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From: waxhead <>
To: Zygo Blaxell <>
Cc: Btrfs BTRFS <>
Subject: Re: Switching from spacecache v1 to v2
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2020 18:03:38 +0100	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

Zygo Blaxell wrote:
> On Sat, Oct 31, 2020 at 01:27:57AM +0100, waxhead wrote:
>> A couple of months ago I asked on IRC how to properly switch from version 1
>> to version 2 of the space cache. I also asked if the space cache v2 was
>> considered stable.
>> I only remember what we talked about, and from what I understood it was not
>> as easy to switch as the wiki may seem to indicate.
>> We run a box with a btrfs filesystem at 19TB, 9 disks, 11 subvolumes that
>> contains about 6.5 million files (and this number is growing).
>> The filesystem has always been mounted with just the default options.
>> Performance is slow, and it improved when I moved the bulk of the files to
>> various subvolumes for some reason. The wiki states that performance on very
>> large filesystems (what is considered large?) may degrade drastically.
> The important number for space_cache=v1 performance is the number of block
> groups in which some space was allocated or deallocated per transaction
> (i.e. the number of block groups that have to be updated on disk),
> divided by the speed of the drives (i.e. the number of seeks they can
> perform per second).
> "Large" could be 100GB if it was on a slow disk with a highly fragmented
> workload and low latency requirement.
> A 19TB filesystem has up to 19000 block groups and a spinning disk can do
> maybe 150 seeks per second, so a worst-case commit could take a couple of
> minutes.  Delete a few old snapshots, and you'll add enough fragmentation
> to touch a significant portion of the block groups, and thus see a lot
> of additional latency.
>> I would like to try v2 of the space cache to see if that improves speed a
>> bit.
>> So is space cache v2 safe to use?!
> AFAIK it has been 663 days since the last bug fix specific to free space
> tree (a6d8654d885d "Btrfs: fix deadlock when using free space tree due
> to block group creation" from 5.0).  That fix was backported to earlier
> LTS kernels.
> We switched to space_cache=v2 for all new filesystems back in 2016, and
> upgraded our last legacy machine still running space_cache=v1 in 2019.
> I have never considered going back to v1:  we have no machines running
> v1, I don't run regression tests on new kernels with v1, and I've never
> seen a filesystem fail in the field due to v2 (even with the bugs we
> now know it had).
> IMHO the real question is "is v1 safe to use", given that its design is
> based on letting errors happen, then detecting and recovering from them
> after they occur (this is the mechanism behind the ubiquitous "failed to
> load free space cache for block group %llu, rebuilding it now" message).
> v2 prevents the errors from happening in the first place by using the
> same btrfs metadata update mechanisms that are used for everything else
> in the filesystem.
> The problems in v1 may be mostly theoretical.  I've never cared enough
> about v1 to try a practical experiment to see if btrfs recovers from
> these problems correctly (or not).  v2 doesn't have those problems even
> in theory, and it works, so I use v2 instead.
>> And
>> How do I make the switch properly?
> Unmount the filesystem, mount it once with -o clear_cache,space_cache=v2.
> It will take some time to create the tree.  After that, no mount option
> is needed.
> With current kernels it is not possible to upgrade while the filesystem is
> online, i.e. to upgrade "/" you have to set rootflags in the bootloader
> or boot from external media.  That and the long mount time to do the
> conversion (which offends systemd's default mount timeout parameters)
> are the two major gotchas.
> There are some patches for future kernels that will take care of details
> like deleting the v1 space cache inodes and other inert parts of the
> space_cache=v1 infrastructure.  I would not bother with these
> now, and instead let future kernels clean up automatically.

Well I did exactly as you said. I mounted the filesystem from a live CD 
with -o clear_cache,space_cache=v2 and rebooted back into the system 
(yes, the rootfs is btrfs).

Everything I am about to say is of course subjective, but the system is 
significantly more snappy now - quite a lot too. So unless the live cd 
with kernel 5.9 tuned something magnificent that has a nice effect on 
5.8 as well the change to V2 space cache was significant on our box.

So if I may summarize... COW-ABUNGA! WOW!
Not sure why it had such a profound impact on performance, but perhaps 
V2 should be the default?!

      parent reply	other threads:[~2020-11-02 17:03 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 5+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2020-10-31  0:27 waxhead
2020-11-01 17:49 ` Zygo Blaxell
2020-11-02  5:48   ` A L
2020-11-02 14:40     ` Zygo Blaxell
2020-11-02 17:03   ` waxhead [this message]

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