Affects Version/s: Lustre 2.14.0, Lustre 2.12.5
Fix Version/s: Lustre 2.15.0
This is a simple extension to the SEL functionality for PFL files, originally suggested by Andreas.
One of the features of SEL is that if there is an intermediate layout component (Consider a PFL layout like: DOM->SSD->HDD, in this case SSD is the intermediate component), it will not be instantiated if that tier is low on space, instead, the next component (HDD) is extended downwards. This allows us to skip the SSD tier if it's full.
This is a nice feature, and there's no particular reason it has to be limited to SEL layouts. It's easy to do this for normal layouts, where the SSD component has a normally defined length.
So, this patch adds that functionality. The canonical case is a DOM->SSD->HDD layout where the SSD tier is low on space (or even out of space entirely). Currently, when the first write happens to the SSD component, it's simply instantiated. If there is absolutely no space, an error results. With this feature, in the low on space condition*, that intermediate component is removed.
*the same low on space condition as used in SEL, basically if one of the chosen OSTs is below the threshold value for striping. The stripe allocator will only stripe to these OSTs in absence of a better choice, so this indicates we're very low on space.
There is one detail: The SEL code uses the "extension size" as a way to estimate how much space this component might use, so it's factored in to the "low on space" calculation. There is no obvious substitute for this with a regular file, which leads to two options:
1. Act like the file will consume (effectively) zero space and only act if the OSTs are already low on space
2. Pick some amount of data to assume it will use - The most logical guess seems to be a multiple of stripe size, but perhaps an absolute value would be better, as stripe sizes can vary widely.
It's not clear that 1 isn't fine, and in either case, this is just an optimization.