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From Suresh Thalamati <suresh.thalam...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: [PATCH] Derby 218 - Add relaxed durability option
Date Tue, 03 May 2005 21:32:49 GMT
Hi Sunitha,
Good comments. I am surprised to find that this patch doing more than 
what I imagined  it will  do, your changes
seems to allow switching  between durable test mode(No syncs)  and the 
default durability level (all sync).  I don't get why
these mode switch functionality is required, if this mode is just meant 
to run the tests faster in non-durable mode! . Not sure what
kind of new problem  scenarios this mode switching will introduce.

But for some reason if some one wants,  I am not sure your fix will 
actually make a non-durable database
to durable/consistent  one correctly.  What I learn   from your changes 
is that  data is not synced to disk on checkpoints,
if you don't do that you can not assume database is is in consistent 
state if  recovery went through fine.   Let's say:

1) user started the database with derby.system.testMode=true
2) did some insert/update/deletes ...
3) crashed immediately after the checpoint record got on to disk...
4) Now user switches derby.system.testMode=false and boot the database.

Recovery will  work fine because there is no log to replay.  So you 
unmark the
Test mode flag in the control file and declare that this database is in 
durable/consistent mode.
But that is not the case because only some  of the data pages might  
have reached to the
disk before the crash, Which will actually leave  the database 
inconsistent state.
(This is different from losing some transactions).

Some general comments on the  code:
1) Why don't we just introduce a new flag private static final byte 
     write as part of the "flags" byte  which is currently used to 
indicate the IS_BETA_FLAG instead of using
     another spare byte.
2)  in few places indentation is not matching the rest of the code(  
that's how my emacs shows it):
             // if system is running with derby.system.testMode enabled
                // log records and log file are not synced, so
        // set flag to disable log syncs
                // print message stating that the database was
            // previously running with derby.system.testMode=true
                // mode
   c)      if( wasDBInTestModeNoSync && !logNotSynced )
        // write to log control file and the mirror file that the testmode
            // is not used now
                // print message stating that the database was
            // previously running with derby.system.testMode=true

3) I think the logical place for the method  private boolean 
updateTestModeFlagInCtrlFile(byte value)
     is next to  writeControlFile(...) .
4) protected  logErrMsgForTestModeNoSync() may be marked as a private.


Sunitha Kambhampati wrote:

> A little background: Sometime earlier on the list, Dan posted a fix to 
> make derby go faster with relaxed durability with some flags.  The 
> post is at 
> http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.apache.db.derby.user/681/match=relaxed+durability

> This mode is very useful for unit testing or at development time when 
> recoverability is not required.
> Basically in this mode, syncs are disabled for logs, data writes at 
> checkpoint, page allocation when file is grown; - what this means is 
> that data is not flushed all the way to the disk and in most cases i/o 
> cost is not involved. Note,  code already exists in Derby to do this.
> So for Derby 218, This  patch addresses the following requirements:  
> 1) Have a single property to enable this relaxed durability mode, so 
> it is easy for users  to enable it.
> 2) Print message to derby.log that this mode is enabled
> 3) A way to report boot errors that may be because of this option 
> being enabled. What this maps to is - have a marker to recognize that 
> database was booted in this mode, and then on subsequent boot; if 
> errors happen during recovery - report a message that it could have 
> happened because of this mode being set.
> Ch


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