[linux-lvm] dm-cache size is limited by 946GB

Mike Snitzer snitzer at redhat.com
Mon Jul 24 16:07:20 UTC 2017

On Sun, Jul 23 2017 at  9:48am -0400,
CoolCold <coolthecold at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello!
> We started to adopting new servers for image storages, and hit the
> strange problem - no caching happens for cache lv > 946GB (so 947GB
> and above do no work).
> Storage box looks like:
> 2x240GB SSD for system (sw raid 1, lvm on top)
> 20x1.8TB SATA HDD for data  (sw raid 10, md124 + lvm on top)
> 4x960GB SSD for dm-caching puprose (sw raid5, md125).
> Our naive approach was to create PV from md125 and make it all cache -
> around 2.6TB of cache for 16TB of "raw" data should be quite good.
> Cache created successfully, has seen the whole 2.6TB, but after
> copying ~ 3TB data from old box, we still got only misses for reads
> and writes in statistics and almost no activity in iostat for md125.
> When i say "almost no activity" it was having some write operations,
> but zeroes in KB -
> https://gist.github.com/CoolCold/f79bb706d4dd1c083a4f4ed0ebd850d5 -
> where dm-2 and dm-3 are cache data and cache meta volumes accordingly.
> We have "old" servers which are running a bit different setup in
> number of drives, they have 350-750GB of space for caching and it
> works well. We tried to reduce cache size for new box, it worked for
> 80GB, so bisected to 946GB.
> It doesn't look like any "magic" number (I though may be some problems
> around 2TB for signed/unsigned or so) and right now i'm out of ideas
> what the problem may be and need your advice.
> Kernel version we are using:
> 3.10.0-514.26.2.el7.x86_64

the 7.4 dm-cache will be much more performant than the 7.3 cache you
appear to be using.

As for you "no caching happens for cache lv > 946GB".  Cache shouldn't
have any concerns about the size.  It could be that your workload isn't
accessing the data enough to warrant promotion to the cache.  dm-cache
is a "hotspot" cache.  If you aren't accessing the data repeatedly then
you won't see much benefit (particularly with the 7.3 and earlier

Just to get a feel, you could try the latest upstream 4.12 kernel to see
how effective the 7.4 dm-cache will be for your setup.


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