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From Emmanuel Lecharny <>
Subject Re: [jira] [Commented] (DIRSERVER-1642) Unexpected behaviour in JdbmIndex
Date Thu, 18 Aug 2011 22:14:53 GMT
On 8/18/11 10:41 PM, Selcuk AYA wrote:
> Hi,
> Today we had some discussion with Alex, Emmanuel and others on how we
> can improve jdbm consistency semantics. I  had spent sometime looking
> into this issue and thought it could be useful to put a summary of my
> findings here.
> Currently, jdbm has issues with both concurrency and consistency:
> 1) jdbm table  lookups, insert and remove interfaces are synchronized
> methods. So even if all the directory server does is to lookups on
> tables, all lookups will be serialized. Moreover, the record manager
> operations are all synchronized methods too. This means, for example,
> while sync of dirty pages to disk goes on, no lookup operation can go
> ahead.

Absolutely. Those synchronized were added a while back to try to 
guaranty some kind of consistency... This is a ugly hack, and a 
contention point for sure.
> 2) jdbm browser interface does not provide any consistency guarantees.
> If there are underlying changes to the store while the browser is
> open, then it might return inconsistent results. I think the situation
> is even worse if the underlying record manager is CacheRecordManager
> as the same page could be modified and read by a browser concurrently.

We already experience such inconsistency in the replication tests. Not 
often, but still.

The reason we haven't noticed them up to now is that we have tests that 
are run in one single thread, and for the concurrent tests we have done, 
we never mixed searches and modifications together.
> I have been working on a scheme which introduces what can be defined
> as action consistency into the jdbm store.
> 1) Actions are lookup, insert, remove and browse. Each action is
> assigned a unique version. Actions are ReadWrite or ReadOnly.
> 2) We allow one ReadWrite action and multiple ReadOnly actions to run
> concurrently.So synchronized methods will be removed.
> 3)We introduce a new record manager which caches jdbm B+ pages. Each
> page in the cache has a [startVersion, endVersion). When an action
> with version V1 wants to read a page, its read can be satisfied
> satisfied from that page's version with V1>= startVersion&&  V1<
> endVersion.
> 4) Pages' previous versions are kept in memory. A page can be purged
> when the minimum version among all active actions is>= endVersion.
> So say we have three pages in a chain (A0->B0->C0) and each of them
> has version range [0, infinity). An write action starts and gets the
> version number 1. It updates B0 and C0 to B1 and C1 in any order.
> After these two updates, B0 and C0 will have version range [0,1) and
> and B1 and C1 will have version range [1,infinity). Before the write
> action completes, a read action comes, gets the current read version
> which  is 0 and reads the chain. Since B0 and C0 will be the versions
> that can satisfy this read, the read only action will read the chain
> A0->B0->C0. When write action completes, it posts version 1 as the new
> read version. First read action completes, a second one starts with
> version 1 and that one will read A0->B1->C1. Since the minimum read
> version is now 1, B0 and C0 can be zapped.

> Concerns:
> 1)Previous versions of B+ tree pages could consume too much memory. As
> long as actions are kept small, this is not a problem. Only the
> browsing action does not follow this rule. There are a couple of
> options to deal with it. We can maybe spill previous versions to disk
> after some memory limit.

That's an option. For big bases, this is mandatory.
> Or we can think about chopping down browsing
> action into smaller read actions. Another way to deal with this
> problem would be to keep the previous versions of pages on disk rather
> than in memory. On disk, versions for a B+ page would form a
> chain.This is a radically different way of introducing action
> consistency  but I thought this unneccesarily complicates free space
> management while all we need to do with old versions of pages after a
> restart is to toss them away.
I'd rather go for a flush to disk when necessary.

In any case, this is a very interesting analysis of our problem, and the 
proposed solutions seems to fit with the current code base, and won't 
necessarily lead to a huge modification of JDBM.

Thanks a lot for this mail Selcuk !

Emmanuel L├ęcharny

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