[DRBD-user] Slow NFS behaviour (0.7.5)

Todd Denniston Todd.Denniston at ssa.crane.navy.mil
Tue Nov 23 21:09:28 CET 2004

Note: "permalinks" may not be as permanent as we would like,
direct links of old sources may well be a few messages off.

Jaroslaw Zachwieja wrote:
> On wtorek 23 listopada 2004 17:04, Philipp Reisner wrote:
> > On Tuesday 23 November 2004 18:02, Philipp Reisner wrote:
> > > Do you mount your local filesystems with the "sync" option ?
> > > I do not do this. I see this as the common semantics which under
> > > Unix/Linux.
> >
> > I wanted to add: There only way to run a "sync" mounted FS with
> > tolerable performance is to use a controller with battery backed-
> > up RAM.
> I've remounted everything with async option and noticed significant
> performance improvement. Apparently you're right. "sync" is _not_ the
> way to go with DRBD. "async" is.
> The loadavg dropped to the manageable range of 2-4 when using both
> protocols B and C and I'm pretty happy with the setup now.
> Thanks for the help!
> Best regards,
Philipp & Jaroslaw
Are you talking about 
mount -o sync 
setting an /etc/exports line "share withwho(sync)"

Back when Lars was explaining to us on the list about data integrity I did
some testing between _exporting_ sync vs async and doing ungraceful fallover
in protocol = C on drbd 0.6.10, and with async it is possible to lose some
of the most recent changes, even though your client machines may think it
had reached stable storage.  
Note, I don't believe it was drbd that lost the data, it just never made it
from the nfs server program to the drbd device, but the client was told by
the nfs server "data synced" and the client dropped the data.  

when I just did an untar; make oldconfig dep bzImage of a linux-2.2.25 tree
on an export sync and an export async nfs drives the same server machine(on
top of drbd devices), and found that the async export is ~6.9 times faster
than the sync export.  We chose to make drives where data integrity with the
clients is extremely important export sync, and those where only temporary
things (like a build that could be restarted after crash) as async. 

you might also want to be aware that nfs exports defaults have changed at
some time in the past:
man exports # on Fedora Core 1
async  This option allows the NFS server to violate  the  NFS  protocol...
           ...In releases of nfs-utils upto and including 1.0.0,  this 
              was  the  default.   In  this  and  future releases, sync is
              default, and async must be explicit  requested  if  needed.  
              help  make system adminstrators aware of this change, exportfs
              will issue a warning if neither sync nor async is specified.

Todd Denniston
Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC Crane) 
Harnessing the Power of Technology for the Warfighter

More information about the drbd-user mailing list