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Re: [Xen-devel] [RFC V9 4/4] domain snapshot design: libxl/libxlu

On Thu, 2014-12-18 at 23:58 -0700, Chun Yan Liu wrote:
> >>> On 12/18/2014 at 11:27 PM, in message 
> >>> <1418916436.11882.101.camel@xxxxxxxxxx>,
> Ian Campbell <Ian.Campbell@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote: 
> > On Tue, 2014-12-16 at 14:32 +0800, Chunyan Liu wrote: 
> > > Changes to V8: 
> > >   * remove libxl_domain_snapshot_create/delete/revert API 
> > >   * export disk snapshot functionality for both xl and libvirt usage 
> > >  
> > > ===========================================================================
> > >  
> > > Libxl/libxlu Design 
> > >  
> > > 1. New Structures 
> > >  
> > > libxl_disk_snapshot = Struct("disk_snapshot",[ 
> > >     # target disk 
> > >     ("disk",            libxl_device_disk), 
> > >  
> > >     # disk snapshot name 
> > >     ("name",            string), 
> > >  
> > >     # internal/external disk snapshot? 
> > >     ("external",        bool), 
> > >  
> > >     # for external disk snapshot, specify following two field 
> > >     ("external_format", string), 
> > >     ("external_path",   string), 
> >  
> > Should this be a KeyedUnion over a new LIBXL_DISK_SNAPSHOT_KIND enum 
> > (with values INTERNAL and EXTERNAL)?
> The KeyedUnion seems to be unnecessary. Only EXTERNAL has data items,
> INTERNAL doesn't, and no third types.
> > This would automatically make the 
> > binding between external==true and the fields which depend on that. 
> >  
> > external_format should be of type libxl_disk_format, unless it is 
> > referring to something else? 
> Yes. That's right. I'll update.
> >  
> > Is it possible for format to differ from the format of the underlying 
> > disk? Perhaps taking a snapshot of a raw disk as a qcow?
> This is related to implementation details. As I understand qemu's
> implementation, taking an external disk snapshot is actually a way:
> origin domain disk: a raw disk
> external= true, external_format: qcow2, external_path: test
> a), create a qcow2 file (test.qcow2) with  backing file (the raw disk)
> b), replace domain disk, now domain uses test.qcow2 (the raw disk
>      is actually to be the snapshot)
> So, I think the external_format can only be those supporting backing file.

Not sure what you mean here.

What about a phy snapshot via lvm snapshotting?

> > In any case 
> > passing in UNKNOWN and letting libxl choose (probably by picking the 
> > same as the underlying disk) should be supported.
> If external_format is not passed (NULL), by default, we will use qcow2.

I think you need to base this on the type of the original disk, if it is
e.g. vhd then making a qcow snapshot seems a bit odd.

> >  
> > > /*  This API might not be used by xl, since xl won't take care of 
> > > deleting 
> > >  *  snapshots. But for libvirt, since libvirt manages snapshots and will 
> > >  *  delete snapshot, this API will be used. 
> > >  */ 
> > > int libxl_disk_snapshot_delete(libxl_ctx *ctx, uint32_t domid, 
> > >                                libxl_disk_snapshot *snapshot, int nb); 
> >  
> > The three usecases I mentioned in the previous mail are important here, 
> > because depending on which usecases you are considering there maybe a 
> > many to one relationship between domains and a given snapshot (gold 
> > image case). This interface cannot support that I think.
> I'm not quite clear about the three usecases, especially the 3rd usercase,
> so really not sure what's the requirement towards deleting disk snapshot.

I hope my reply to the previous mail helped clear this up a bit. The
reason deleting a disk is interesting is because that is what you would
do after the backup was finished.

> > When we discussed this in previous iterations I suggested a libxl 
> > command to tell a VM that it needed to reexamine its disks to see if any 
> > of the chains had changed. I'm sure that's not the only potential answer 
> > though.
> About delete disk snapshot in a snapshot chain, whether we need to do
> extra work to avoid data break, it can be discussed:
> a). For external snapshots, usually it's based on backing file chain, qemu
> does this, vhd-util does this. In this case, to delete a domain snapshot,
> one doesn't need to do anything to disk (no need to delete disk snapshot
> at all). Downside is, there might be a long backing chain.

I'm not sure what you mean here I'm afraid. If you are deleting a domain
snapshot why do you not want to delete the disk snapshots associated
with it?

> b). For internal snapshot, like qcow2, lvm too. For lvm, it doesn't support
> snapshot of snapshot, so out of scope. For qcow2, delete any disk snapshot
> won't affect others.

For either internal or external if you are removing a snapshot from the
middle of a chain which ends in one or more active disks, then surely
the disk backend associated with those domains need to get some sort of
notification, otherwise they would need to be written *very* carefully
in order to be able to cope with disk metadata changing under their

Are you saying that the qemu/qcow implementation has indeed been written
with this in mind and can cope with arbitrary other processes modifying
the qcow metadata under their feet?

                 `--SNAPSHOT C --- domain 2

If SNAPSHOT B and C are in active use then I would expect the deletion
of SNAPSHOT A would need to notify the backends associated with domain 1
and domain 2 somehow, so they don't get very confused.

It's possible that this relates to a use case which you aren't intending
to address (e.g. the gold image use case), in which case it might be out
of scope here.

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