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From "Michael McCandless (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] Created: (LUCENE-673) Exceptions when using Lucene over NFS
Date Sat, 16 Sep 2006 14:57:22 GMT
Exceptions when using Lucene over NFS

                 Key: LUCENE-673
             Project: Lucene - Java
          Issue Type: Bug
          Components: Index
    Affects Versions: 2.0.0
         Environment: NFS server/client
            Reporter: Michael McCandless

I'm opening this issue to track details on the known problems with
Lucene over NFS.

The summary is: if you have one machine writing to an index stored on
an NFS mount, and other machine(s) reading (and periodically
re-opening the index) then sometimes on re-opening the index the
reader will hit a FileNotFound exception.

This has hit many users because this is a natural way to "scale up"
your searching (single writer, multiple readers) across machines.  The
best current workaround (I think?) is to take the approach Solr takes
(either by actually using Solr or copying/modifying its approach) to
take snapshots of the index and then have the readers open the
snapshots instead of the "live" index being written to.

I've been working on two patches for Lucene:

  * A locking (LockFactory) implementation using native OS locks

  * Lock-less commits

(I'll open separate issues with the details for those).

I have a simple stress test where one machine is constantly adding
docs to an index over NFS, and another machine is constantly
re-opening the index searcher over NFS.

These tests have revealed new details (at least for me!) about the
root cause of our NFS problems:

  * Even when using native locks over NFS, Lucene still hits these

    I was surprised by this because I had always thought (assumed?)
    the NFS problem was because the "simple" file-based locking was
    not correct over NFS, and that switching to native OS filesystem
    locking would resolve it, but it doesn't.

    I can reproduce the "FileNotFound" exceptions even when using NFS
    V4 (the latest NFS protocol), so this is not just a "your NFS
    server is too old" issue.

  * Then, when running the same stress test with the lock-less
    changes, I don't hit any exceptions.  I've tested on NFS version
    2, 3 and 4 (using the "nfsvers=N" mount option).

I think this means that in fact (as Hoss at one point suggested I
believe), the NFS problems are likely due to the cache coherence of
the NFS file system (I think the "segments" file in particular)
against the existence of the actual segment data files.

In other words, even if you lock correctly, on the reader side it will
sometimes see stale contents of the "segments" file which lead it to
try to open a now deleted segment data file.

So I think this is good news / bad news: the bad news is, native
locking doesn't fix our problems with NFS (as at least I had expected
it to).  But the good news is, it looks like (still need to do more
thorough testing of this) the changes for lock-less commits do enable
Lucene to work fine over NFS.

[One quick side note in case it helps others: to get native locks
working over NFS on Ubuntu/Debian Linux 6.06, I had to "apt-get
install nfs-common" on the NFS client machines.  Before I did this I
would hit "No locks available" IOExceptions on calling the "tryLock"
method.  The default nfs server install on the server machine just
worked because it runs in kernel mode and it start a lockd process.]

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