[Gluster-users] Modifying gluster's logging mechanism

Barak Sason Rofman bsasonro at redhat.com
Thu Nov 21 13:04:36 UTC 2019

Hello Gluster community,

My name is Barak and I’ve joined RH gluster development in August.
Shortly after my arrival, I’ve identified a potential problem with
gluster’s logging mechanism and I’d like to bring the matter up for

The general concept of the current mechanism is that every worker thread
that needs to log a message has to contend for a mutex which guards the log
file, write the message and, flush the data and then release the mutex.
I see two design / implementation problems with that mechanism:


   The mutex that guards the log file is likely under constant contention.

   The fact that each worker thread perform the IO by himself, thus slowing
   his "real" work.

Initial tests, done by *removing logging from the regression testing, shows
an improvement of about 20% in run time*. This indicates we’re taking a
pretty heavy performance hit just because of the logging activity.

In addition to these problems, the logging module is due for an upgrade:


   There are dozens of APIs in the logger, much of them are deprecated -
   this makes it very hard for new developers to keep evolving the project.

   One of the key points for Gluster-X, presented in October at Bangalore,
   is the switch to a structured logging all across gluster.

Given these points, I believe we’re in a position that allows us to upgrade
the logging mechanism by both switching to structured logging across the
project AND replacing the logging system itself, thus “killing two birds
with one stone”.

Moreover, if the upgrade is successful, the new logger mechanism might be
adopted by other teams in Red Hat, which lead to uniform logging activity
across different products.

I’d like to propose a logging utility I’ve been working on for the past few
This project is still a work in progress (and still much work needs to be
done in it), but I’d like to bring this matter up now so if the community
will want to advance on that front, we could collaborate and shape the
logger to best suit the community’s needs.

An overview of the system:

The logger provides several (number and size are user-defined)
pre-allocated buffers which threads can 'register' to and receive a private
buffer. In addition, a single, shared buffer is also pre-allocated (size is
user-defined). The number of buffers and their size is modifiable at
runtime (not yet implemented).

Worker threads write messages in one of 3 ways that will be described next,
and an internal logger threads constantly iterates the existing buffers and
drains the data to the log file.

As all allocations are allocated at the initialization stage, no special
treatment it needed for "out of memory" cases.

The following writing levels exist:


   Level 1 - Lockless writing: Lockless writing is achieved by assigning
   each thread a private ring buffer. A worker threads write to that buffer
   and the logger thread drains that buffer into a log file.

In case the private ring buffer is full and not yet drained, or in case the
worker thread has not registered for a private buffer, we fall down to the
following writing methods:


   Level 2 - Shared buffer writing: The worker thread will write it's data
   into a buffer that's shared across all threads. This is done in a
   synchronized manner.

In case the private ring buffer is full and not yet drained AND the shared
ring buffer is full and not yet drained, or in case the worker thread has
not registered for a private buffer, we fall down to the last writing


   Level 3 - Direct write: This is the slowest form of writing - the worker
   thread directly write to the log file.

The idea behind this utility is to reduce as much as possible the impact of
logging on runtime. Part of this reduction comes at the cost of having to
parse and reorganize the messages in the log files using a dedicated tool
(yet to be implemented) as there is no guarantee on the order of logged

The full logger project is hosted on:

For project documentation visit:

I thank you all for reading through my suggestion and I’m looking forward
to your feedback,
*Barak Sason Rofman*

Gluster Storage Development

Red Hat Israel <https://www.redhat.com/>

34 Jerusalem rd. Ra'anana, 43501

bsasonro at redhat.com <adi at redhat.com>    T: *+972-9-7692304*
M: *+972-52-4326355*
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