  
>>>>> proportionate to the number of files.
>>>> Yes, but that is just a computation. The defrag performance  
>>>> mostly depends on minimizing disk I/O operations, not on  
>>>> computations.
>>> You're assuming the defrag is being done on a system that's  
>>> otherwise perfectly idle.  In the real world, that rarely, if  
>>> ever, will be the case,  The system may be doing other things at  
>>> the same time, and the more computation the defrag operation has  
>>> to do, the more likely it is to negatively impact those other  
>>> things.
>> No, I'm not assuming that the system is perfectly idle. I'm  
>> assuming that the required computations don't take much CPU time,  
>> like it is common in a well implemented defrag.
> Which also usually doesn't have to do anywhere near as much  
> computation as is needed here.
>>>> In the past many good and fast defrag computation algorithms have  
>>>> been produced, and I don't see any reason why this project  
>>>> wouldn't be also able to create such a good algorithm.
>>> Because it's not just the new extent locations you have to  
>>> compute, you also need to compute the resultant metadata tree  
>>> state, and the resultant extent tree state, and after all of that  
>>> the resultant checksum tree state.  Yeah, figuring out optimal  
>>> block layouts is solved, but you can't get around the overhead of  
>>> recomputing the new tree state and all the block checksums for it.
>>> The current defrag has to deal with this too, but it doesn't need  
>>> to do as much computation because it's not worried about  
>>> preserving reflinks (and therefore defragmenting a single file  
>>> won't require updates to any other files).
>> Yes, the defrag algorithm needs to compute the new tree state.  
>> However, it shouldn't be slow at all. All operations on b-trees can  
>> be done in at most N*logN time, which is sufficiently fast. There  
>> is no operation there that I can think of that takes N*N or N*M  
>> time. So, it should all take little CPU time. Essentially a  
>> non-issue.
>> The ONLY concern that causes N*M time is the presence of sharing.  
>> But, even this is unfair, as the computation time will still be  
>> N*logN with regards to the total number of reflinks. That is still  
>> fast, even for 100 GB metadata with a billion reflinks.
>> I don't understand why do you think that recomputing the new tree  
>> state must be slow. Even if there are a 100 new tree states that  
>> need to be recomputed, there is still no problem. Each metadata  
>> update will change only a small portion of b-trees, so the  
>> complexity and size of b-trees should not seriously affect the  
>> computation time.

> Well, let's start with the checksum computations which then need to  
> happen for each block that would be written, which can't be faster  
> than O(n).
> Yes, the structural overhead of the b-trees isn't bad by itself, but  
> you have multiple trees that need to be updated in sequence (that  
> is, you have to update one, then update the next based on that one,  
> then update another based on both of the previous two, etc) and a  
> number

Bullshit. You are making it look as if this all cannot be calculated  
in advance. It can be, and then just a single (bigger, line 128 MB)  
metadata update is required. But this is stil a small part of all  

The only thing that needs to be performed in a separate operation is  
that final update of super, to commit the updates.

> of other bits of data involved that need to be updated as part of  
> the b-tree update which have worse time complexity than computing  
> the structural changes to the b-trees.

As I said, bullshit.

>>>>>>>> The point is that the defrag can keep a buffer of a "pending  
>>>>>>>> operations". Pending operations are those that should be  
>>>>>>>> performed in order to keep the original sharing structure. If  
>>>>>>>> the defrag gets interrupted, then files in "pending  
>>>>>>>> operations" will be unshared. But this should really be some  
>>>>>>>> important and urgent interrupt, as the "pending operations"  
>>>>>>>> buffer needs at most a second or two to complete its  
>>>>>>>> operations.
>>>>>>> Depending on the exact situation, it can take well more than a  
>>>>>>> few seconds to complete stuff. Especially if there are lots of  
>>>>>>> reflinks.
>>>>>> Nope. You are quite wrong there.
>>>>>> In the worst case, the "pending operations buffer" will update  
>>>>>> (write to disk) all the b-trees. So, the upper limit on time to  
>>>>>> flush the "pending operations buffer" equals the time to write  
>>>>>> the entire b-tree structure to the disk (into new extents). I  
>>>>>> estimate that takes at most a few seconds.
>>>>> So what you're talking about is journaling the computed state of  
>>>>> defrag operations.  That shouldn't be too bad (as long as it's  
>>>>> done in memory instead of on-disk) if you batch the computations  
>>>>> properly.  I thought you meant having a buffer of what  
>>>>> operations to do, and then computing them on-the-fly (which  
>>>>> would have significant overhead)
>>>> Looks close to what I was thinking. Soon we might be able to  
>>>> communicate. I'm not sure what you mean by "journaling the  
>>>> computed state of defrag operations". Maybe it doesn't matter.
>>> Essentially, doing a write-ahead log of pending operations.   
>>> Journaling is just the common term for such things when dealing  
>>> with Linux filesystems because of ext* and XFS.  Based on what you  
>>> say below, it sounds like we're on the same page here other than  
>>> the terminology.
>>>> What happens is that file (extent) data is first written to disk  
>>>> (defragmented), but b-tree is not immediately updated. It doesn't  
>>>> have to be. Even if there is a power loss, nothing happens.
>>>> So, the changes that should be done to the b-trees are put into  
>>>> pending-operations-buffer. When a lot of file (extent) data is  
>>>> written to disk, such that defrag-operation-space (1 GB) is close  
>>>> to being exhausted, the pending-operations-buffer is examined in  
>>>> order to attempt to free as much of defrag-operation-space as  
>>>> possible. The simplest algorithm is to flush the entire  
>>>> pending-operations-buffer at once. This reduces the number of  
>>>> writes that update the b-trees because many changes to the  
>>>> b-trees fall into the same or neighbouring disk sectors.
>>>>>>>>> * Reflinks can reference partial extents.  This means,  
>>>>>>>>> ultimately, that you may end up having to split extents in  
>>>>>>>>> odd ways during defrag if you want to preserve reflinks, and  
>>>>>>>>> might have to split extents _elsewhere_ that are only  
>>>>>>>>> tangentially related to the region being defragmented. See  
>>>>>>>>> the example in my previous email for a case like this,  
>>>>>>>>> maintaining the shared regions as being shared when you  
>>>>>>>>> defragment either file to a single extent will require  
>>>>>>>>> splitting extents in the other file (in either case,  
>>>>>>>>> whichever file you don't defragment to a single extent will  
>>>>>>>>> end up having 7 extents if you try to force the one that's  
>>>>>>>>> been defragmented to be the canonical version).  Once you  
>>>>>>>>> consider that a given extent can have multiple ranges  
>>>>>>>>> reflinked from multiple other locations, it gets even more  
>>>>>>>>> complicated.
>>>>>>>> I think that this problem can be solved, and that it can be  
>>>>>>>> solved perfectly (the result is a perfectly-defragmented  
>>>>>>>> file). But, if it is so hard to do, just skip those  
>>>>>>>> problematic extents in initial version of defrag.
>>>>>>>> Ultimately, in the super-duper defrag, those  
>>>>>>>> partially-referenced extents should be split up by defrag.
>>>>>>>>> * If you choose to just not handle the above point by not  
>>>>>>>>> letting defrag split extents, you put a hard lower limit on  
>>>>>>>>> the amount of fragmentation present in a file if you want to  
>>>>>>>>> preserve reflinks.  IOW, you can't defragment files past a  
>>>>>>>>> certain point.  If we go this way, neither of the two files  
>>>>>>>>> in the example from my previous email could be defragmented  
>>>>>>>>> any further than they already are, because doing so would  
>>>>>>>>> require splitting extents.
>>>>>>>> Oh, you're reading my thoughts. That's good.
>>>>>>>> Initial implementation of defrag might be not-so-perfect. It  
>>>>>>>> would still be better than the current defrag.
>>>>>>>> This is not a one-way street. Handling of partially-used  
>>>>>>>> extents can be improved in later versions.
>>>>>>>>> * Determining all the reflinks to a given region of a given  
>>>>>>>>> extent is not a cheap operation, and the information may  
>>>>>>>>> immediately be stale (because an operation right after you  
>>>>>>>>> fetch the info might change things).  We could work around  
>>>>>>>>> this by locking the extent somehow, but doing so would be  
>>>>>>>>> expensive because you would have to hold the lock for the  
>>>>>>>>> entire defrag operation.
>>>>>>>> Instead, you have to create a hook in every function that  
>>>>>>>> updates the reflink structure or extents (for exaple,  
>>>>>>>> write-to-file operation). So, when a reflink gets changed,  
>>>>>>>> the defrag is immediately notified about this. That way the  
>>>>>>>> defrag can keep its data about reflinks in-sync with the  
>>>>>>>> filesystem.
>>>>>>> This doesn't get around the fact that it's still an expensive  
>>>>>>> operation to enumerate all the reflinks for a given region of  
>>>>>>> a file or extent.
>>>>>> No, you are wrong.
>>>>>> In order to enumerate all the reflinks in a region, the defrag  
>>>>>> needs to have another array, which is also kept in memory and  
>>>>>> in sync with the filesystem. It is the easiest to divide the  
>>>>>> disk into regions of equal size, where each region is a few MB  
>>>>>> large. Lets call this array "regions-to-extents" array. This  
>>>>>> array doesn't need to be associative, it is a plain array.
>>>>>> This in-memory array links regions of disk to extents that are  
>>>>>> in the region. The array in initialized when defrag starts.
>>>>>> This array makes the operation of finding all extents of a  
>>>>>> region extremely fast.
>>>>> That has two issues:
>>>>> * That's going to be a _lot_ of memory.  You still need to be  
>>>>> able to defragment big (dozens plus TB) arrays without needing  
>>>>> multiple GB of RAM just for the defrag operation, otherwise it's  
>>>>> not realistically useful (remember, it was big arrays that had  
>>>>> issues with the old reflink-aware defrag too).
>>>> Ok, but let's get some calculations there. If regions are 4 MB in  
>>>> size, the region-extents array for an 8 TB partition would have 2  
>>>> million entries. If entries average 64 bytes, that would be:
>>>>  - a total of 128 MB memory for an 8 TB partition.
>>>> Of course, I'm guessing a lot of numbers there, but it should be doable.
>>> Even if we assume such an optimistic estimation as you provide (I  
>>> suspect it will require more than 64 bytes per-entry), that's a  
>>> lot of RAM when you look at what it's potentially displacing.   
>>> That's enough RAM for receive and transmit buffers for a few  
>>> hundred thousand network connections, or for caching multiple  
>>> hundreds of thousands of dentries, or a few hundred thousand  
>>> inodes.  Hell, that's enough RAM to run all the standard network  
>>> services for a small network (DHCP, DNS, NTP, TFTP, mDNS relay,  
>>> UPnP/NAT-PMP, SNMP, IGMP proxy, VPN of your choice) at least twice  
>>> over.
>> That depends on the average size of an extent. If the average size  
>> of an extent is around 4 MB, than my numbers should be good. Do you  
>> have any data which would suggest that my estimate is wrong? What's  
>> the average size of an extent on your filesystems (used space  
>> divided by number of extents)?
> Depends on what filesystem.
> Worst case I have (which I monitor regularly, so I actually have  
> good aggregate data on the actual distribution of extent sizes) is  
> used for backed storage for virtual machine disk images.  The  
> arithmetic mean extent size is just barely over 32k, but the median  
> is actually closer to 48k, with the 10th percentile at 4k and the  
> 90th percentile at just over 2M.  From what I can tell, this is a  
> pretty typical distribution for this type of usage (high frequency  
> small writes internal to existing files) on BTRFS.

Ok, this is fair. If you have such a system, you might need more RAM  
in order to defrag. The amount of RAM required (for regions-to-extents  
array) depends on total number of extents, since all entent IDs have  
to be placed in memory. You'll probably need less than 32 bytes per  

So, in order for regions-to-extents array to occupy 1 GB memory, you  
would need at least 32 million extents. Since a minimum size for an  
extent is 4K, that means a minimum of 128 GB disk partition and the  
worst-fragmentation-case possible.

So in reality, unlikely.

If you really have such strange systems, in ordfer to defragment you  
just need to buy more RAM. But, almost noone will experience a case  
like this one you are describing.

> Typical usage on most of my systems when dealing with data sets that  
> include reflinks shows a theoretical average extent size of about  
> 1M, though I suspect the 50th percentile to be a little bit higher  
> than that (I don't regularly check any of those, but the times I  
> have the 50th percentile has been just a bit than the arithmetic  
> mean, which makes sense given that I have a lot more small files  
> than large ones).

Great data. In that case you would have 1 million extents per 1 TB of  
disk space used. Taking the max 32 bytes per extent value, this  
"typical usage scenario" that you describe requires less than 32 MB  
for regions-to-extents array per 1 TB of disk space used.

In a previous post I said 128 MB or less per typical disk partition.  
That 128 MB value would indicate 4 TB of disk space used. Obiously, I  
wasn't thinking of typical desktops.

> It might be normal on some systems to have larger extents than this,  
> but I somewhat doubt that that will be the case for many potential  
> users.

I think I managed to cover 99.9% of the users with the 32 MB RAM value  
per 1 TB disk space used.

>> This "regions-to-extents" array can be further optimized if necessary.
>> You are not thinking correctly there (misplaced priorities). If the  
>> system needs to be defragmented, that's the priority. You can't do  
>> comparisons like that, that's unfair debating.
>> The defrag that I'm proposing should be able to run within common  
>> memory limits of today's computer systems. So, it will likely take  
>> somewhat less than 700 MB of RAM in most common situations,  
>> including the small servers. They all have 700 MB RAM.
>> 700 MB is a lot for a defrag, but there is no way around it. Btrfs  
>> is simply a filesystem with such complexity that a good defrag  
>> requires a lot of RAM to operate.
>> If, for some reason, you would like to cover a use-case with  
>> constrained RAM conditions, then that is an entirely different  
>> concern for a different project. You can't make a project like this  
>> to cover ALL the possible circumstances. Some cases have to be left  
>> out. Here we are talking about a defrag that is usable in a general  
>> and common set of circumstances.

> Memory constrained systems come up as a point of discussion pretty  
> regularly when dealing with BTRFS, so they're obviously something  
> users actually care about.  You have to keep in mind that it's not  
> unusual in a consumer NAS system to have less than 4GB of RAM, but  
> have arrays well into double digit terabytes in size.  Even 128MB of  
> RAM needing to be used for defrag is trashing _a lot_ of cache on  
> such a system.

On a typical NAS, if we take at most 50 TB disk size, and 1 MB average  
extent size,
that would end up as 1.6 GB RAM required for regions-to-extents array.  
So, well within limits.

Also, on a 50 GB NAS, you will have a much bigger average extent size  
than 1 MB.

Also, the user of such NAS should had split it up into multiple  
partitions if he wants to have
many small files and little RAM and defrag working. So, just don't  
make entire 50 GB NAS one huge partition on 2 GB RAM machine and you  
are OK. Or don't use defrag. Or, don't use btrfs, use the ext4 and its  

>> Please, don't drop special circumstances argument on me. That's not fair.

Yeah, you constantly keeping inventing those strange little cases  
which are actually all easily solvable if you just gave it a little  
thought. But NO, you have to write them here because you have a NEED  
to prove that my defrag idea can't work.

So that you can excuse yourself and the previous defrag project that  
failed. Yes, make it LOOK LIKE it can't be done any better than what  
you already have, in order to prove that nothing needs to change.

>>>>> * You still have to populate the array in the first place.  A  
>>>>> sane implementation wouldn't be keeping it in memory even when  
>>>>> defrag is not running (no way is anybody going to tolerate even  
>>>>> dozens of MB of memory overhead for this), so you're not going  
>>>>> to get around the need to enumerate all the reflinks for a file  
>>>>> at least once (during startup, or when starting to process that  
>>>>> file), so you're just moving the overhead around instead of  
>>>>> eliminating it.
>>>> Yes, when the defrag starts, the entire b-tree structure is  
>>>> examined in order for region-extents array and extents-backref  
>>>> associative array to be populated.
>>> So your startup is going to take forever on any reasonably large  
>>> volume.  This isn't eliminating the overhead, it's just moving it  
>>> all to one place.  That might make it a bit more efficient than it  
>>> would be interspersed throughout the operation, but only because  
>>> it is reading all the relevant data at once.
>> No, the startup will not take forever.

> Forever is subjective.  Arrays with hundreds of GB of metadata are  
> not unusual, and that's dozens of minutes of just reading data right  
> at the beginning before even considering what to defragment.

If you want to perform a defrag, you need to read all metadata. There  
is no way around it. Every good defrag will ahve this same problem.

If you have such huge arrays, you should accept slower defrag initialization.

> I would encourage you to take a closer look at some of the  
> performance issues quota groups face when doing a rescan, as they  
> have to deal with this kind of reflink tracking too, and they take  
> quite a while on any reasonably sized volume.

NO. Irrelevant.

Who know's what is the implementation and constraints. Qgroups have to  
works with much stricter memory constraints than defrag (because  
qgroups processing is enabled ALL the time, and defrag is only  
operating sometimes).

>> The startup needs exactly 1 (one) pass through the entire metadata.  
>> It needs this to find all the backlinks and to populate the  
>> "regios-extents" array.  The time to do 1 pass through metadata  
>> depends on the metadata size on disk, as entire metadata has to be  
>> read out (one piece at a time, you won't keep it all in RAM). In  
>> most cases, the time-to read the metadata will be less than 1  
>> minute, on an SSD less than 20 seconds.
>> There is no way around it: to defrag, you eventually need to read  
>> all the b-trees, so nothing is lost there.
>> All computations in this defrag are simple. Finding all refliks in  
>> metadata is simple. It is a single pass metadata read-out.
>>>> Of course, those two arrays exist only during defrag operation.  
>>>> When defrag completes, those arrays are deallocated.
>>>>>>> It also allows a very real possibility of a user functionally  
>>>>>>> delaying the defrag operation indefinitely (by triggering a  
>>>>>>> continuous stream of operations that would cause reflink  
>>>>>>> changes for a file being operated on by defrag) if not  
>>>>>>> implemented very carefully.
>>>>>> Yes, if a user does something like that, the defrag can be  
>>>>>> paused or even aborted. That is normal.
>>>>> Not really.  Most defrag implementations either avoid files that  
>>>>> could reasonably be written to, or freeze writes to the file  
>>>>> they're operating on, or in some other way just sidestep the  
>>>>> issue without delaying the defragmentation process.
>>>>>> There are many ways around this problem, but it really doesn't  
>>>>>> matter, those are just details. The initial version of defrag  
>>>>>> can just abort. The more mature versions of defrag can have a  
>>>>>> better handling of this problem.
>>>>> Details like this are the deciding factor for whether something  
>>>>> is sanely usable in certain use cases, as you have yourself  
>>>>> found out (for a lot of users, the fact that defrag can unshare  
>>>>> extents is 'just a detail' that's not worth worrying about).
>>>> I wouldn't agree there.
>>>> Not every issue is equal. Some issues are more important, some  
>>>> are trivial, some are tolerable etc...
>>>> The defrag is usually allowed to abort. It can easily be  
>>>> restarted later. Workaround: You can make a defrag-supervisor  
>>>> program, which starts a defrag, and if defrag aborts then it is  
>>>> restarted after some (configurable) amount of time.
>>> The fact that the defrag can be functionally deferred indefinitely  
>>> by a user means that a user can, with a bit of effort, force  
>>> degraded performance for everyone using the system.  Aborting the  
>>> defrag doesn't solve that, and it's a significant issue for  
>>> anybody doing shared hosting.
>> This is a quality-of-implementation issue. Not worthy of  
>> consideration at this time. It can be solved.Then solve it and be  
>> done with it, don't just punt it down the road.

> You're the one trying to convince the developers to spend _their_  
> time implementing _your_ idea, so you need to provide enough detail  
> to solve issues that are brought up about your idea.

Yes, but I don't have to answer to ridiculous issues. It doesn't  
matter if you or anyone here is working pro bono, you still should try  
to post only relevant remarks.

Yes, I'm trying to convince developers here, and you are free to  
discard my idea if you like. I'm doing my best to help in the best way  
I can. I think everyone here can see that I am versed in programming,  
and very proficient in solving the high-level issues.

So, if you trully care about this project, you should at least  
consider the things that I'm saying here. But consider them seriously,  
don't throw it all out because of "100 TB home NAS with 1GB RAM" case  
which somehow suddenly becomes all-important, at the same time  
forgetting the millions of other users who are in a real need of a  
godd defrag for btrfs.

>> You can go and pick this kind of stuff all the time, with any  
>> system. I mean, because of the FACT that we have never proven that  
>> all security holes are eliminated, the computers shouldn't be  
>> powered on at all. Therefore, all computers should be shut down  
>> immediately and then there is absolutely no need to continue  
>> working on the btrfs. It is also impossible to produce the btrfs  
>> defrag, because all computers have to be shut down immediately.
>> Can we have a bit more fair discussion? Please?

> I would ask the same, I provided a concrete example of a  
> demonstrable security issue with your proposed implementation that's  
> trivial to verify without even going beyond the described behavior  
> of the implementation. You then dismissed at as a non-issue and  
> tried to explain why my legitimate security concern wasn't even  
> worth trying to think about using apagogical argument that's only  
> tangentially related to my statement.

I didn't dissmiss it as non-issue.  I said:
"This is a quality-of-implementation issue. Not worthy of  
consideration at this time. It can be solved."


It is not worthy of consideration because there are obvious, multiple  
ways to solve it, but there are many separate cases, and I don't want  
to continue this discussion by listing 10 cases and a solution for  
each one separately. Then to each one of my solutions you are going to  
give some reservations and so on, but IT ALL DOESN'T MATTER because it  
is immediately obvious that it can be eventually solved.

I can provide you with a concrete example of "spectre" security  
issues. Or the example of bad process isolation on Linux desktops.  
Should that make users stop using Linux desktops? NO, because the  
issue is eventually solvable and temporarily torelable with a few  
simple workarounds.

And, the same is valid for the issue that you hightlighted.

Yeah, I have a "LEGITIMATE" security concerns that I'm being followed  
by KGB and CIA, since "DEMONSTRABLY" most computers and electronic are  
insecure. Therefore, I should kill myself.

  reply index

Thread overview: 111+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2019-09-09  2:55 zedlryqc
2019-09-09  3:51 ` Qu Wenruo
2019-09-09 11:25   ` zedlryqc
2019-09-09 12:18     ` Qu Wenruo
2019-09-09 12:28       ` Qu Wenruo
2019-09-09 17:11         ` webmaster
2019-09-10 17:39           ` Andrei Borzenkov
2019-09-10 22:41             ` webmaster
2019-09-09 15:29       ` Graham Cobb
2019-09-09 17:24         ` Remi Gauvin
2019-09-09 19:26         ` webmaster
2019-09-10 19:22           ` Austin S. Hemmelgarn
2019-09-10 23:32             ` webmaster
2019-09-11 12:02               ` Austin S. Hemmelgarn
2019-09-11 16:26                 ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-11 17:20                 ` webmaster
2019-09-11 18:19                   ` Austin S. Hemmelgarn
2019-09-11 20:01                     ` webmaster
2019-09-11 21:42                       ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-13  1:33                         ` General Zed
2019-09-11 21:37                     ` webmaster
2019-09-12 11:31                       ` Austin S. Hemmelgarn
2019-09-12 19:18                         ` webmaster
2019-09-12 19:44                           ` Chris Murphy
2019-09-12 21:34                             ` General Zed
2019-09-12 22:28                               ` Chris Murphy
2019-09-12 22:57                                 ` General Zed
2019-09-12 23:54                                   ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-13  0:26                                     ` General Zed
2019-09-13  3:12                                       ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-13  5:05                                         ` General Zed
2019-09-14  0:56                                           ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-14  1:50                                             ` General Zed
2019-09-14  4:42                                               ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-14  4:53                                                 ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-15 17:54                                                 ` General Zed
2019-09-16 22:51                                                   ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-17  1:03                                                     ` General Zed
2019-09-17  1:34                                                       ` General Zed
2019-09-17  1:44                                                       ` Chris Murphy
2019-09-17  4:55                                                         ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-17  4:19                                                       ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-17  3:10                                                     ` General Zed
2019-09-17  4:05                                                       ` General Zed
2019-09-14  1:56                                             ` General Zed
2019-09-13  5:22                                         ` General Zed
2019-09-13  6:16                                         ` General Zed
2019-09-13  6:58                                         ` General Zed
2019-09-13  9:25                                           ` General Zed
2019-09-13 17:02                                             ` General Zed
2019-09-14  0:59                                             ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-14  1:28                                               ` General Zed
2019-09-14  4:28                                                 ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-15 18:05                                                   ` General Zed
2019-09-16 23:05                                                     ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-13  7:51                                         ` General Zed
2019-09-13 11:04                                     ` Austin S. Hemmelgarn
2019-09-13 20:43                                       ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-14  0:20                                         ` General Zed
2019-09-14 18:29                                       ` Chris Murphy
2019-09-14 23:39                                         ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-13 11:09                                   ` Austin S. Hemmelgarn
2019-09-13 17:20                                     ` General Zed
2019-09-13 18:20                                       ` General Zed
2019-09-12 19:54                           ` Austin S. Hemmelgarn
2019-09-12 22:21                             ` General Zed
2019-09-13 11:53                               ` Austin S. Hemmelgarn
2019-09-13 16:54                                 ` General Zed
2019-09-13 18:29                                   ` Austin S. Hemmelgarn
2019-09-13 19:40                                     ` General Zed [this message]
2019-09-14 15:10                                       ` Jukka Larja
2019-09-12 22:47                             ` General Zed
2019-09-11 21:37                   ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-11 23:21                     ` webmaster
2019-09-12  0:10                       ` Remi Gauvin
2019-09-12  3:05                         ` webmaster
2019-09-12  3:30                           ` Remi Gauvin
2019-09-12  3:33                             ` Remi Gauvin
2019-09-12  5:19                       ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-12 21:23                         ` General Zed
2019-09-14  4:12                           ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-16 11:42                             ` General Zed
2019-09-17  0:49                               ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-17  2:30                                 ` General Zed
2019-09-17  5:30                                   ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-17 10:07                                     ` General Zed
2019-09-17 23:40                                       ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-18  4:37                                         ` General Zed
2019-09-18 18:00                                           ` Zygo Blaxell
2019-09-10 23:58             ` webmaster
2019-09-09 23:24         ` Qu Wenruo
2019-09-09 23:25         ` webmaster
2019-09-09 16:38       ` webmaster
2019-09-09 23:44         ` Qu Wenruo
2019-09-10  0:00           ` Chris Murphy
2019-09-10  0:51             ` Qu Wenruo
2019-09-10  0:06           ` webmaster
2019-09-10  0:48             ` Qu Wenruo
2019-09-10  1:24               ` webmaster
2019-09-10  1:48                 ` Qu Wenruo
2019-09-10  3:32                   ` webmaster
2019-09-10 14:14                     ` Nikolay Borisov
2019-09-10 22:35                       ` webmaster
2019-09-11  6:40                         ` Nikolay Borisov
2019-09-10 22:48                     ` webmaster
2019-09-10 23:14                   ` webmaster
2019-09-11  0:26               ` webmaster
2019-09-11  0:36                 ` webmaster
2019-09-11  1:00                 ` webmaster
2019-09-10 11:12     ` Austin S. Hemmelgarn
2019-09-09  3:12 webmaster

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