How Vinum addresses the Three Problems
The big picture
Some examplesVinum maintains a configuration database which describes the objects known to an individual system. Initially, the user creates the configuration database from one or more configuration files with the aid of the vinum(8) utility program. Vinum stores a copy of its configuration database on each disk slice (which Vinum calls a device) under its control. This database is updated on each state change, so that a restart accurately restores the state of each Vinum object.
The configuration fileThe configuration file describes individual Vinum objects. The definition of a simple volume might be:drive a device /dev/da3h volume myvol plex org concat sd length 512m drive aThis file describes a four Vinum objects:
After processing this file, vinum(8) produces the following output:
- The drive line describes a disk partition (drive) and its location relative to the underlying hardware. It is given the symbolic name a. This separation of the symbolic names from the device names allows disks to be moved from one location to another without confusion.
- The volume line describes a volume. The only required attribute is the name, in this case myvol.
- The plex line defines a plex. The only required parameter is the organization, in this case concat. No name is necessary: the system automatically generates a name from the volume name by adding the suffix .px, where x is the number of the plex in the volume. Thus this plex will be called myvol.p0.
- The sd line describes a subdisk. The minimum specifications are the name of a drive on which to store it, and the length of the subdisk. As with plexes, no name is necessary: the system automatically assigns names derived from the plex name by adding the suffix .sx, where x is the number of the subdisk in the plex. Thus Vinum gives this subdisk the name myvol.p0.s0vinum -> create config1 Configuration summary Drives: 1 (4 configured) Volumes: 1 (4 configured) Plexes: 1 (8 configured) Subdisks: 1 (16 configured) D a State: up Device /dev/da3h Avail: 2061/2573 MB (80%) V myvol State: up Plexes: 1 Size: 512 MB P myvol.p0 C State: up Subdisks: 1 Size: 512 MB S myvol.p0.s0 State: up PO: 0 B Size: 512 MBThis output shows the brief listing format of vinum(8). It is represented graphically in the following figure.
This figure, and the ones which follow, represent a volume, which contains the plexes, which in turn contain the subdisks. In this trivial example, the volume contains one plex, and the plex contains one subdisk.
A simple Vinum volume
This particular volume has no specific advantage over a conventional disk partition. It contains a single plex, so it is not redundant. The plex contains a single subdisk, so there is no difference in storage allocation from a conventional disk partition. The following sections illustrate various more interesting configuration methods.
Increased resilience: mirroringThe resilience of a volume can be increased either by mirroring or by using RAID-5 plexes. When laying out a mirrored volume, it is important to ensure that the subdisks of each plex are on different drives, so that a drive failure will not take down both plexes. The following configuration mirrors a volume:drive b device /dev/da4h volume mirror plex org concat sd length 512m drive a plex org concat sd length 512m drive bIn this example, it was not necessary to specify a definition of drive a again, since Vinum keeps track of all objects in its configuration database. After processing this definition, the configuration looks like:Drives: 2 (4 configured) Volumes: 2 (4 configured) Plexes: 3 (8 configured) Subdisks: 3 (16 configured) D a State: up Device /dev/da3h Avail: 1549/2573 MB (60%) D b State: up Device /dev/da4h Avail: 2061/2573 MB (80%) V myvol State: up Plexes: 1 Size: 512 MB V mirror State: up Plexes: 2 Size: 512 MB P myvol.p0 C State: up Subdisks: 1 Size: 512 MB P mirror.p0 C State: up Subdisks: 1 Size: 512 MB P mirror.p1 C State: initializing Subdisks: 1 Size: 512 MB S myvol.p0.s0 State: up PO: 0 B Size: 512 MB S mirror.p0.s0 State: up PO: 0 B Size: 512 MB S mirror.p1.s0 State: empty PO: 0 B Size: 512 MBThe following figure shows the structure graphically.
In this example, each plex contains the full 512 MB of address space. As in the previous example, each plex contains only a single subdisk.
A mirrored Vinum volume
Optimizing performanceThe mirrored volume in the previous example is more resistant to failure than an unmirrored volume, but its performance is less: each write to the volume requires a write to both drives, using up a greater proportion of the total disk bandwidth. Performance considerations demand a different approach: instead of mirroring, the data is striped across as many disk drives as possible. The following configuration shows a volume with a plex striped across four disk drives:drive c device /dev/da5h drive d device /dev/da6h volume stripe plex org striped 512k sd length 128m drive a sd length 128m drive b sd length 128m drive c sd length 128m drive d
As before, it is not necessary to define the drives which are already known to Vinum. After processing this definition, the configuration looks like:Drives: 4 (4 configured) Volumes: 3 (4 configured) Plexes: 4 (8 configured) Subdisks: 7 (16 configured) D a State: up Device /dev/da3h Avail: 1421/2573 MB (55%) D b State: up Device /dev/da4h Avail: 1933/2573 MB (75%) D c State: up Device /dev/da5h Avail: 2445/2573 MB (95%) D d State: up Device /dev/da6h Avail: 2445/2573 MB (95%) V myvol State: up Plexes: 1 Size: 512 MB V mirror State: up Plexes: 2 Size: 512 MB V striped State: up Plexes: 1 Size: 512 MB P myvol.p0 C State: up Subdisks: 1 Size: 512 MB P mirror.p0 C State: up Subdisks: 1 Size: 512 MB P mirror.p1 C State: initializing Subdisks: 1 Size: 512 MB P striped.p1 State: up Subdisks: 1 Size: 512 MB S myvol.p0.s0 State: up PO: 0 B Size: 512 MB S mirror.p0.s0 State: up PO: 0 B Size: 512 MB S mirror.p1.s0 State: empty PO: 0 B Size: 512 MB S striped.p0.s0 State: up PO: 0 B Size: 128 MB S striped.p0.s1 State: up PO: 512 kB Size: 128 MB S striped.p0.s2 State: up PO: 1024 kB Size: 128 MB S striped.p0.s3 State: up PO: 1536 kB Size: 128 MB
This volume is represented in the following figure. The darkness of the stripes indicates the position within the plex address space: the lightest stripes come first, the darkest last.
A striped Vinum volume
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Following SectionsIncreased resilience: RAID-5