A container can be mounted as shared POSIX namespace on multiple compute nodes.
This capability is provided by the
libdfs library that implements the file and
directory abstractions over the native
libdaos library. The POSIX emulation can
be exposed directly to applications or I/O frameworks (e.g., for frameworks like
Spark or TensorFlow, or benchmarks like IOR or mdtest that support different
storage backend plugins).
It can also be exposed transparently via a FUSE daemon, combined optionally with
an interception library to address some of the FUSE performance bottlenecks by
delivering full OS bypass for POSIX read/write operations.
The performance is going to be best generally when using the DFS API directly. Using the IO interception library with dfuse should yield the same performance for IO operations (read/write) as the DFS API with minimal overhead. Performance of metadata operations (file creation, deletion, rename, etc.) over dfuse will be much slower than the DFS API since there is no interception to bypass the fuse/kernel layer.
The DAOS File System (DFS) is implemented in the
and allows a DAOS container to be accessed as a hierarchical POSIX namespace.
libdfs supports files, directories, and symbolic links, but not hard links.
Access permissions are inherited from the parent pool and are not implemented on
a per-file or per-directory basis.
The DFS API closely represents the POSIX API. The API includes operations to:
- Mount: create/open superblock and root object
- Un-mount: release open handles
- Lookup: traverse a path and return an open file/dir handle
- IO: read & write with an iovec
- Stat: retrieve attributes of an entry
- Mkdir: create a dir
- Readdir: enumerate all entries under a directory
- Open: create/Open a file/dir
- Remove: unlink a file/dir
- Move: rename
- Release: close an open handle of a file/dir
- Extended Attributes: set, get, list, remove
The following features from POSIX are not supported:
- Hard links
- mmap support with MAP_SHARED will be consistent from single client only. Note that this is supported through DFUSE only (i.e. not through the DFS API).
- Char devices, block devices, sockets and pipes
- User/group quotas
- setuid(), setgid() programs, supplementary groups, POSIX ACLs are not supported within the DFS namespace.
- [access/change/modify] time not updated appropriately, potentially on close only.
- Flock (maybe at dfuse local node level only)
- Block size in stat buf is not accurate (no account for holes, extended attributes)
- Various parameters reported via statfs like number of blocks, files, free/available space
- POSIX permissions inside an encapsulated namespace
- Still enforced at the DAOS pool/container level
- Effectively means that all files belong to the same "project"
DFS directories do not include the
. (current directory) and
.. (parent directory)
directory entries that are known from other POSIX filesystems.
ls -al will not include these entries in their output.
Those directory entries are not required by POSIX, so this is not a limitation to POSIX
compliance. But scripts that parse directory listings under the assumption that those dot
directories are present may need to be adapted to to correctly handle this situation.
Note that operations like
cd . or
cd .. will still succeed in dfuse-mounted POSIX
It is possible to use
libdfs in a parallel application from multiple nodes.
DFS provides two modes that offer different levels of consistency. The modes can
be set on container creation time:
1) Relaxed mode for well-behaved applications that generate conflict-free operations for which a very high level of concurrency will be supported.
2) Balanced mode for applications that require stricter consistency at the cost of performance. This mode is currently not fully supported and DFS by default will use the relaxed mode.
On container access, if the container is created with balanced mode, it can be accessed in balanced mode only. If the container was created with relaxed mode, it can be accessed in relaxed or balanced mode. In either mode, there is a consistency semantic issue that is not properly handled:
- Open-unlink semantics: This occurs when a client obtains an open handle on an object (file or directory), and accesses that object (reads/writes data or create other files), while another client removes that object that the other client has opened from under it. In DAOS, we don't track object open handles as that would be very expensive, and so in such conflicting cases, the worst case scenario is the lost/leaked space that is written to those orphan objects that have been unlinked from the namespace.
Other consistency issues are handled differently between the two consistency mode:
- Same Operation Executed Concurrently (Supported in both Relaxed and Balanced Mode): For example, clients try to create or remove the same file concurrently, one should succeed and others will fail.
- Create/Unlink/Rename Conflicts (Supported in Balanced Mode only): For example, a client renames a file, but another unlinks the old file at the same time.
- Operation Atomicity (Supported only in Balanced mode): If a client crashes in the middle of the rename, the state of the container should be consistent as if the operation never happened.
- Visibility (Supported in Balanced and Relaxed mode): A write from one client should be visible to another client with a simple coordination between the clients.
DFuse (DAOS FUSE)¶
DFuse provides DAOS File System access through the standard libc/kernel/VFS
POSIX infrastructure. This allows existing applications to use DAOS without
modification, and provides a path to upgrade those applications to native DAOS
support. Additionally, DFuse provides an Interception Library
transparently allow POSIX clients to talk directly to DAOS servers, providing
OS-Bypass for I/O without modifying or recompiling of the application.
DFuse builds heavily on DFS. Data written via DFuse can be accessed by DFS and vice versa.
dfuse daemon runs a single instance per node to provide a user POSIX access
to DAOS. It should be run with the credentials of the user, and typically will
be started and stopped on each compute node as part of the prolog and epilog
scripts of any resource manager or scheduler in use.
DFuse is limited to a single user. Access to the filesystem from other users,
including root, will not be honored. As a consequence of this, the
chgrp calls are not supported. Hard links and special device files,
except symbolic links, are not supported, nor are any ACLs.
DFuse can run in the foreground, keeping the terminal window open, or it can
daemonize to run like a system daemon.
However, to do this and still be able to access DAOS it needs to daemonize
daos_init(). This in turns means it cannot report some kinds
of startup errors either on stdout/stderr or via its return code.
When initially starting with DFuse it is recommended to run in foreground mode
--foreground) to better observe any failures.
Inodes are managed on the local node by DFuse. So while inode numbers will be consistent on a node for the duration of the session, they are not guaranteed to be consistent across restarts of DFuse or across nodes.
It is not possible to see pool/container listings through DFuse.
ls or others are used, DFuse will return
DFuse should be run with the credentials (user/group) of the user who will be accessing it, and who owns any pools that will be used.
There are two mandatory command-line options, these are:
|--mountpoint=<path>||path to mount dfuse|
The mount point specified should be an empty directory on the local node that is owned by the user.
Additionally, there are several optional command-line options:
|--pool=<label|uuid>||pool label or uuid to connect to|
|--container=<label|uuid>||container label or uuid to open|
|--sys-name=<name>||DAOS system name|
|--foreground||run in foreground|
|--singlethreaded||run single threaded|
When DFuse starts, it will register a single mount with the kernel, at the
location specified by the
--mountpoint option. This mount will be
/proc/mounts, and possibly in the output of
The contents of multiple pools/containers will be accessible via this
single kernel mountpoint.
Below is an example of creating and mounting a POSIX container under the /tmp/dfuse mountpoint.
$ mkdir /tmp/dfuse $ dfuse -m /tmp/dfuse --pool tank --cont mycont $ touch /tmp/dfuse/foo $ ls -l /tmp/dfuse/ total 0 -rw-rw-r-- 1 jlombard jlombard 0 Jul 10 20:23 foo $ df -h /tmp/dfuse/ Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on dfuse 9.4G 326K 9.4G 1% /tmp/dfuse
Links into other Containers¶
It is possible to link to other containers in DFuse, where subdirectories within a container resolve not to regular directories, but rather to the root of entirely different POSIX containers.
To create a new container and link it into the namespace of an existing one, use the following command.
$ daos container create <pool_label> --type POSIX --path <path_to_entry_point>
The pool should already exist, and the path should specify a location somewhere within a DFuse mount point that resolves to a POSIX container. Once a link is created, it can be accessed through the new path. Following the link is virtually transparent. No container uuid is required. If one is not supplied, it will be created.
To destroy a container again, the following command should be used.
$ daos container destroy --path <path to entry point>
This will both remove the link between the containers and remove the container that was linked to.
There is no support for adding links to already existing containers or removing links to containers without also removing the container itself.
Information about a container, for example, the presence of an entry point between containers, or the pool and container uuids of the container linked to can be read with the following command.
$ daos container info --path <path to entry point>
Please find below an example.
$ dfuse -m /tmp/dfuse --pool tank --cont mycont $ cd /tmp/dfuse/ $ ls foo $ daos cont create tank --label mycont3 --type POSIX --path ./link_to_externa_container Container UUID : 933944a9-ddf2-491a-bdbf-4442f0437d56 Container Label: mycont3 Container Type : POSIX Successfully created container 933944a9-ddf2-491a-bdbf-4442f0437d56 type POSIX $ ls -lrt total 0 -rw-rw-r-- 1 jlombard jlombard 0 Jul 10 20:23 foo drwxr-xr-x 1 jlombard jlombard 72 Jul 10 20:56 link_to_externa_container $ daos cont destroy --path ./link_to_externa_container/ Successfully destroyed container 933944a9-ddf2-491a-bdbf-4442f0437d56 jlombard@wolf-151:/tmp/dfuse$ ls -l total 0 -rw-rw-r-- 1 jlombard jlombard 0 Jul 10 20:23 foo
For performance reasons caching will be enabled by default in DFuse, including both data and metadata caching. It is possible to tune these settings both at a high level on the DFuse command line and fine grained control via container attributes.
The following types of data will be cached by default.
- Kernel caching of dentries
- Kernel caching of negative dentries
- Kernel caching of inodes (file sizes, permissions etc)
- Kernel caching of file contents
- Readahead in dfuse and inserting data into kernel cache
- MMAP write optimization
Caching is enabled by default in dfuse. This might cause some parallel applications to fail. Please disable caching (--disable-caching option) if you experience this or want up to date data sharing between nodes.
To selectively control caching within a container the following container attributes should be used, if any attribute is set then the rest are assumed to be set to 0 or off, except dentry-dir-time which defaults to dentry-time
|dfuse-attr-time||How long file attributes are cached|
|dfuse-dentry-time||How long directory entries are cached|
|dfuse-dentry-dir-time||How long dentries are cached, if the entry is itself a directory|
|dfuse-ndentry-time||How long negative dentries are cached|
|dfuse-data-cache||Data caching enabled for this file ("on"/"off")|
|dfuse-direct-io-disable||Force use of page cache for this container ("on"/"off")|
For metadata caching attributes specify the duration that the cache should be valid for, specified in seconds or with a 's', 'm', 'h' or 'd' suffix for seconds, minutes, hours or days.
dfuse-data-cache should be set to "on", or "off" if set, any other value will log an error, and result in the cache being off. The O_DIRECT flag for open files will be honoured with this option enabled, files which do not set O_DIRECT will be cached.
dfuse-direct-io-disable will enable data caching, similar to dfuse-data-cache, however if this is set to "on" then the O_DIRECT flag will be ignored, and all files will use the page cache. This default value for this is "off".
With no options specified attr and dentry timeouts will be 1 second, dentry-dir and ndentry timeouts will be 5 seconds, and data caching will be enabled.
These are two command line options to control the DFuse process itself.
|Command line option||Description|
|--disable-caching||Disables all caching|
|--disable-wb-caching||Disables write-back cache|
These will affect all containers accessed via DFuse, regardless of any container attributes.
DFuse can serve data from any user's container, but needs appropriate permissions in order to do this.
File ownership within containers is set by the container being served, with the owner of the container owning all files within that container, so if looking at the container of another user then all entries within that container will be owned by that user, and file-based permissions checks by the kernel will be made on that basis.
Should write permission be granted to another user then any newly created files will also be owned by the container owner, regardless of the user used to create them. Permissions are only checked on connect, so if permissions are revoked users need to restart DFuse for these to be picked up.
DFuse needs 'r' permission for pools only.
DFuse needs 'r', 't', and 'a' permissions to run: read for accessing the data, 't' to read container properties to know the container type and 'a' to read the ACLs to know the container owner.
Write permission for the container is optional; however, without it the container will be read-only.
When done, the file system can be unmounted via fusermount:
$ fusermount3 -u /tmp/daos
When this is done, the local DFuse daemon should shut down the mount point,
disconnect from the DAOS servers, and exit. You can also verify that the
mount point is no longer listed in
An interception library called
libioil is available to work with DFuse. This
library works in conjunction with DFuse and allows the interception of POSIX I/O
calls and issue the I/O operations directly from the application context through
libdaos without any application changes. This provides kernel-bypass for I/O data,
leading to improved performance.
To use the interception library, set
LD_PRELOAD to point to the shared library
in the DAOS install directory:
LD_PRELOAD=/path/to/daos/install/lib/libioil.so LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib64/libioil.so # when installed from RPMs
$ dd if=/dev/zero of=./foo bs=1G count=20 20+0 records in 20+0 records out 21474836480 bytes (21 GB, 20 GiB) copied, 14.1946 s, 1.5 GB/s $ LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib64/libioil.so dd if=/dev/zero of=./bar bs=1G count=20 20+0 records in 20+0 records out 21474836480 bytes (21 GB, 20 GiB) copied, 5.0483 s, 4.3 GB/s
Alternatively, it's possible to simply link the interception library into the application
at compile time with the
The interception library is intended to be transparent to the user, and no other setup should be needed beyond the above. However this can mean it's not easy to tell if it is linked correctly and working or not, to detect this you can turn on reporting of activity by the interception library via environment variable, in which will case it will print reports to stderr.
D_IL_REPORT environment variable is set then the interception library will
print a short summary in the shared library destructor, typically as a program
exits, if you set this to a number then it will also log the first read and write
calls as well. For example, if you set this to a value of 2 then the interception
library will print to stderr on the first two intercepted read calls, the first
two write calls and the first two stat calls. To have all calls printed set the
value to -1. A value of 0 means to print the summary at program exit only.
$ D_IL_REPORT=1 LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib64/libioil.so dd if=/dev/zero of=./bar bs=1G count=20 [libioil] Intercepting write of size 1073741824 20+0 records in 20+0 records out 21474836480 bytes (21 GB, 20 GiB) copied, 5.17297 s, 4.2 GB/s $ D_IL_REPORT=3 LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib64/libioil.so dd if=/dev/zero of=./bar bs=1G count=5 [libioil] Intercepting write of size 1073741824 [libioil] Intercepting write of size 1073741824 [libioil] Intercepting write of size 1073741824 5+0 records in 5+0 records out 5368709120 bytes (5.4 GB, 5.0 GiB) copied, 1.27362 s, 4.2 GB/s $ D_IL_REPORT=-1 LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib64/libioil.so dd if=/dev/zero of=./bar bs=1G count=5 [libioil] Intercepting write of size 1073741824 [libioil] Intercepting write of size 1073741824 [libioil] Intercepting write of size 1073741824 [libioil] Intercepting write of size 1073741824 [libioil] Intercepting write of size 1073741824 5+0 records in 5+0 records out 5368709120 bytes (5.4 GB, 5.0 GiB) copied, 1.29935 s, 4.1 GB/s
Some programs, most GNU utilities from the 'coreutils' package have a destructor function to close stderr on exit, so for many basic commands such as cp and cat whilst the interception library will work it is not possible to see the summary generated by the interception library.
DFuse will only create one kernel level mount point regardless of how it is launched. How POSIX containers are represented within that mount point varies depending on the DFuse command-line options. In addition to mounting a single POSIX container, DFuse can also operate in two other modes detailed below.
If a pool uuid is specified but not a container uuid, then the containers can be
accessed by the path
<mount point>/<container uuid>. The container uuid
will have to be provided from an external source.
$ daos cont create tank --label mycont --type POSIX Container UUID : 8a8f08bb-5034-41e8-b7ae-0cdce347c558 Container Label: mycont Container Type : POSIX Successfully created container 8a8f08bb-5034-41e8-b7ae-0cdce347c558 $ daos cont create tank --label mycont2 --type POSIX Container UUID : 0db21789-5372-4f2a-b7bc-14c0a5e968df Container Label: mycont2 Container Type : POSIX Successfully created container 0db21789-5372-4f2a-b7bc-14c0a5e968df $ dfuse -m /tmp/dfuse --pool tank $ ls -l /tmp/dfuse/ ls: cannot open directory '/tmp/dfuse/': Operation not supported $ ls -l /tmp/dfuse/0db21789-5372-4f2a-b7bc-14c0a5e968df total 0 $ ls -l /tmp/dfuse/8a8f08bb-5034-41e8-b7ae-0cdce347c558 total 0 -rw-rw-r-- 1 jlombard jlombard 0 Jul 10 20:23 foo $ fusermount3 -u /tmp/dfuse/
If neither a pool or container is specified, then pools and container can be
accessed by the path
<mount point>/<pool uuid>/<container uuid>. However it
should be noted that
readdir() and therefore
ls do not work on either mount
points or directories representing pools here. So the pool and container uuids
will have to be provided from an external source.
$ dfuse -m /tmp/dfuse $ df -h /tmp/dfuse Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on dfuse - - - - /tmp/dfuse $ daos pool query tank | grep -- -.*- Pool 004abf7c-26c8-4cba-9059-8b3be39161fc, ntarget=32, disabled=0, leader=0, version=1 $ ls -l /tmp/dfuse/004abf7c-26c8-4cba-9059-8b3be39161fc/0db21789-5372-4f2a-b7bc-14c0a5e968df total 0 $ ls -l /tmp/dfuse/004abf7c-26c8-4cba-9059-8b3be39161fc/8a8f08bb-5034-41e8-b7ae-0cdce347c558 total 0 -rw-rw-r-- 1 jlombard jlombard 0 Jul 10 20:23 foo
While this mode is not expected to be used directly by users, it is useful for the unified namespace integration.