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Re: [Libguestfs] [RFC nbdkit PATCH] multi-conn: New filter

On 2/24/21 11:33 AM, Eric Blake wrote:
> Implement a TODO item of emulating multi-connection consistency via
> multiple plugin flush calls to allow a client to assume that a flush
> on a single connection is good enough.  This also gives us some
> fine-tuning over whether to advertise the bit, including some setups
> that are unsafe but may be useful in timing tests.
> Testing is interesting: I used the sh plugin to implement a server
> that intentionally keeps a per-connection cache.
> Note that this filter assumes that multiple connections will still
> share the same data (other than caching effects); effects are not
> guaranteed when trying to mix it with more exotic plugins like info
> that violate that premise.
> ---

> +static int
> +multi_conn_flush (struct nbdkit_next_ops *next_ops, void *nxdata,
> +                  void *handle, uint32_t flags, int *err)
> +{
> +  struct handle *h = handle, *h2;
> +  size_t i;
> +
> +  if (h->mode == EMULATE) {
> +    /* Optimize for the common case of a single connection: flush all
> +     * writes on other connections, then flush both read and write on
> +     * the current connection, then finally flush all other
> +     * connections to avoid reads seeing stale data, skipping the
> +     * flushes that make no difference according to dirty tracking.
> +     */
> +    bool updated = h->dirty & WRITE;
> +
> +    for (i = 0; i < conns.size; i++) {
> +      h2 = conns.ptr[i];
> +      if (h == h2)
> +        continue;
> +      if (dirty || h2->dirty & WRITE) {
> +        if (h2->next_ops->flush (h2->nxdata, flags, err) == -1)

Bummer.  This isn't working quite like I hoped, because backend_flush()
(which is what next_ops->flush is pointing to) starts out with GET_CONN,
which picks up the context of the current connection, not the other
connection that I tried to save in my list.  I may end up needing to
undo some of the refactoring we did in 91023f269d.  But then again, we
want to be able to eventually let filters open up a single background
connection into the plugin regardless of how many frontend connections a
client makes into the filter, so solving the problem for multi-conn will
get us one step closer to solving it for background threading.

Eric Blake, Principal Software Engineer
Red Hat, Inc.           +1-919-301-3226
Virtualization:  qemu.org | libvirt.org

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