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Re: [Qemu-block] [Qemu-devel] [PATCH] block/backup: install notifier dur

From: John Snow
Subject: Re: [Qemu-block] [Qemu-devel] [PATCH] block/backup: install notifier during creation
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2019 16:31:02 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.1.0

On 9/10/19 9:23 AM, John Snow wrote:
> On 9/10/19 4:19 AM, Stefan Hajnoczi wrote:
>> On Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 04:01:52PM -0400, John Snow wrote:
>>> On 8/21/19 10:41 AM, Vladimir Sementsov-Ogievskiy wrote:
>>>> 09.08.2019 23:13, John Snow wrote:
>>>>> Backup jobs may yield prior to installing their handler, because of the
>>>>> job_co_entry shim which guarantees that a job won't begin work until
>>>>> we are ready to start an entire transaction.
>>>>> Unfortunately, this makes proving correctness about transactional
>>>>> points-in-time for backup hard to reason about. Make it explicitly clear
>>>>> by moving the handler registration to creation time, and changing the
>>>>> write notifier to a no-op until the job is started.
>>>>> Reported-by: Vladimir Sementsov-Ogievskiy <address@hidden>
>>>>> Signed-off-by: John Snow <address@hidden>
>>>>> ---
>>>>>   block/backup.c     | 32 +++++++++++++++++++++++---------
>>>>>   include/qemu/job.h |  5 +++++
>>>>>   job.c              |  2 +-
>>>>>   3 files changed, 29 insertions(+), 10 deletions(-)
>>>>> diff --git a/block/backup.c b/block/backup.c
>>>>> index 07d751aea4..4df5b95415 100644
>>>>> --- a/block/backup.c
>>>>> +++ b/block/backup.c
>>>>> @@ -344,6 +344,13 @@ static int coroutine_fn backup_before_write_notify(
>>>>>       assert(QEMU_IS_ALIGNED(req->offset, BDRV_SECTOR_SIZE));
>>>>>       assert(QEMU_IS_ALIGNED(req->bytes, BDRV_SECTOR_SIZE));
>>>>> +    /* The handler is installed at creation time; the actual 
>>>>> point-in-time
>>>>> +     * starts at job_start(). Transactions guarantee those two points are
>>>>> +     * the same point in time. */
>>>>> +    if (!job_started(&job->common.job)) {
>>>>> +        return 0;
>>>>> +    }
>>>> Hmm, sorry if it is a stupid question, I'm not good in multiprocessing and 
>>>> in
>>>> Qemu iothreads..
>>>> job_started just reads job->co. If bs runs in iothread, and therefore 
>>>> write-notifier
>>>> is in iothread, when job_start is called from main thread.. Is it 
>>>> guaranteed that
>>>> write-notifier will see job->co variable change early enough to not miss 
>>>> guest write?
>>>> Should not job->co be volatile for example or something like this?
>>>> If not think about this patch looks good for me.
>>> You know, it's a really good question.
>>> So good, in fact, that I have no idea.
>>> ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
>>> I'm fairly certain that IO will not come in until the .clean phase of a
>>> qmp_transaction, because bdrv_drained_begin(bs) is called during
>>> .prepare, and we activate the handler (by starting the job) in .commit.
>>> We do not end the drained section until .clean.
>>> I'm not fully clear on what threading guarantees we have otherwise,
>>> though; is it possible that "Thread A" would somehow lift the bdrv_drain
>>> on an IO thread ("Thread B") and, after that, "Thread B" would somehow
>>> still be able to see an outdated version of job->co that was set by
>>> "Thread A"?
>>> I doubt it; but I can't prove it.
>> In the qmp_backup() case (not qmp_transaction()) there is:
>>   void qmp_drive_backup(DriveBackup *arg, Error **errp)
>>   {
>>       BlockJob *job;
>>       job = do_drive_backup(arg, NULL, errp);
>>       if (job) {
>>           job_start(&job->job);
>>       }
>>   }
>> job_start() is called without any thread synchronization, which is
>> usually fine because the coroutine doesn't run until job_start() calls
>> aio_co_enter().
>> Now that the before write notifier has been installed early, there is
>> indeed a race between job_start() and the write notifier accessing
>> job->co from an IOThread.
>> The write before notifier might see job->co != NULL before job_start()
>> has finished.  This could lead to issues if job_*() APIs are invoked by
>> the write notifier and access an in-between job state.
> I see. I think in this case, as long as it sees != NULL, that the
> notifier is actually safe to run. I agree that this might be confusing
> to verify and could bite us in the future. The worry we had, too, is
> more the opposite: will it see NULL for too long? We want to make sure
> that it is registering as true *before the first yield*.
>> A safer approach is to set a BackupBlockJob variable at the beginning of
>> backup_run() and check it from the before write notifier.
> That's too late, for reasons below.
>> That said, I don't understand the benefit of this patch and IMO it makes
>> the code harder to understand because now we need to think about the
>> created but not started state too.
>> Stefan
> It's always possible I've hyped myself up into believing there's a
> problem where there isn't one, but the fear is this:
> The point in time from a QMP transaction covers the job creation and the
> job start, but when we start the job it will actually yield before we
> get to backup_run -- and there is no guarantee that the handler will get
> installed synchronously, so the point in time ends before the handler
> activates.

i.e., the handler might get installed AFTER the critical region of a
transaction. We could drop initial writes if we were unlucky.

(I think.)

> The yield occurs in job_co_entry as an intentional feature of forcing a
> yield and pause point at run time -- so it's harder to write a job that
> accidentally hogs the thread during initialization.
> This is an attempt to get the handler installed earlier to ensure the
> point of time stays synchronized with creation time to provide a
> stronger transactional guarantee.

Squeaky wheel gets the grease. Any comment?

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