[Gluster-users] Revisiting Quota functionality in GlusterFS

Sanoj Unnikrishnan sunnikri at redhat.com
Mon Apr 24 14:10:44 UTC 2017

Hi All,

Considering we are coming out with major release plan, we would like to
revisit the QUOTA feature to decide its path forward.
I have been working on quota feature for a couple of months now and have
come across various issues from performance, usability and correctness
We do have some initial thoughts on how these can be solved. But, to ensure
we work on the most important things first, we would like to get a pulse of
this from the users of quota feature.

Below is a questionnaire for the same. In order to put the questions in
perspective, I have provided rationale, external links to alternative
design thoughts.
The focus of this mail thread though is to get a user pulse than being a
design review. Please comment on design in the github issue itself.
We can bring the discussion to gluster-devel as they gain traction. We
would like the design discussion to be driven by the generated user

1) On how many directories do u generally have quota limits configured.
    How often do we see quota limits added/removed/changed. [numbers would
help here than qualitative answers]
    Any use case with large number of quota limits (> 100 on a single
volume say)?
    Is a filesystem Crawl acceptable each time a new quota limit is set?
    (crawl may take time equivalent to du command, this would essentially
introduce a delay for a limit to take effect after it is set)

  Currently, we account the usage of all directories. A performance issue
with this approach is we need to recursively account the usage of a
file/directory on all its ancestors along the path.
  If we consider few directories have limits configured, we could explore
alternatives where accounting information is maintained only in directories
that have limits set [RFC1].

2) How strict accounting is generally acceptable. Is it acceptable if there
is an overshoot by 100MB say?
    What are the general value of limits configured. Does anybody set
limits in the order of MBs ?

    Relaxing the accounting could be another way to gain in performance. We
can batch / cache xattr updates. [RFC2]

3) Does directory quota suit your needs? Would you prefer if it works like
XFS directory quota?
    What are the back-end Filesystem you expect to use quota with?
    Is it acceptable to take the route of leveraging backend FS quota with
support for limited FS (or just xfs)?

    Behavior of directory quota in GlusterFS largely differs from the XFS
way. both has its pros and cons.
    GlusterFS will allow you to set a limit on /home and /home/user1. So if
you write to /home/user1/file1 the limit for both its ancestors are checked
and honored.
    An admin who has to give storage to 50 users can configure /home to 1
TB and each user home to 25GB say (Hoping that not all users would
simultaneously use up their 25 GB). This may not make sense for a cloud
storage but it does make sense in a university lab kind of
    The same cannot be done with XFS beacuse XFS directory quota relies on
project id. Only one project id is associated with a directory so only 1
limit can be honored at any time.
    XFS directory quota has its advantages though. Please find details in

4) Do you use quota with large number of bricks in a volume? (How many?)
    Do you have quota with large number of volumes hosted on a node? (How
    Have you seen any performance issues in such setting?

   We have a single quotad process (aggregator of accounting info) on each
nodes in the Trusted storage pool.
   All the bricks (even from different volumes) hosted on a node share the
   Another issue in this design is large number of bricks within a volume
will increase IPC latency during aggregation.
   One way of mitigating this is by changing quotad and quota layer to work
on a lease based approach [RFC4]

5) If you set directory level quota, do you expect to have hard link across
the directories? or want to support rename() across directories?

    Supporting these operations consistently does add complexities in
    XFS itself doesn't support these two operations when quota is set on it.

6) Do u use inode-quota feature?
    Any user looking for the user/group quota feature?

7) Are you using current quota feature?
          If yes, are you happy?
          if yes, and not happy? what are the things you would like to see

RFC1 - Alternative Accounting method in marker (
RFC2 - Batched updates (https://github.com/gluster/glusterfs/issues/183)
RFC3 - XFS based Quota (https://github.com/gluster/glusterfs/issues/184)
RFC4 - Lease based quotad (https://github.com/gluster/glusterfs/issues/181)

Note: These RFC are not interdependent.

Thanks and Regards,
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