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- To: OpenLDAPfirstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: back-mdb notes
- From: Howard Chu <email@example.com>
- Date: Sat, 05 Mar 2011 05:05:41 -0800
- User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:2.0b11pre) Gecko/20110130 Firefox/4.0b11pre SeaMonkey/2.1b2pre
Thought this was an interesting read:
Too bad he talks about his approach being "2006 era" programming. In fact the
single-level store is 1964-era, from Multics.
I guess they'll have to tweak Henry Spencer's quote ("Those who do not
understand UNIX are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.") to Multics instead...
I've been working on a new "in-memory" B-tree library that operates on an
mmap'd file. It is a copy-on-write design; it supports MVCC and is immune to
corruption and requires no recovery procedure. It is not an append-only
design, since that requires explicit compaction, and also is not amenable to
mmap usage. Also the append-only approach requires total serialization of
write operations, which would be quite poor for throughput.
The current approach simply reserves space for two root node pointers and flip
flops between them. So, multiple writes may be outstanding at once, but
commits are of course serialized; each commit causes the currently unused root
node pointer to become the currently valid root node pointer. Transaction
aborts are pretty much free; there's nothing to rollback. Read transactions
begin by snapshotting the current root pointer and then can run without any
interference from any other operations.
Public commits have been waiting for our official transition to git, but since
that's been going nowhere I will probably start publishing on github.com in
the next couple of weeks. (With St. Patrick's Day right around the corner it
may have to wait a bit.)
Unfortunately I realized that not all application-level caching can be
eliminated - with the hierarchical DB approach, we don't store full entry DNs
in the DB so they still need to be generated in main memory, and they probably
should be cached. But that's a detail to be addressed later; it may well be
that the cost of always constructing them on the fly (no caching) is acceptable.
This backend should perform much better in all aspects (memory, CPU, and I/O
usage) than the current BerkeleyDB code. It eliminates two levels of caching,
entries pulled from the DB require zero decoding, readers require no locks,
writes require no write-ahead-logging overhead. There are only two
configurable parameters (the pathname to the DB file, and the size) so this
will be far simpler for admins.
Potential downside - on a 32 bit machine with only 2GB of addressable memory
the maximum usable DB size is around 1.6GB. On a 64 bit machine, I doubt the
limits will pose any problem. ("64 bits should be enough for anyone...")
re: configuring the size of the DB file - this is most likely not a value that
can be changed on an existing DB. I.e., if you configure a DB and find that
you need to grow it later, you will probably need to slapcat/slapadd it again.
At DB creation time the file is mmap'd with address NULL so that the OS picks
the address, and the address is recorded in the DB. On subsequent opens the
file is mmap'd at the recorded address. If the size is changed, and the
process' address space is already full of other mappings, it may not be
possible to simply grow the mapping at its current address. Since the DB
records contain actual memory pointers based on the region address, any change
in the mapping address would render the DB unusable.
If this restriction turns out to be too impractical, we may have to resort to
just storing array offsets, but that will then imply a decoding phase and the
re-introduction of entry caching, which I really really want to avoid.
-- Howard Chu
CTO, Symas Corp. http://www.symas.com
Director, Highland Sun http://highlandsun.com/hyc/
Chief Architect, OpenLDAP http://www.openldap.org/project/