Optimising branching and merging big repositories between far away locations...

Asmodehn Shade asmodehn at gmail.com
Wed Oct 29 18:05:04 GMT 2008

Thanks a lot for the help John.

For those who are experiencing the same problem, and as John advised me, try
the sftp:// protocol.
The protocol enforce the size of the chunks being transferred, so that
enable us to workaround the problem as a user, even if it is slower than
bzr+ssh://, at least it works ;-)

Thanks again !
Waiting for the next version ;-)



2008/10/29 John Arbash Meinel <john at arbash-meinel.com>

> Hash: SHA1
> John Arbash Meinel wrote:
> > Asmodehn Shade wrote:
> >> Hi,
> >
> >> First thanks for all these details, they are quite interesting and I
> >> will take some time to investigate a bit ;-)
> >
> >> 1)
> >> so I ran  a bzr branch -r1 with -Dphss... and my bzr has been stuck
> >> there for a few hours now :
> >
> > ...
> For those of you following along, we did end up reaching a conclusion here.
> Basically, the smart 'readv()' request batches up the whole request, and
> buffers the data into memory on both sides before transmitting it to the
> other side. And the other side batches the current readv() into a single
> string buffer before yielding it to the next layer.
> With bzr-1.5 that still worked, because we only talked in terms of 1
> file's history at a time.
> With 1.6+, we are now able to issue a readv() request that ends up
> requesting 20GB of data from a single .pack file.
> So on the server side, it would start reading in the bytes and then hit
> this line:
>    def do_body(self, body_bytes):
>        """accept offsets for a readv request."""
>        offsets = self._deserialise_offsets(body_bytes)
>        backing_bytes = ''.join(bytes for offset, bytes in
>            self._backing_transport.readv(self._relpath, offsets))
>        return request.SuccessfulSmartServerResponse(('readv',),
> backing_bytes)
> And the "backing_bytes = ''.join()" is going to kill the server before
> it can transmit any data back to the client.
> However, even if we fixed the server, we will have a problem with the
> client. It does:
>        data = response_handler.read_body_bytes()
> whose implementation is:
>        if self._body is None:
>            self._wait_for_response_end()
>            body_bytes = ''.join(self._bytes_parts)
>            if 'hpss' in debug.debug_flags:
>                mutter('              %d body bytes read', len(body_bytes))
>            self._body = StringIO(body_bytes)
>            self._bytes_parts = None
>        return self._body.read(count)
> _wait_for_response_end() reads data from the socket until everything is
> consumed and we have the "end" record.
> And then we buffer all of that into a single string (after taking it
> from a list), and return it.
> Which means that we actually allocate at least 2x the data in memory
> (because of the ''.join(list)).
> So both the server and client will buffer the whole readv request.
> There are a few possibilities for workarounds.
> 1) Teach both the client and the server how to stream data from/to the
> socket.
> This is, IMO, the best solution, but probably the hardest one to
> implement. I think the client code wouldn't be terrible, we just need
> something other than "read_body_bytes()" that we can step through
> iteratively. The server side is a bit harder, but should be possible.
> I'll also note, that breaking on the readv() sections isn't sufficient.
> We've written a lot of code that combines small sections into larger
> ones. So by the time we're actually making the request, we don't have
> discrete offsets, but instead large ranges.
> Which could end up being a problem for LocalTransport if we are asking
> it to read 1GB at a time.
> So yet one more step could be to limit how much we combine. I'm thinking
> something on the order of 50MB is more than sufficent to avoid hitting
> Swap, and to avoid reading 1 byte at a time.
> 2) Teach just the client to never make huge requests. This is easiest to
> implement, but I feel it isn't really the full answer.
> Thoughts?
> John
> =:->
> Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (Cygwin)
> Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org
> JoEAoKT9yQAyHObQuatIc8Fiu6ZApqLT
> =3y+G
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