Progress Report Q3 2017

Posted October 05, 2017         « Previous post    

The last quarter was rather… peaceful. But nevertheless there were a few noteworthy things.

FreeBSD & ARM

We always asserted that our library is multi-platform and hardware agnostic… as long as your platform is a recent distribution of Linux (or Windows) on x86 hardware :)

Two things happened that intend to change the current status quo:

Allocation classes merged

I’ve talked about this previously, so I won’t repeat myself here, but the allocation classes were finally merged last quarter.

For anyone to whom this is a topic of interest, I suggest looking at the slab allocator example that shows the exact use case this feature is intended for.

Optimized startup time

Here’s a short, but hopefully interesting, bit of news: the happy-case performance of pmemobj_open() has increased by two orders of magnitude due to strategic usage of lazy initialization.

Bad blocks & high-availability features

Just as in traditional disks, NVDIMMs can have bad physical blocks on the medium. The specification on how those blocks are exposed has been recently published with ACPI 6.2.

From linux kernel file system perspective, the NVDIMM badblocks are exposed like in traditional storage, and can be cleared through normal fs interfaces.

The story changes a bit when the memory is mapped in the address space of the application - unsurprisingly, the semantics are similar to those of bad volatile memory - a SIGBUS with appropriate flags is generated if a poisoned (bad) page is touched by the program.

Regular software doesn’t really have to worry about poisoned pages because memory is volatile and a SIGBUS normally terminates the application, and when started again, everything will be back in order.

Our initial approach focuses on letting the application terminate when a SIGBUS is encountered, and then provide a set of offline tools that allow seamless recovery of data from replicas.

The work is still in progress and the relevant PR is here.

Conclusion

Vacation season might appear to have taken a toll this time around, but that’s mostly just that - an appearance. The vast majority of changes this quarter were fixes and tiny improvements.

For more exciting developments, take a look at pmemkv, pynvm or pmse.



Posted by @pbalcer         « Previous post