[Gluster-users] Very slow directory listing and high CPU usage on replicated volume

Fernando Frediani (Qube) fernando.frediani at qubenet.net
Tue Nov 6 09:35:29 UTC 2012


I don't think we have to accept this as this is not acceptable thing. I have seen countless people complaining about this problem for a while and seems no improvements have been done.
The thing about the ramdisk although might help, looks more a chewing gun. I have seen other distributed filesystems that don't suffer for the same problem, so why Gluster have to ?

-----Original Message-----
From: gluster-users-bounces at gluster.org [mailto:gluster-users-bounces at gluster.org] On Behalf Of Joe Landman
Sent: 05 November 2012 15:07
To: gluster-users at gluster.org
Subject: Re: [Gluster-users] Very slow directory listing and high CPU usage on replicated volume

On 11/05/2012 09:57 AM, harry mangalam wrote:
> Jeff Darcy wrote a nice piece in his hekafs blog about 'the importance 
> of keeping things sequential' which is essentially about the 
> contention for heads between data io and journal io.
> <http://hekafs.org/index.php/2012/11/the-importance-of-staying-sequent
> ial/> (also congrats on the Linux Journal article on the glupy 
> python/gluster approach).
> We've been experimenting with SSDs on ZFS (using the SSDs fo the ZIL
> (journal)) and while it's provided a little bit of a boost, it has not 
> been dramatic.  Ditto XFS.  However, we did not stress it at all with 
> heavy loads

An issue you have to worry about is if the SSD streaming read/write path is around the same speed as the spinning rust performance.  If so, this design would be a wash at best.

Also, if this is under Linux, the ZFS pathways may not be terribly well optimized.

> in a gluster env and I'm now thinking that there is where you would 
> see the improvement. (see Jeff's graph about how the diff in 
> threads/load affects IOPS).
> Is anyone running a gluster system with the underlying XFS writing the 
> journal to SSDs?  If so, any improvement?  I would have expected to 
> hear about this as a recommended architecture for gluster if it had 
> performed MUCH better, but

Yes, we've done this, and do this on occasion.  No, there's no dramatic speed boost for most use cases.

Unfortunately, heavy metadata ops on GlusterFS are going to be slow, and we simply have to accept that for the near term.  This appears to be independent of the particular file system, or even storage technology. 
If you aren't doing metadata heavy ops, then you should be in good shape.  It appears that mirroring magnifies the metadata heavy ops significantly.

For laughs, about a year ago, we set up large ram disks (tmpfs) in a cluster, put a loopback device on them, then a file system, then GlusterFS atop this.  Should have been very fast for metadata ops.  But it wasn't.  Gave some improvement, but not significant enough that we'd recommend doing "heroic" designs like this.

If your workloads are metadata heavy, we'd recommend local IO, and if you are mostly small IO, an SSD.

Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics, Inc.
email: landman at scalableinformatics.com
web  : http://scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 786 8423 x121
cell : +1 734 612 4615
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