[Gluster-devel] What functionality is expected from persistent NFS-client tracking?

Niels de Vos ndevos at redhat.com
Thu Jan 31 09:10:55 UTC 2013

On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 02:31:09PM -0500, J. Bruce Fields wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 03:23:28PM +0100, Niels de Vos wrote:
> > Hi all,
> > 
> > the last few days I have been looking into making the tracking of 
> > NFS-clients more persistent. As it is today, the NFS-clients are kept in 
> > a list in memory on the NFS-server. When the NFS-server restarts, the 
> > list is recreated from scratch and does not contain the NFS-clients that 
> > still have the export mounted (Bug 904065).
> > 
> > NFSv3 depends on the MOUNT protocol. When an NFS-client mounts an 
> > export, the MOUNT protocol is used to get the initial file-handle. With 
> > this handle, the NFS-service can be contacted. The actual services 
> > providing the MOUNT and NFSv3 protocol can be separate (Linux kernel 
> > NFSd) or implemented closely together (Gluster NFS-server). 
> > 
> > Now, when the Linux kernel NFS-server is used, the NFS-clients are saved 
> > my the rpc.mountd process (which handles the MOUNT protocol) in 
> > /var/lib/nfs/rwtab. This file is modified on mounting and unmounting.  
> > Implementing a persistent cache similar to this is pretty straight 
> > forward and is available for testing and review in [1].
> > 
> > There are however some use-cases that may require some different 
> > handling. When an NFS-server starts to mount an export, the MOUNT 
> > protocol is handled on a specific server. After getting the initial 
> > file-handle for the export, any Gluster NFS-server can be used to talk 
> > NFSv3 and do I/O. When the NFS-clients are kept only on the NFS-server 
> > that handled the initial MOUNT request, and due to fail-over (think CTDB 
> > and similar here) an other NFS-server is used, the persistent cache of 
> > 'connected' NFS-clients is inaccurate.
> > 
> > The easiest way I can think of to remedy this issue, is to place the 
> > persistent NFS-client cache on a GlusterFS volume. When CTDB is used, 
> > the locking-file and is placed on a shared storage as well, so the same 
> > volume can be used for the NFS-client cache. Providing an option to set 
> > the volume/path of the NFS-client cache would be needed for this. 
> > I guess that this could result in a chicken-and-egg situation 
> > (NFS-server is started, but no volume mounted yet)?
> > 
> > Any ideas or recommendations are welcome. The patch in [1] is not final 
> > yet and I'd like some feedback before I proceed any further.
> My only comment is that this doesn't need to be perfect or even all that
> good.
> The list can already get out of sync in other ways: clients can just
> fail to unmount, for example.
> I don't think it's used by anything other than showmount.

Okay, thanks for the response. And yeah, I doubt there are any other 
users than "showmount".


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