NFSv4 Working Group                                            D. Black
Internet Draft                                              S. Fridella
Expires: September 17, 2008                                  J. Glasgow
Intended Status: Proposed Standard                      EMC Corporation
                                                         March 17, 2008

                         pNFS Block/Volume Layout

Status of this Memo

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   becomes aware will be disclosed, in accordance with Section 6 of
   BCP 79.

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   This Internet-Draft will expire in September 2008.


   Parallel NFS (pNFS) extends NFSv4 to allow clients to directly access
   file data on the storage used by the NFSv4 server.  This ability to
   bypass the server for data access can increase both performance and
   parallelism, but requires additional client functionality for data
   access, some of which is dependent on the class of storage used.  The
   main pNFS operations draft specifies storage-class-independent
   extensions to NFS; this draft specifies the additional extensions

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   (primarily data structures) for use of pNFS with block and volume
   based storage.

Conventions used in this document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC-2119 [RFC2119].

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction...................................................3
      1.1. General Definitions.......................................3
      1.2. XDR Description of NFSv4.1 block layout...................4
   2. Block Layout Description.......................................5
      2.1. Background and Architecture...............................5
      2.2. GETDEVICELIST and GETDEVICEINFO...........................6
         2.2.1. Volume Identification................................6
         2.2.2. Volume Topology......................................7
         2.2.3. GETDEVICELIST and GETDEVICEINFO deviceid4...........10
      2.3. Data Structures: Extents and Extent Lists................10
         2.3.1. Layout Requests and Extent Lists....................13
         2.3.2. Layout Commits......................................14
         2.3.3. Layout Returns......................................14
         2.3.4. Client Copy-on-Write Processing.....................15
         2.3.5. Extents are Permissions.............................16
         2.3.6. End-of-file Processing..............................18
         2.3.7. Layout Hints........................................18
         2.3.8. Client Fencing......................................19
      2.4. Crash Recovery Issues....................................21
      2.5. Recalling resources: CB_RECALL_ANY.......................21
      2.6. Transient and Permanent Errors...........................22
   3. Security Considerations.......................................22
   4. Conclusions...................................................24
   5. IANA Considerations...........................................24
   6. Acknowledgments...............................................24
   7. References....................................................24
      7.1. Normative References.....................................25
      7.2. Informative References...................................25
   Author's Addresses...............................................25
   Intellectual Property Statement..................................26
   Disclaimer of Validity...........................................26
   Copyright Statement..............................................27

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1. Introduction

   Figure 1 shows the overall architecture of a pNFS system:

       |+-----------+                                 +-----------+
       ||+-----------+                                |           |
       |||           |       NFSv4.1 + pNFS           |           |
       +||  Clients  |<------------------------------>|   Server  |
        +|           |                                |           |
         +-----------+                                |           |
              |||                                     +-----------+
              |||                                           |
              |||                                           |
              |||                +-----------+              |
              |||                |+-----------+             |
              ||+----------------||+-----------+            |
              |+-----------------|||           |            |
              +------------------+||  Storage  |------------+
                                  +|  Systems  |

                        Figure 1 pNFS Architecture

   The overall approach is that pNFS-enhanced clients obtain sufficient
   information from the server to enable them to access the underlying
   storage (on the Storage Systems) directly.  See the pNFS portion of
   [NFSV4.1] for more details.  This draft is concerned with access from
   pNFS clients to Storage Systems over storage protocols based on
   blocks and volumes, such as the SCSI protocol family (e.g., parallel
   SCSI, FCP for Fibre Channel, iSCSI, SAS, and FCoE).  This class of
   storage is referred to as block/volume storage.  While the Server to
   Storage System protocol is not of concern for interoperability here,
   it will typically also be a block/volume protocol when clients use
   block/ volume protocols.

1.1. General Definitions

   The following definitions are provided for the purpose of providing
   an appropriate context for the reader.


      This document defines a byte as an octet, i.e. a datum exactly 8
      bits in length.

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      The "client" is the entity that accesses the NFS server's
      resources. The client may be an application which contains the
      logic to access the NFS server directly. The client may also be
      the traditional operating system client that provides remote file
      system services for a set of applications.


      The "Server" is the entity responsible for coordinating client
      access to a set of file systems and is identified by a Server

1.2. XDR Description

   This document contains the XDR ([XDR]) description of the NFSv4.1
   block layout protocol.  The XDR description is embedded in this
   document in a way that makes it simple for the reader to extract into
   a ready to compile form.  The reader can feed this document into the
   following shell script to produce the machine readable XDR
   description of the NFSv4.1 block layout:

   grep "^  *///" | sed 's?^  *///??'

   I.e. if the above script is stored in a file called "", and
   this document is in a file called "spec.txt", then the reader can do:

       sh < spec.txt > nfs4_block_layout_spec.x

   The effect of the script is to remove both leading white space and a
   sentinel sequence of "///" from each matching line.

   The embedded XDR file header follows, with subsequent pieces embedded
   throughout the document:

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   /// * This file was machine generated for
   /// *  draft-ietf-nfsv4-pnfs-block-07
   /// * Last updated Tue Jan 29 02:57:06 CST 2008
   /// */
   /// *  Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2007-2008)
   /// *  All Rights Reserved.
   /// *
   /// *  Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998-2006).
   /// *  All Rights Reserved.
   /// */
   /// *      nfs4_block_layout_prot.x
   /// */
   ///%#include "nfsv41.h"

   The XDR code contained in this document depends on types from
   nfsv41.x file.  This includes both nfs types that end with a 4, such
   as offset4, length4, etc, as well as more generic types such as
   uint32_t and uint64_t.

2. Block Layout Description

2.1. Background and Architecture

   The fundamental storage abstraction supported by block/volume storage
   is a storage volume consisting of a sequential series of fixed size
   blocks.  This can be thought of as a logical disk; it may be realized
   by the Storage System as a physical disk, a portion of a physical
   disk or something more complex (e.g., concatenation, striping, RAID,
   and combinations thereof) involving multiple physical disks or
   portions thereof.

   A pNFS layout for this block/volume class of storage is responsible
   for mapping from an NFS file (or portion of a file) to the blocks of
   storage volumes that contain the file.  The blocks are expressed as
   extents with 64 bit offsets and lengths using the existing NFSv4
   offset4 and length4 types.  Clients must be able to perform I/O to
   the block extents without affecting additional areas of storage
   (especially important for writes), therefore extents MUST be aligned

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   to 512-byte boundaries, and writable extents MUST be aligned to the
   block size used by the NFSv4 server in managing the actual file
   system (4 kilobytes and 8 kilobytes are common block sizes).  This
   block size is available as the NFSv4.1 layout_blksize attribute.
   [NFSV4.1].  Readable extents SHOULD be aligned to the block size used
   by the NFSv4 server, but in order to support legacy file systems with
   fragments, alignment to 512 byte boundaries is acceptable.

   The pNFS operation for requesting a layout (LAYOUTGET) includes the
   "layoutiomode4 loga_iomode" argument which indicates whether the
   requested layout is for read-only use or read-write use.  A read-only
   layout may contain holes that are read as zero, whereas a read-write
   layout will contain allocated, but un-initialized storage in those
   holes (read as zero, can be written by client).  This draft also
   supports client participation in copy on write (e.g. for file systems
   with snapshots) by providing both read-only and un-initialized
   storage for the same range in a layout.  Reads are initially
   performed on the read-only storage, with writes going to the un-
   initialized storage.  After the first write that initializes the un-
   initialized storage, all reads are performed to that now-initialized
   writeable storage, and the corresponding read-only storage is no
   longer used.


2.2.1. Volume Identification

   Storage Systems such as storage arrays can have multiple physical
   network ports that need not be connected to a common network,
   resulting in a pNFS client having simultaneous multipath access to
   the same storage volumes via different ports on different networks.
   The networks may not even be the same technology - for example,
   access to the same volume via both iSCSI and Fibre Channel is
   possible, hence network addresses are difficult to use for volume
   identification.  For this reason, this pNFS block layout identifies
   storage volumes by content, for example providing the means to match
   (unique portions of) labels used by volume managers.  Any block pNFS
   system using this layout MUST support a means of content-based unique
   volume identification that can be employed via the data structure
   given here.

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   ///struct pnfs_block_sig_component4 {  /* disk signature component */
   ///    int64_t sig_offset;             /* byte offset of component
   ///                                       on volume*/
   ///    opaque  contents<>;             /* contents of this component
   ///                                       of the signature */

   Note that the opaque "contents" field in the
   "pnfs_block_sig_component4" structure MUST NOT be interpreted as a
   zero-terminated string, as it may contain embedded zero-valued bytes.
   There are no restrictions on alignment (e.g., neither sig_offset nor
   the length are required to be multiples of 4).  The sig_offset is a
   signed quantity which when positive represents an byte offset from
   the start of the volume, and when negative represents an byte offset
   from the end of the volume.

   Negative offsets are permitted in order to simplify the client
   implementation on systems where the device label is found at a fixed
   offset from the end of the volume.  If the server uses negative
   offsets to describe the signature, then the client and server MUST
   NOT see different volume sizes.  Negative offsets SHOULD NOT be used
   in systems that dynamically resize volumes unless care is taken to
   ensure that the device label is always present at the offset from the
   end of the volume as seen by the clients.

   A signature is an array of up to "PNFS_BLOCK_MAX_SIG_COMP" (defined
   below) signature components.  The client MUST NOT assume that all
   signature components are colocated within a single sector on a block

   The pNFS client block layout driver uses this volume identification
   to map pnfs_block_volume_type4 PNFS_BLOCK_VOLUME_SIMPLE deviceid4s to
   its local view of a LUN.

2.2.2. Volume Topology

   The pNFS block server volume topology is expressed as an arbitrary
   combination of base volume types enumerated in the following data
   structures.  The individual components of the topology are contained
   in an array and components may refer to other components by using
   array indices.

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   ///enum pnfs_block_volume_type4 {
   ///    PNFS_BLOCK_VOLUME_SIMPLE = 0,   /* volume maps to a single
   ///                                       LU */
   ///    PNFS_BLOCK_VOLUME_SLICE  = 1,   /* volume is a slice of
   ///                                       another volume */
   ///    PNFS_BLOCK_VOLUME_CONCAT = 2,   /* volume is a
   ///                                       concatenation of
   ///                                       multiple volumes */
   ///    PNFS_BLOCK_VOLUME_STRIPE = 3    /* volume is striped across
   ///                                       multiple volumes */
   ///const PNFS_BLOCK_MAX_SIG_COMP = 16; /* maximum components per
   ///                                       signature */
   ///struct pnfs_block_simple_volume_info4 {
   ///    pnfs_block_sig_component4 ds<PNFS_BLOCK_MAX_SIG_COMP>;
   ///                                    /* disk signature */
   ///struct pnfs_block_slice_volume_info4 {
   ///    offset4  start;                 /* offset of the start of the
   ///                                       slice in bytes */
   ///    length4  length;                /* length of slice in bytes */
   ///    uint32_t volume;                /* array index of sliced
   ///                                       volume */
   ///struct pnfs_block_concat_volume_info4 {
   ///    uint32_t  volumes<>;            /* array indices of volumes
   ///                                       which are concatenated */
   ///struct pnfs_block_stripe_volume_info4 {
   ///    length4  stripe_unit;           /* size of stripe in bytes */
   ///    uint32_t volumes<>;             /* array indices of volumes
   ///                                       which are striped across --
   ///                                       MUST be same size */

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   ///union pnfs_block_volume4 switch (pnfs_block_volume_type4 type) {
   ///        pnfs_block_simple_volume_info4  simple_info;
   ///        pnfs_block_slice_volume_info4 slice_info;
   ///        pnfs_block_concat_volume_info4 concat_info;
   ///        pnfs_block_stripe_volume_info4 stripe_info;
   ////* block layout specific type for da_addr_body */
   ///struct pnfs_block_deviceaddr4 {
   ///    pnfs_block_volume4 volumes<>;   /* array of volumes */

   The "pnfs_block_deviceaddr4" data structure is a structure that
   allows arbitrarily complex nested volume structures to be encoded.
   The types of aggregations that are allowed are stripes,
   concatenations, and slices.  Note that the volume topology expressed
   in the pnfs_block_deviceaddr4 data structure will always resolve to a
   set of pnfs_block_volume_type4 PNFS_BLOCK_VOLUME_SIMPLE.  The array
   of volumes is ordered such that the root of the volume hierarchy is
   the last element of the array.  Concat, slice and stripe volumes MUST
   refer to volumes defined by lower indexed elements of the array.

   The "pnfs_block_device_addr4" data structure is returned by the
   server as the storage-protocol-specific opaque field da_addr_body in
   the "device_addr4" structure by a successful GETDEVICELIST operation.

   As noted above, all device_addr4 structures eventually resolve to a
   set of volumes of type PNFS_BLOCK_VOLUME_SIMPLE.  These volumes are
   each uniquely identified by a set of signature components.
   Complicated volume hierarchies may be composed of dozens of volumes
   each with several signature components, thus the device address may
   require several kilobytes.  The client SHOULD be prepared to allocate
   a large buffer to contain the result.  In the case of the server
   returning NFS4ERR_TOOSMALL the client SHOULD allocate a buffer of at
   least gdir_mincount_bytes to contain the expected result and retry
   the GETDEVICEINFO request.

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   The server in response to a GETDEVICELIST request typically will
   return a single "deviceid4" in the gdlr_deviceid_list array.  This is
   because the deviceid4 when passed to GETDEVICEINFO will return a
   "device_addr4" which encodes the entire volume hierarchy.  In the
   case of copy-on-write file systems, the "gdlr_deviceid_list" array
   may contain two deviceid4's, one referencing the read-only volume
   hierarchy, and one referencing the writable volume hierarchy.  There
   is no required ordering of the readable and writable ids in the array
   as the volumes are uniquely identified by their deviceid4, and are
   referred to by layouts using the deviceid4.  Another example of the
   server returning multiple device items occurs when the file handle
   represents the root of a name space spanning multiple physical file
   systems on the server, each with a different volume hierarchy.  In
   this example a server implementation may return either a list of
   deviceids used by each of the physical file systems, or it may return
   an empty list.

   Each deviceid4 returned by a successful GETDEVICELIST operation is a
   shorthand id used to reference the whole volume topology.  These
   device ids, as well as device ids return in extents of a LAYOUTGET
   operation, can be used as input to the GETDEVICEINFO operation.
   Decoding the "pnfs_block_deviceaddr4" results in a flat ordering of
   data blocks mapped to PNFS_BLOCK_VOLUME_SIMPLE volumes.  Combined
   with the mapping to a client LUN described in 2.2.1 Volume
   Identification, a logical volume offset can be mapped to a block on a
   pNFS client LUN. [NFSV4.1]

2.3. Data Structures: Extents and Extent Lists

   A pNFS block layout is a list of extents within a flat array of data
   blocks in a logical volume.  The details of the volume topology can
   be determined by using the GETDEVICEINFO operation (see discussion of
   volume identification, section 2.2 above).  The block layout
   describes the individual block extents on the volume that make up the
   file.  The offsets and length contained in an extent are specified in
   units of bytes.

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   ///enum pnfs_block_extent_state4 {
   ///    PNFS_BLOCK_READWRITE_DATA = 0,  /* the data located by this
   ///                                       extent is valid
   ///                                       for reading and writing. */
   ///    PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA      = 1,  /* the data located by this
   ///                                       extent is valid for reading
   ///                                       only; it may not be
   ///                                       written. */
   ///    PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA   = 2,  /* the location is valid; the
   ///                                       data is invalid.  It is a
   ///                                       newly (pre-) allocated
   ///                                       extent. There is physical
   ///                                       space on the volume. */
   ///    PNFS_BLOCK_NONE_DATA      = 3   /* the location is invalid. It
   ///                                       is a hole in the file.
   ///                                       There is no physical space
   ///                                       on the volume. */

   ///struct pnfs_block_extent4 {
   ///    deviceid4       vol_id;         /* id of logical volume on
   ///                                       which extent of file is
   ///                                       stored. */
   ///    offset4         file_offset;    /* the starting byte offset in
   ///                                       the file */
   ///    length4         extent_length;  /* the size in bytes of the
   ///                                       extent */
   ///    offset4         storage_offset; /* the starting byte offset in
   ///                                       the volume */
   ///    pnfs_block_extent_state4 es;    /* the state of this extent */
   ////* block layout specific type for loc_body */
   ///struct pnfs_block_layout4 {
   ///    pnfs_block_extent4 extents<>;   /* extents which make up this
   ///                                       layout. */

   The block layout consists of a list of extents which map the logical
   regions of the file to physical locations on a volume.  The "storage
   offset" field within each extent identifies a location on the logical
   volume specified by the "vol_id" field in the extent.  The vol_id

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   itself is shorthand for the whole topology of the logical volume on
   which the file is stored.  The client is responsible for translating
   this logical offset into an offset on the appropriate underlying SAN
   logical unit.  In most cases all extents in a layout will reside on
   the same volume and thus have the same vol_id.  In the case of copy
   on write file systems, the PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA extents may have a
   different vol_id from the writable extents.

   Each extent maps a logical region of the file onto a portion of the
   specified logical volume.  The file_offset, extent_length, and es
   fields for an extent returned from the server are valid for all
   extents.  In contrast, the interpretation of the storage_offset field
   depends on the value of es as follows (in increasing order):

   o  PNFS_BLOCK_READ_WRITE_DATA means that storage_offset is valid, and
      points to valid/initialized data that can be read and written.

   o  PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA means that storage_offset is valid and points
      to valid/ initialized data which can only be read.  Write
      operations are prohibited; the client may need to request a read-
      write layout.

   o  PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA means that storage_offset is valid, but
      points to invalid un-initialized data.  This data must not be
      physically read from the disk until it has been initialized.  A
      read request for a PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA extent must fill the
      user buffer with zeros, unless the extent is covered by a
      PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA extent of a copy-on-write file system.  Write
      requests must write whole server-sized blocks to the disk; bytes
      not initialized by the user must be set to zero.  Any write to
      storage in a PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA extent changes the written
      portion of the extent to PNFS_BLOCK_READ_WRITE_DATA; the pNFS
      client is responsible for reporting this change via LAYOUTCOMMIT.

   o  PNFS_BLOCK_NONE_DATA means that storage_offset is not valid, and
      this extent may not be used to satisfy write requests.  Read
      requests may be satisfied by zero-filling as for
      returned by requests for readable extents; they are never returned
      if the request was for a writeable extent.

   An extent list lists all relevant extents in increasing order of the
   file_offset of each extent; any ties are broken by increasing order
   of the extent state (es).

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2.3.1. Layout Requests and Extent Lists

   Each request for a layout specifies at least three parameters: file
   offset, desired size, and minimum size.  If the status of a request
   indicates success, the extent list returned must meet the following

   o  A request for a readable (but not writeable) layout returns only

   o  A request for a writeable layout returns
      not PNFS_BLOCK_NONE_DATA extents).  It may also return
      PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA extents only when the offset ranges in those
      extents are also covered by PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA extents to
      permit writes.

   o  The first extent in the list MUST contain the requested starting

   o  The total size of extents within the requested range MUST cover at
      least the minimum size.  One exception is allowed: the total size
      MAY be smaller if only readable extents were requested and EOF is

   o  Extents in the extent list MUST be logically contiguous for a
      read-only layout.  For a read-write layout, the set of writable
      extents (i.e., excluding PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA extents) MUST be
      logically contiguous.  Every PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA extent in a
      read-write layout MUST be covered by one or more
      PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA extents.  This overlap of
      only permitted extent overlap.

   o  Extents MUST be ordered in the list by starting offset, with
      extents in the case of equal file_offsets.

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2.3.2. Layout Commits

   ////* block layout specific type for lou_body */
   ///struct pnfs_block_layoutupdate4 {
   ///    pnfs_block_extent4 commit_list<>; /* list of extents which
   ///                                       * now contain valid data.
   ///                                       */

   The "pnfs_block_layoutupdate4" structure is used by the client as the
   block-protocol specific argument in a LAYOUTCOMMIT operation.  The
   "commit_list" field is an extent list covering regions of the file
   layout that were previously in the PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA state, but
   have been written by the client and should now be considered in the
   PNFS_BLOCK_READ_WRITE_DATA state.  The es field of each extent in the
   commit_list MUST be set to PNFS_BLOCK_READ_WRITE_DATA.  The extents
   in the commit list MUST be disjoint and MUST be sorted by
   file_offset.  The storage_offset field is unused.  Implementers
   should be aware that a server may be unable to commit regions at a
   granularity smaller than a file-system block (typically 4KB or 8KB).
   As noted above, the block-size that the server uses is available as
   an NFSv4 attribute, and any extents included in the "commit_list"
   MUST be aligned to this granularity and have a size that is a
   multiple of this granularity.  If the client believes that its
   actions have moved the end-of-file into the middle of a block being
   committed, the client MUST write zeroes from the end-of-file to the
   end of that block before committing the block.  Failure to do so may
   result in junk (uninitialized data) appearing in that area if the
   file is subsequently extended by moving the end-of-file.

2.3.3. Layout Returns

   The LAYOUTRETURN operation is done without any block layout specific
   data.  When the LAYOUTRETURN operation specifies a
   LAYOUTRETURN4_FILE_return type, then the layoutreturn_file4 data
   structure specifies the region of the file layout that is no longer
   needed by the client.  The opaque "lrf_body" field of the
   "layoutreturn_file4" data structure MUST have length zero.  A
   LAYOUTRETURN operation represents an explicit release of resources by
   the client, usually done for the purpose of avoiding unnecessary
   CB_LAYOUTRECALL operations in the future.  The client may return
   disjoint regions of the file by using multiple LAYOUTRETURN
   operations within a single COMPOUND operation.

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   Note that the block/volume layout supports unilateral layout
   revocation.  When a layout is unilaterally revoked by the server,
   usually due to the client's lease time expiring, or a delegation
   being recalled, or the client failing to return a layout in a timely
   manner, it is important for the sake of correctness that any in-
   flight I/Os that the client issued before the layout was revoked are
   rejected at the storage.  For the block/volume protocol, this is
   possible by fencing a client with an expired layout timer from the
   physical storage.  Note, however, that the granularity of this
   operation can only be at the host/logical-unit level.  Thus, if one
   of a client's layouts is unilaterally revoked by the server, it will
   effectively render useless *all* of the client's layouts for files
   located on the storage units comprising the logical volume.  This may
   render useless the client's layouts for files in other file systems.

2.3.4. Client Copy-on-Write Processing

   Copy-on-write is a mechanism used to support file and/or file system
   snapshots.  When writing to unaligned regions, or to regions smaller
   than a file system block, the writer must copy the portions of the
   original file data to a new location on disk.  This behavior can
   either be implemented on the client or the server.  The paragraphs
   below describe how a pNFS block layout client implements access to a
   file which requires copy-on-write semantics.

   Distinguishing the PNFS_BLOCK_READ_WRITE_DATA and
   PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA extent types in combination with the allowed
   extents allows copy-on-write processing to be done by pNFS clients.
   In classic NFS, this operation would be done by the server.  Since
   pNFS enables clients to do direct block access, it is useful for
   clients to participate in copy-on-write operations.  All block/volume
   pNFS clients MUST support this copy-on-write processing.

   When a client wishes to write data covered by a PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA
   extent, it MUST have requested a writable layout from the server;
   that layout will contain PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA extents to cover all
   the data ranges of that layout's PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA extents.  More
   precisely, for any file_offset range covered by one or more
   PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA extents in a writable layout, the server MUST
   include one or more PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA extents in the layout
   that cover the same file_offset range.  When performing a write to
   such an area of a layout, the client MUST effectively copy the data
   from the PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA extent for any partial blocks of
   file_offset and range, merge in the changes to be written, and write
   the result to the PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA extent for the blocks for

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   that file_offset and range.  That is, if entire blocks of data are to
   be overwritten by an operation, the corresponding
   PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA blocks need not be fetched, but any partial-
   block writes must be merged with data fetched via
   PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA extents before storing the result via
   PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA extents.  For the purposes of this
   discussion, "entire blocks" and "partial blocks" refer to the
   server's file-system block size.  Storing of data in a
   PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA extent converts the written portion of the
   extent; all subsequent reads MUST be performed from this extent; the
   corresponding portion of the PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA extent MUST NOT be
   used after storing data in a PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA extent.  If a
   client writes only a portion of an extent, the extent may be split at
   block aligned boundaries.

   When a client wishes to write data to a PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA
   extent that is not covered by a PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA extent, it MUST
   treat this write identically to a write to a file not involved with
   copy-on-write semantics.  Thus, data must be written in at least
   block size increments, aligned to multiples of block sized offsets,
   and unwritten portions of blocks must be zero filled.

   In the LAYOUTCOMMIT operation that normally sends updated layout
   information back to the server, for writable data, some
   PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA extents may be committed as
   PNFS_BLOCK_READ_WRITE_DATA extents, signifying that the storage at
   the corresponding storage_offset values has been stored into and is
   now to be considered as valid data to be read.  PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA
   extents are not committed to the server.  For extents that the client
   receives via LAYOUTGET as PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA and returns via
   understand that the PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA mapping for that extent is
   no longer valid or necessary for that file.

2.3.5. Extents are Permissions

   Layout extents returned to pNFS clients grant permission to read or
   write; PNFS_BLOCK_READ_DATA and PNFS_BLOCK_NONE_DATA are read-only
   reads as zeros, any write converts it to PNFS_BLOCK_READ_WRITE_DATA).
   This is the only client means of obtaining permission to perform
   direct I/O to storage devices; a pNFS client MUST NOT perform direct
   I/O operations that are not permitted by an extent held by the
   client.  Client adherence to this rule places the pNFS server in

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   control of potentially conflicting storage device operations,
   enabling the server to determine what does conflict and how to avoid
   conflicts by granting and recalling extents to/from clients.

   Block/volume class storage devices are not required to perform read
   and write operations atomically.  Overlapping concurrent read and
   write operations to the same data may cause the read to return a
   mixture of before-write and after-write data.  Overlapping write
   operations can be worse, as the result could be a mixture of data
   from the two write operations; data corruption can occur if the
   underlying storage is striped and the operations complete in
   different orders on different stripes.  A pNFS server can avoid these
   conflicts by implementing a single writer XOR multiple readers
   concurrency control policy when there are multiple clients who wish
   to access the same data.  This policy SHOULD be implemented when
   storage devices do not provide atomicity for concurrent read/write
   and write/write operations to the same data.

   If a client makes a layout request that conflicts with an existing
   layout delegation, the request will be rejected with the error
   NFS4ERR_LAYOUTTRYLATER.  This client is then expected to retry the
   request after a short interval.  During this interval the server
   SHOULD recall the conflicting portion of the layout delegation from
   the client that currently holds it.  This reject-and-retry approach
   does not prevent client starvation when there is contention for the
   layout of a particular file.  For this reason a pNFS server SHOULD
   implement a mechanism to prevent starvation.  One possibility is that
   the server can maintain a queue of rejected layout requests.  Each
   new layout request can be checked to see if it conflicts with a
   previous rejected request, and if so, the newer request can be
   rejected.  Once the original requesting client retries its request,
   its entry in the rejected request queue can be cleared, or the entry
   in the rejected request queue can be removed when it reaches a
   certain age.

   NFSv4 supports mandatory locks and share reservations.  These are
   mechanisms that clients can use to restrict the set of I/O operations
   that are permissible to other clients.  Since all I/O operations
   ultimately arrive at the NFSv4 server for processing, the server is
   in a position to enforce these restrictions.  However, with pNFS
   layouts, I/Os will be issued from the clients that hold the layouts
   directly to the storage devices that host the data.  These devices
   have no knowledge of files, mandatory locks, or share reservations,
   and are not in a position to enforce such restrictions.  For this
   reason the NFSv4 server MUST NOT grant layouts that conflict with
   mandatory locks or share reservations.  Further, if a conflicting

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   mandatory lock request or a conflicting open request arrives at the
   server, the server MUST recall the part of the layout in conflict
   with the request before granting the request.

2.3.6. End-of-file Processing

   The end-of-file location can be changed in two ways: implicitly as
   the result of a WRITE or LAYOUTCOMMIT beyond the current end-of-file,
   or explicitly as the result of a SETATTR request.  Typically, when a
   file is truncated by an NFSv4 client via the SETATTR call, the server
   frees any disk blocks belonging to the file which are beyond the new
   end-of-file byte, and MUST write zeros to the portion of the new end-
   of-file block beyond the new end-of-file byte.  These actions render
   any pNFS layouts which refer to the blocks that are freed or written
   semantically invalid.  Therefore, the server MUST recall from clients
   the portions of any pNFS layouts which refer to blocks that will be
   freed or written by the server before processing the truncate
   request.  These recalls may take time to complete; as explained in
   [NFSv4.1], if the server cannot respond to the client SETATTR request
   in a reasonable amount of time, it SHOULD reply to the client with
   the error NFS4ERR_DELAY.

   Blocks in the PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA state which lie beyond the new
   end-of-file block present a special case.  The server has reserved
   these blocks for use by a pNFS client with a writable layout for the
   file, but the client has yet to commit the blocks, and they are not
   yet a part of the file mapping on disk.  The server MAY free these
   blocks while processing the SETATTR request.  If so, the server MUST
   recall any layouts from pNFS clients which refer to the blocks before
   processing the truncate.  If the server does not free the
   PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA blocks while processing the SETATTR request,
   it need not recall layouts which refer only to the PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID
   DATA blocks.

   When a file is extended implicitly by a WRITE or LAYOUTCOMMIT beyond
   the current end-of-file, or extended explicitly by a SETATTR request,
   the server need not recall any portions of any pNFS layouts.

2.3.7. Layout Hints

   The SETATTR operation supports a layout hint attribute [NFSv4.1].
   When the client sets a layout hint (data type layouthint4) with a
   layout type of LAYOUT4_BLOCK_VOLUME (the loh_type field), the
   loh_body field contains a value of data type pnfs_block_layouthint4.

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   ////* block layout specific type for loh_body */
   ///struct pnfs_block_layouthint4 {
   ///    uint64_t maximum_io_time;       /* maximum i/o time in seconds
   ///                                       */

   The block layout client uses the layout hint data structure to
   communicate to the server the maximum time that it may take an I/O to
   execute on the client.  Clients using block layouts MUST set the
   layout hint attribute before using LAYOUTGET operations.

2.3.8. Client Fencing

   The pNFS block protocol must handle situations in which a system
   failure, typically a network connectivity issue, requires the server
   to unilaterally revoke extents from one client in order to transfer
   the extents to another client.  The pNFS server implementation MUST
   ensure that when resources are transferred to another client, they
   are not used by the client originally owning them, and this must be
   ensured against any possible combination of partitions and delays
   among all of the participants to the protocol (server, storage and
   client).  Two approaches to guaranteeing this isolation are possible
   and are discussed below.

   One implementation choice for fencing the block client from the block
   storage is the use of LUN (Logical Unit Number) masking or mapping at
   the storage systems or storage area network to disable access by the
   client to be isolated.  This requires server access to a management
   interface for the storage system and authorization to perform LUN
   masking and management operations.  For example, SMI-S [SMIS]
   provides a means to discover and mask LUNs, including a means of
   associating clients with the necessary World Wide Names or Initiator
   names to be masked.

   In the absence of support for LUN masking, the server has to rely on
   the clients to implement a timed lease I/O fencing mechanism.
   Because clients do not know if the server is using LUN masking, in
   all cases the client MUST implement timed lease fencing.  In timed
   lease fencing we define two time periods, the first, "lease_time" is
   the length of a lease as defined by the server's lease_time attribute
   (see [NFSV4.1]), and the second, "maximum_io_time" is the maximum
   time it can take for a client I/O to the storage system to either
   complete or fail; this value is often 30 seconds or 60 seconds, but
   may be longer in some environments.  If the maximum client I/O time

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   cannot be bounded, the client MUST use a value of all 1s as the

   The client MUST use SETATTR with a layout hint of type
   LAYOUT4_BLOCK_VOLUME to inform the server of its maximum_I/O time
   prior to issuing the first LAYOUTGET operation.  The maximum io time
   hint is a per client attribute, and as such the server SHOULD
   maintain the value set by each client.  A server which implements
   fencing via LUN masking SHOULD accept any maximum io time value from
   a client.  A server which does not implement fencing may return an
   error NFS4ERR_INVAL to the SETATTR operation.  Such a server SHOULD
   return NFS4ERR_INVAL when a client sends an unbounded maximum I/O
   time (all 1s), or when the maximum I/O time is significantly greater
   than that of other clients using block layouts with pNFS.

   When a client receives the error NFS4ERR_INVAL in response to the
   SETATTR operation for a layout hint, the client MUST NOT use the
   LAYOUTGET operation.  After responding with NFS4ERR_INVAL to the
   SETATTR for layout hint, the server MUST return the error
   NFS4ERR_LAYOUTUNAVAILABLE to all subsequent LAYOUTGET operations from
   that client.  Thus the server, by returning either NFS4ERR_INVAL or
   NFS4_OK determines whether or not a client with a large, or an
   unbounded maximum I/O time may use pNFS.

   Using the lease time and the maximum i/o time values, we specify the
   behavior of the client and server as follows.

   When a client receives layout information via a LAYOUTGET operation,
   those layouts are valid for at most "lease_time" seconds from when
   the server granted them.  A layout is renewed by any successful
   SEQUEUNCE operation, or whenever a new stateid is created or updated
   (see the section "Lease Renewal" of [NFSV4.1]).  If the layout lease
   is not renewed prior to expiration, the client MUST cease to use the
   layout after "lease_time" seconds from when it either sent the
   original LAYOUTGET command, or sent the last operation renewing the
   lease.  In other words, the client may not issue any I/O to blocks
   specified by an expired layout.  In the presence of large
   communication delays between the client and server it is even
   possible for the lease to expire prior to the server response
   arriving at the client.  In such a situation the client MUST NOT use
   the expired layouts, and SHOULD revert to using standard NFSv41 READ
   and WRITE operations.  Furthermore, the client must be configured
   such that I/O operations complete within the "maximum_io_time" even
   in the presence of multipath drivers that will retry I/Os via
   multiple paths.

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   As stated in the section "Dealing with Lease Expiration on the
   Client" of [NFSV4.1], if any SEQUENCE operation is successful, but
   SEQ4_STATUS_ADMIN_STATE_REVOKED set, the client MUST immediately
   cease to use all layouts and device id to device address mappings
   associated with the corresponding server.

   In the absence of known two way communication between the client and
   the server on the fore channel, the server must wait for at least the
   time period "lease_time" plus "maximum_io_time" before transferring
   layouts from the original client to any other client.  The server,
   like the client, must take a conservative approach, and start the
   lease expiration timer from the time that it received the operation
   which last renewed the lease.

2.4. Crash Recovery Issues

   When the server crashes while the client holds a writable layout, and
   the client has written data to blocks covered by the layout, and the
   blocks are still in the PNFS_BLOCK_INVALID_DATA state, the client has
   two options for recovery.  If the data that has been written to these
   blocks is still cached by the client, the client can simply re-write
   the data via NFSv4, once the server has come back online.  However,
   if the data is no longer in the client's cache, the client MUST NOT
   attempt to source the data from the data servers.  Instead, it should
   attempt to commit the blocks in question to the server during the
   server's recovery grace period, by sending a LAYOUTCOMMIT with the
   "loca_reclaim" flag set to true.  This process is described in detail
   in [NFSv4.1] section 18.42.4.

2.5. Recalling resources: CB_RECALL_ANY

   The server may decide that it cannot hold all of the state for
   layouts without running out of resources.  In such a case, it is free
   to recall individual layouts using CB_LAYOUTRECALL to reduce the
   load, or it may choose to request that the client return any layout.

   For the block layout we define the following bit


   When the server sends a CB_RECALL_ANY request to a client specifying
   the RCA4_BLK_LAYOUT_RECALL_ANY_LAYOUTS bit in craa_type_mask, the
   client should immediately respond with NFS4_OK, and then

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   asynchronously return complete file layouts until the number of files
   with layouts cached on the client is less the craa_object_to_keep.

   The block layout does not currently use bits 5, 6 or 7.  If any of
   these bits are set, the client should return NFS4ERR_INVAL.

2.6. Transient and Permanent Errors

   The server may respond to LAYOUTGET with a variety of error statuses.
   These errors can convey transient conditions or more permanent
   conditions that are unlikely to be resolved soon.

   The transient errors, NFS4ERR_RECALLCONFLICT and NFS4ERR_TRYLATER are
   used to indicate that the server cannot immediately grant the layout
   to the client.  In the former case this is because the server has
   recently issued a CB_LAYOUTRECALL to the requesting client, whereas
   in the case of NFS4ERR_TRYLATER, the server cannot grant the request
   possibly due to sharing conflicts with other clients.  In either
   case, a reasonable approach for the client is to wait several
   milliseconds and retry the request.  The client SHOULD track the
   number of retries, and if forward progress is not made, the client
   SHOULD send the READ or WRITE operation directly to the server.

   The error NFS4ERR_LAYOUTUNAVAILABLE may be returned by the server if
   layouts are not supported for the requested file or its containing
   file system.  The server may also return this error code if the
   server is the progress of migrating the file from secondary storage,
   or for any other reason which causes the server to be unable to
   supply the layout.  As a result of receiving
   NFS4ERR_LAYOUTUNAVAILABLE, the client SHOULD send future READ and
   WRITE requests directly to the server.  It is expected that a client
   will not cache the file's layoutunavailable state forever, particular
   if the file is closed, and thus eventually, the client MAY reissue a
   LAYOUTGET operation.

3. Security Considerations

   Typically, SAN disk arrays and SAN protocols provide access control
   mechanisms (access-logics, lun masking, etc.) which operate at the
   granularity of individual hosts.  The functionality provided by such
   mechanisms makes it possible for the server to "fence" individual
   client machines from certain physical disks---that is to say, to
   prevent individual client machines from reading or writing to certain
   physical disks.  Finer-grained access control methods are not
   generally available.  For this reason, certain security
   responsibilities are delegated to pNFS clients for block/volume

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   layouts.  Block/volume storage systems generally control access at a
   volume granularity, and hence pNFS clients have to be trusted to only
   perform accesses allowed by the layout extents they currently hold
   (e.g., and not access storage for files on which a layout extent is
   not held).  In general, the server will not be able to prevent a
   client which holds a layout for a file from accessing parts of the
   physical disk not covered by the layout.  Similarly, the server will
   not be able to prevent a client from accessing blocks covered by a
   layout that it has already returned.  This block-based level of
   protection must be provided by the client software.

   An alternative method of block/volume protocol use is for the storage
   devices to export virtualized block addresses, which do reflect the
   files to which blocks belong.  These virtual block addresses are
   exported to pNFS clients via layouts.  This allows the storage device
   to make appropriate access checks, while mapping virtual block
   addresses to physical block addresses.  In environments where the
   security requirements are such that client-side protection from
   access to storage outside of the layout is not sufficient pNFS
   block/volume storage layouts for pNFS SHOULD NOT be used, unless the
   storage device is able to implement the appropriate access checks,
   via use of virtualized block addresses, or other means.

   This also has implications for some NFSv4 functionality outside pNFS.
   For instance, if a file is covered by a mandatory read-only lock, the
   server can ensure that only readable layouts for the file are granted
   to pNFS clients.  However, it is up to each pNFS client to ensure
   that the readable layout is used only to service read requests, and
   not to allow writes to the existing parts of the file.  Since
   block/volume storage systems are generally not capable of enforcing
   such file-based security, in environments where pNFS clients cannot
   be trusted to enforce such policies, pNFS block/volume storage
   layouts SHOULD NOT be used.

   Access to block/volume storage is logically at a lower layer of the
   I/O stack than NFSv4, and hence NFSv4 security is not directly
   applicable to protocols that access such storage directly.  Depending
   on the protocol, some of the security mechanisms provided by NFSv4
   (e.g., encryption, cryptographic integrity) may not be available, or
   may be provided via different means.  At one extreme, pNFS with
   block/volume storage can be used with storage access protocols (e.g.,
   parallel SCSI) that provide essentially no security functionality.
   At the other extreme, pNFS may be used with storage protocols such as
   iSCSI that provide significant functionality.  It is the
   responsibility of those administering and deploying pNFS with a
   block/volume storage access protocol to ensure that appropriate

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   protection is provided to that protocol (physical security is a
   common means for protocols not based on IP).  In environments where
   the security requirements for the storage protocol cannot be met,
   pNFS block/volume storage layouts SHOULD NOT be used.

   When security is available for a storage protocol, it is generally at
   a different granularity and with a different notion of identity than
   NFSv4 (e.g., NFSv4 controls user access to files, iSCSI controls
   initiator access to volumes).  The responsibility for enforcing
   appropriate correspondences between these security layers is placed
   upon the pNFS client.  As with the issues in the first paragraph of
   this section, in environments where the security requirements are
   such that client-side protection from access to storage outside of
   the layout is not sufficient, pNFS block/volume storage layouts
   SHOULD NOT be used.

4. Conclusions

   This draft specifies the block/volume layout type for pNFS and
   associated functionality.

5. IANA Considerations

   There are no IANA considerations in this document.  All pNFS IANA
   Considerations are covered in [NFSV4.1].

6. Acknowledgments

   This draft draws extensively on the authors' familiarity with the
   mapping functionality and protocol in EMC's MPFS (previously named
   HighRoad) system [MPFS].  The protocol used by MPFS is called FMP
   (File Mapping Protocol); it is an add-on protocol that runs in
   parallel with file system protocols such as NFSv3 to provide pNFS-
   like functionality for block/volume storage.  While drawing on FMP,
   the data structures and functional considerations in this draft
   differ in significant ways, based on lessons learned and the
   opportunity to take advantage of NFSv4 features such as COMPOUND
   operations.  The design to support pNFS client participation in copy-
   on-write is based on text and ideas contributed by Craig Everhart
   (formerly with IBM).

   Andy Adamson, Richard Chandler, Benny Halevy, Fredric Isaman, and
   Mario Wurzl all helped to review drafts of this specification.

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7. References

7.1. Normative References

   [RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
             Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [NFSV4.1] Shepler, S., Eisler, M., and Noveck, D. ed., "NFSv4 Minor
             Version 1", draft-ietf-nfsv4-minorversion1-14.txt, Internet
             Draft, July 2007.

   [XDR]     Eisler, M., "XDR: External Data Representation Standard",
             STD 67, RFC 4506, May 2006.

7.2. Informative References

   [MPFS] EMC Corporation, "EMC Celerra Multi-Path File System", EMC
   Data Sheet, available at:
            link checked 13 March 2008

   [SMIS] SNIA, "SNIA Storage Management Initiative Specification",
            version 1.0.2, available at:
            link checked 13 March 2008

Authors' Addresses

   David L. Black
   EMC Corporation
   176 South Street
   Hopkinton, MA 01748

   Phone: +1 (508) 293-7953

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   Stephen Fridella
   EMC Corporation
   228 South Street
   Hopkinton, MA  01748

   Phone: +1 (508) 249-3528

   Jason Glasgow
   EMC Corporation
   32 Coslin Drive
   Southboro, MA  01772

   Phone: +1 (508) 305 8831

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