[PVFS2-users] syncing in PVFS2

Dean Hildebrand dhildebz at eecs.umich.edu
Mon Oct 11 13:56:44 EDT 2004

On Mon, 11 Oct 2004 neillm at mcs.anl.gov wrote:

> On Mon, Oct 11, 2004 at 12:06:36PM -0400, Dean Hildebrand wrote:
> > Thanks Neill.  NFS does a fsync so things should work the same.  O_DIRECT
> > is an open option, but I'm not using it.
> Right, but is it implied on the server with the 'sync' mode option
> (even regardless of the O_SYNC open option)?  Those are the kinds of
> details that I don't know about NFS.  I'm not even sure what O_DIRECT
> means exactly as an open mode for an NFS file.  Does it actually offer
> a semantic similar to ours?
O_DIRECT removes any client caching for a particular file.  It may
even slow down the system because read/writes are now synchronous
operations.  NFS depends on the exportfs options.  If a file system is
exported async with exportfs, then the nfs COMMIT operation does not
perform a fync, otherwise it does.  Currently a commit request is sent for
every write (every 32K).

> > In my tests, running iozone on the server disk gives 13MB/s writes.  When
> > storing the PVFS2 file system on the same disk and then accessing from a
> > remote PVFS2 client I get 44MB/s.  Am I missing something?  I don't
> > remember if the Berkley DB is involved in data or just metadata so I don't
> > know if it could affect things here.
> Sorry, but I get confused recalling your setup.  The first test was an
> NFS client (on top of PVFS2) running on the same machine as the NFS
> server?  The second was an NFS client (on top of PVFS2) running on a
> remote machine accessing the server?  I'm not sure I understand enough
> about your setup to say anything about your results.  A few things to
> check though are CPU usage?  Is something on the server slowing
> everything down when running the test on it (as opposed to the remote
> machine setup)?
Sorry for the confusion.  Completely forget my old setup.  New setup is 2
machines running PVFS2.  (client and server)  The PVFS2 data resides in a
ext3 file system.  Iozone using -Raec options (syncing).  Writing a 128MB
file.  No other running processes on machines.

Test1: iozone on ext3 file system (on server machine) -> 13MB/s writes
Test2: iozone on PVFS2 client                         -> 44MB/s writes

How is it possible for PVFS2 to perform better than the file system in
which it resides?  It is beating the disk bandwidth.  Something is not
syncing properly.


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