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Re: [Qemu-devel] KVM call agenda for June 28

From: Marcelo Tosatti
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] KVM call agenda for June 28
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2011 11:29:31 -0300
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Tue, Jul 05, 2011 at 04:39:06PM +0300, Dor Laor wrote:
> On 07/05/2011 03:58 PM, Marcelo Tosatti wrote:
> >On Tue, Jul 05, 2011 at 01:40:08PM +0100, Stefan Hajnoczi wrote:
> >>On Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 9:01 AM, Dor Laor<address@hidden>  wrote:
> >>>I tried to re-arrange all of the requirements and use cases using this wiki
> >>>page: http://wiki.qemu.org/Features/LiveBlockMigration
> >>>
> >>>It would be the best to agree upon the most interesting use cases (while we
> >>>make sure we cover future ones) and agree to them.
> >>>The next step is to set the interface for all the various verbs since the
> >>>implementation seems to be converging.
> >>
> >>Live block copy was supposed to support snapshot merge.  I think the
> >>current favored approach is to make the source image a backing file to
> >>the destination image and essentially do image streaming.
> >>
> >>Using this mechanism for snapshot merge is tricky.  The COW file
> >>already uses the read-only snapshot base image.  So now we cannot
> >>trivally copy the COW file contents back into the snapshot base image
> >>using live block copy.
> >
> >It never did. Live copy creates a new image were both snapshot and
> >"current" are copied to.
> >
> >This is similar with image streaming.
> Not sure I realize what's bad to do in-place merge:
> Let's suppose we have this COW chain:
>   base <-- s1 <-- s2
> Now a live snapshot is created over s2, s2 becomes RO and s3 is RW:
>   base <-- s1 <-- s2 <-- s3
> Now we've done with s2 (post backup) and like to merge s3 into s2.
> With your approach we use live copy of s3 into newSnap:
>   base <-- s1 <-- s2 <-- s3
>   base <-- s1 <-- newSnap
> When it is over s2 and s3 can be erased.
> The down side is the IOs for copying s2 data and the temporary
> storage. I guess temp storage is cheap but excessive IO are
> expensive.
> My approach was to collapse s3 into s2 and erase s3 eventually:
> before: base <-- s1 <-- s2 <-- s3
> after:  base <-- s1 <-- s2
> If we use live block copy using mirror driver it should be safe as
> long as we keep the ordering of new writes into s3 during the
> execution.
> Even a failure in the the middle won't cause harm since the
> management will keep using s3 until it gets success event.

Well, it is more complicated than simply streaming into a new 
image. I'm not entirely sure it is necessary. The common case is:

base -> sn-1 -> sn-2 -> ... -> sn-n

When n reaches a limit, you do:

base -> merge-1

You're potentially copying similar amount of data when merging back
into a single image (and worst, you can't easily merge multiple

If the amount of data thats not in 'base' is large, you create
leave a new external file around:

base -> merge-1 -> sn-1 -> sn-2 ... -> sn-n
base -> merge-1 -> merge-2

> >>It seems like snapshot merge will require dedicated code that reads
> >>the allocated clusters from the COW file and writes them back into the
> >>base image.
> >>
> >>A very inefficient alternative would be to create a third image, the
> >>"merge" image file, which has the COW file as its backing file:
> >>snapshot (base) ->  cow ->  merge
> >>
> >>All data from snapshot and cow is copied into merge and then snapshot
> >>and cow can be deleted.  But this approach is results in full data
> >>copying and uses potentially 3x space if cow is close to the size of
> >>snapshot.

Remember there is a 'base' before snapshot, you don't copy the entire 
OS installation.

> >
> >Management can set a higher limit on the size of data that is merged,
> >and create a new base once exceeded. This avoids copying excessive
> >amounts of data.
> >
> >>Any other ideas that reuse live block copy for snapshot merge?
> >>
> >>Stefan
> >
> >

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