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Date:	Wed, 18 Jan 2012 20:02:23 +0800
From:	Zheng Liu <>
To:	Allison Henderson <>
Cc:	Dave Chinner <>,
	Lukas Czerner <>,
	Ext4 Developers List <>,
	Tao Ma <>,
Subject: Re: working on extent locks for i_mutex

On Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 10:46:29AM -0700, Allison Henderson wrote:
> On 01/15/2012 04:57 PM, Dave Chinner wrote:
> >On Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 01:50:52PM -0700, Allison Henderson wrote:
> >>On 01/12/2012 09:34 PM, Dave Chinner wrote:
> >>>On Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 08:01:43PM -0700, Allison Henderson wrote:
> >>>>Hi All,
> >>>>
> >>>>I know this is an old topic, but I am poking it again because I've
> >>>>had some work items wrap up, and Im planning on picking up on this
> >>>>one again.  I am thinking about implementing extent locks to replace
> >>>>i_mutex.  So I just wanted to touch base with folks and see what
> >>>>people are working on because I know there were some folks out there
> >>>>that were thing about doing similar solutions.
> >>>
> >>>What locking API are you looking at? If you are looking at an
> >>>something like:
> >>>
> >>>read_range_{try}lock(lock, off, len)
> >>>read_range_unlock(lock, off, len)
> >>>write_range_{try}lock(lock, off, len)
> >>>write_range_unlock(lock, off, len)
> >>>
> >>>and implementing with an rbtree or a btree for tracking, then I
> >>>definitely have a use for it in XFS - replacing the current rwsem
> >>>that is used for the iolock. Range locks like this are the only
> >>>thing we need to allow concurrent buffered writes to the same file
> >>>to maintain the per-write exclusion that posix requires.
> >>
> >>Yes that is generally the idea I was thinking about doing, but at
> >>the time, I was not thinking outside the scope of ext4.  You are
> >>thinking maybe it should be in vfs layer so that it's something that
> >>all the filesystems will use?  That seems to be the impression I'm
> >>getting from folks.  Thx!
> >
> >Yes, that's what I'm suggesting. Not so much a vfs layer function,
> >but a library (range locks could be useful outside filesystems) so
> >locating it in lib/ was what I was thinking....
> >
> >Cheers,
> >
> >Dave.
> Alrighty, that sounds good to me.  I will aim to keep it as general
> purpose as I can.  I am going to start some proto typing and will
> post back when I get something working.  Thx for the feedback all!
> :)

Hi Allison,

For this project, do you have a schedule? Would you like to share to me? This
lock contention heavily impacts the performance of direct IO in our production
environment. So we hope to improve it ASAP.

I have done some direct IO benchmarks to compare ext4 with xfs using fio
in Intel SSD. The result shows that, in direct IO, xfs outperforms ext4 and
ext4 with dioread_nolock.

To understand the effect of lock contention, I define a new function called 
ext4_file_aio_write() that calls __generic_file_aio_write() without acquiring 
i_mutex lock. Meanwhile, I remove DIO_LOCKING flag when __blockdev_direct_IO() 
is called and do the similar benchmarks. The result shows that the performance 
in ext4 is almost the same to the xfs. Thus, it proves that the i_mutex heavily
impacts the performance. Hopefully the result is useful for you. :-)

I post the result in here.

config file:



iops			1 (r/w)		2		3
ext4			5584/622	5726/636	5719/636
ext4+dioread_nolock	7105/789	7117/793	7129/795
ext4+dio_nolock		8920/992	8956/995	8976/997
xfs			8726/971	8962/994	8975/998

bandwidth		1 (r/w)		2		3		KB/s
ext4			89359/9955.3	91621/10186	91519/10185
ext4+dioread_nolock	113691/12635	113882/12692	114066/12728
ext4+dio_nolock		142731/15888	143301/15930	143617/15959
xfs			139627/15537	143400/15914	143603/15980

latency			1 (r/w)		2		3		usec
ext4			5163.28/5048.31	5037.81/4914.82	5041.49/4932.81
ext4+dioread_nolock	1220.04/29510.5 1213.67/29418.9 1208.77/29361.49
ext4+dio_nolock		3226.61/3194.35	3214.59/3178.09	3207.34/3173.78
xfs			3299.87/3266.32	3213.73/3182.20	3208.16/3178.10


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