[libvirt] PATCH: Disable QEMU drive caching

Daniel Veillard veillard at redhat.com
Thu Oct 9 13:14:28 UTC 2008

On Wed, Oct 08, 2008 at 10:51:16AM -0500, Anthony Liguori wrote:
> Daniel P. Berrange wrote:
>>  - It is unsafe on host OS crash - all unflushed guest I/O will be
>>    lost, and there's no ordering guarentees, so metadata updates could
>>    be flushe to disk, while the journal updates were not. Say goodbye
>>    to your filesystem.
> This has nothing to do with cache=off.  The IDE device defaults to  
> write-back caching.  As such, IDE makes no guarantee that when a data  
> write completes, it's actually completed on disk.  This only comes into  
> play when write-back is disabled.  I'm perfectly happy to accept a patch  
> that adds explicit sync's when write-back is disabled.
> For SCSI, an unordered queue is advertised.  Again, everything depends  
> on whether or not write-back caching is enabled or not.  Again,  
> perfectly happy to take patches here.
> More importantly, the most common journaled filesystem, ext3, does not  
> enable write barriers by default (even for journal updates).  This is  
> how it ship in Red Hat distros.  So there is no greater risk of  
> corrupting a journal in QEMU than there is on bare metal.

  Interesting discussion, I'm wondering about the non-local storage
effect though, if the Node is caching writes, how can we ensure a
coherent view on remote storage for example when migrating a domain ?
Maybe migration is easy to fix because qemu is aware and can issue a
sync, but as we start adding cloning APIs to libvirt, we could face the
issue if issuing an LVM snapshot operation on the guest storage while
the Node still cache some of the data. The more layers of caching the
harder it is to have a predictable behaviour, no ?


Daniel Veillard      | libxml Gnome XML XSLT toolkit  http://xmlsoft.org/
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http://veillard.com/ | virtualization library  http://libvirt.org/

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