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Date:	Sun, 23 Nov 2008 09:00:38 -0500
From:	Theodore Tso <tytso@....EDU>
To:	"Aneesh Kumar K.V" <aneesh.kumar@...ux.vnet.ibm.com>
Cc:	cmm@...ibm.com, sandeen@...hat.com, linux-ext4@...r.kernel.org
Subject: Re: [PATCH -V2 3/5] ext4: Fix the race between read_block_bitmap
	and mark_diskspace_used

On Fri, Nov 21, 2008 at 10:14:33PM +0530, Aneesh Kumar K.V wrote:
> We need to make sure we update the block bitmap and clear
> EXT4_BG_BLOCK_UNINIT flag with sb_bgl_lock held. We look
> at EXT4_BG_BLOCK_UNINIT and reinit the block bitmap each
> time in ext4_read_block_bitmap (introduced by
> c806e68f5647109350ec546fee5b526962970fd2 )

You are changing mb_clear_bits() and and mb_set_bits() so they take
the spinlock over the entire operaiton, instead of over each
particular bit.  These function are used in a largish number of
places, not just for updating the block bitmap, but also the mb buddy
bitmaps, etc.  So there may be a scalability impact here, although
taking the spinlock once instead of multiple times is probably a win.

My bigger concern is given that we are playing games like *this*:

		if ((cur & 31) == 0 && (len - cur) >= 32) {
			/* fast path: set whole word at once */
			addr = bm + (cur >> 3);
			*addr = 0xffffffff;
			cur += 32;
			continue;
		}

without taking a lock, I'm a little surprised we haven't been
seriously burned by other race conditions.  What's the point of
calling mb_set_bit_atomic() and passing in a spinlock if we are doing
this kind of check without the protection of the same spinlock?!?

Andreas, if you are using mb_clear_bits() and mb_set_bits() in
Lustre's mballoc.c with this in production, you may want to take a
look at this patch.

						- Ted
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