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SubjectRe: [PATCH v6 0/2] Block layer support ZAC/ZBC commands


> On Aug 14, 2016, at 09:09, Shaun Tancheff <> wrote:
>> No, surely not.
>> But one of the _big_ advantages for the RB tree is blkdev_discard().
>> Without the RB tree any mkfs program will issue a 'discard' for every
>> sector. We will be able to coalesce those into one discard per zone, but
>> we still need to issue one for _every_ zone.
> How can you make coalesce work transparently in the
> sd layer _without_ keeping some sort of a discard cache along
> with the zone cache?
> Currently the block layer's blkdev_issue_discard() is breaking
> large discard's into nice granular and aligned chunks but it is
> not preventing small discards nor coalescing them.
> In the sd layer would there be way to persist or purge an
> overly large discard cache? What about honoring
> discard_zeroes_data? Once the discard is completed with
> discard_zeroes_data you have to return zeroes whenever
> a discarded sector is read. Isn't that a log more than just
> tracking a write pointer? Couldn't a zone have dozens of holes?

My understanding of the standards regarding discard is that it is not
mandatory and that it is a hint to the drive. The drive can completely
ignore it if it thinks that is a better choice. I may be wrong on this
though. Need to check again.
For reset write pointer, the mapping to discard requires that the calls
to blkdev_issue_discard be zone aligned for anything to happen. Specify
less than a zone and nothing will be done. This I think preserve the
discard semantic.

As for the “discard_zeroes_data” thing, I also think that is a drive
feature not mandatory. Drives may have it or not, which is consistent
with the ZBC/ZAC standards regarding reading after write pointer (nothing
says that zeros have to be returned). In any case, discard of CMR zones
will be a nop, so for SMR drives, discard_zeroes_data=0 may be a better

>> Which is (as indicated) really slow, and easily takes several minutes.
>> With the RB tree we can short-circuit discards to empty zones, and speed
>> up processing time dramatically.
>> Sure we could be moving the logic into mkfs and friends, but that would
>> require us to change the programs and agree on a library (libzbc?) which
>> should be handling that.
> F2FS's mkfs.f2fs is already reading the zone topology via SG_IO ...
> so I'm not sure your argument is valid here.

This initial SMR support patch is just that: a first try. Jaegeuk
used SG_IO (in fact copy-paste of parts of libzbc) because the current
ZBC patch-set has no ioctl API for zone information manipulation. We
will fix this mkfs.f2fs once we agree on an ioctl interface.

> [..]
>>>> 3) Try to condense the blkzone data structure to save memory:
>>>> I think that we can at the very least remove the zone length, and also
>>>> may be the per zone spinlock too (a single spinlock and proper state flags can
>>>> be used).
>>> I have a variant that is an array of descriptors that roughly mimics the
>>> api from blk-zoned.c that I did a few months ago as an example.
>>> I should be able to update that to the current kernel + patches.
>> Okay. If we restrict the in-kernel SMR drive handling to devices with
>> identical zone sizes of course we can remove the zone length.
>> And we can do away with the per-zone spinlock and use a global one instead.
> I don't think dropping the zone length is a reasonable thing to do.
> What I propose is an array of _descriptors_ it doesn't drop _any_
> of the zone information that you are holding in an RB tree, it is
> just a condensed format that _mostly_ plugs into your existing
> API.

I do not agree. The Seagate drive already has one zone (the last one)
that is not the same length as the other zones. Sure, since it is the
last one, we can had “if (last zone)” all over the place and make it
work. But that is really ugly. Keeping the length field makes the code
generic and following the standard, which has no restriction on the
zone sizes. We could do some memory optimisation using different types
of blk_zone sturcts, the types mapping to the SAME value: drives with
constant zone size can use a blk_zone type without the length field,
others use a different type that include the field. Accessor functions
can hide the different types in the zone manipulation code.

Best regards.

Damien Le Moal, Ph.D.
Sr. Manager, System Software Group, HGST Research,
HGST, a Western Digital brand
(+81) 0466-98-3593 (ext. 513593)
1 kirihara-cho, Fujisawa,
Kanagawa, 252-0888 Japan

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