[Gluster-devel] Monitoring and acting on LVM thin-pool consumption

Dustin Black dblack at redhat.com
Tue Apr 10 11:19:18 UTC 2018

I've wondered about this for a long time. Given that consumption monitoring
already exists in the dmeventd thin plugin and can even trigger actions
like thin pools claiming available physical extents from the VG, it
certainly seems like there is an existing code structure there that we
could tie into. I've just never looked into how extensible this structure
is to allow for more plugins to handle the kinds of external actions we
would need. A big +1 from me for the effort, at the least.


On Apr 10, 2018 5:40 AM, "Niels de Vos" <ndevos at redhat.com> wrote:

Recently I have been implementing "volume clone" support in Heketi. This
uses the snapshot+clone functionality from Gluster. In order to create
snapshots and clone them, it is required to use LVM thin-pools on the
bricks. This is where my current problem originates....

When there are cloned volumes, the bricks of these volumes use the same
thin-pool as the original bricks. This makes sense, and allows cloning
to be really fast! There is no need to copy data from one brick to a new
one, the thin-pool provides copy-on-write semantics.

Unfortunately it can be rather difficult to estimate how large the
thin-pool should be when the initial Gluster Volume is created.
Over-allocation is likely needed, but by how much? It may not be clear
how many clones there will be made, nor how much % of data will change
on each of the clones.

A wrong estimate can easily cause the thin-pool to become full. When
that happens, the filesystem on the bricks will go readonly. Mounting
the filesystem read-writable may not be possible at all. I've even seen
/dev entries for the LV getting removed. This makes for a horrible
Gluster experience, and it can be tricky to recover from it.

In order to make thin-provisioning more stable in Gluster, I would like
to see integrated monitoring of (thin) LVs and some form of acting on
crucial events. One idea would be to make the Gluster Volume read-only
when it detects that a brick is almost out-of-space. This is close to
what local filesystems do when their block-device is having issues.

The 'dmeventd' process already monitors LVM, and by default writes to
'dmesg'. Checking dmesg for warnings is not really a nice solution, so
maybe we should write a plugin for dmeventd. Possibly something exists
already what we can use, or take inspiration from.

Please provide ideas, thoughts and any other comments. Thanks!
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