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7. RVM Internals

By Yui Wah LEE

7.1 Overview of RVM internal structure

RVM is designed to be a run-time library to be linked with an external application . It allows the application to be benefited from transactional support. In particular, it allows operations on virtual memory to be atomic and persistent , provided that the application declares its intention through the RVM application programming interface.

Figure fig_overview shows the three important components of RVM: virtual memory , data segment and log .

Virtual memory is where the application manipulates its data. RVM allows the application to declare regions of virtual memory to be associated with regions in external data segments. The data segments are the persistent backing store of the virtual memory regions: latest committed image of the virtual memory region has a copy in the data segments. Since data segment is on stable storage (disk), it is persistent across program crashes. Should a application crashes, it can always find those memory regions from the data segment. The association of virtual memory regions with segment regions is called mapping .

For performance reason, RVM does not write directly the committed image of virtual memory regions back to the data segment. Doing so would generate excessive 'seek' operations on the magnetic head of the disk, since the access pattern can be random. Disk head seeks are expensive operation and should be minimized. In the case of RVM, this is achieved by writting new value of memory ranges as records in an append-only , sequential log. This is called flush operation. Log is also on stable storage (disk or battery-backed ramdisk). Once the new values are written on log (flushed), they become persistent across program crashes. From time to time, records on the log are processed and applied onto the data segment. After that, the log space used by the the records can be re-claimed for further use. This is called log truncation . Log truncation is necessary, without it the log will grow unboundedly.

7.2 RVM application programming interface

To facilitate our discussion, let first review briefly the RVM application programming interface. Details of the intefaces can be found in chapter of RVM Library Functions

rvm_options_t   options;
char            *version;
rvm_region_t    region;
rvm_tid_t       *tid;
char            *dest, *src;
unsigned long   length;

rvm_initialize(version, options) 

rvm_map(region, options);

rvm_begin_transaction(tid, restore);
rvm_begin_transaction(tid, no_restore);

rvm_set_range(tid, dest, length);
rvm_modify_bytes(tid, dest, src, length);

rvm_end_transaction(tid, flush);
rvm_end_transaction(tid, no_flush);




Application declares regions of VM that it want to have persistent image by calling rvm_map() . There are two possible modes for rvm_map() : copy and no_copy . The former is the default and will cause the corresponding region in the segment device to be read into virtual memory. The latter is used when the application is sure the image in segment device is useless (e.g., the application is going to replace it immediately).

Application declares the begining of a transaction by calling rvm_being_transaction() . The transaction can be committed by calling rvm_end_transaction() , or be aborted by calling rvm_abort_transaction() . In addition, the application must inform RVM the memory location that will be affected by the transactions. These can be done by calling rvm_set_range() or rvm_modify_bytes() . RVM guarantees that if the transaction commits, then all the modifications make on declared ranges will be made effective atomically, conversely, if the transaction abort, then none of modifications will be made effective.

Normally, when transactions are aborted, the old value in the affected memory ranges will be restored . So, a default option for rvm_begin_transaction is restore . However, in some case, the application can be sure that it will never abort the transaction. For example, if there are no concurrent transaction, the application can be sure it will never abort the transaction explicitly. For these cases, the application can start the transaction with the no_restore mode.

If the application want the committed transaction be also recorded in the log device (stable storage) immediately , it should commit the transaction with flush mode. In this mode, the end_transaction() calls return only after the transaction records are written to disk. However, there are cases when the application can accept slight chance of lose of permanency. In those case, it can end the transaction with a no_flush mode. There will be a big payoff in performance, as the function rvm_end_transaction() will return immediately, without having to the wait for the slow disk I/O to complete. RVM will put the committed transaction in a queue and write them out to the log device later. This is called lazy commit and it provides a bound persistence . The committed transactions may lost if the program crashed before the queued transaction get a chance to be written out to log. Note that although the transaction is lost, it is lost atomically. Upon the next restart of the application, RVM will restore an old consistent view of the virtual memory.

Commit transaction lazily also give more opportunity to inter- transaction optimization.

To force all previously committed transaction records to be written out to log device, the application can call rvm_flush() . Also, whenever the application commit a new transaction with flush mode, there will be a side effect that all previous transaction on the queue will also be flushed.

The log device is only a temporary stable storage for commited transactions: its primary purpose is to allow records be written on disk sequentially. Eventually, these records need to be applied to the data segment. The process of applying transaction log records to data segment is called log truncation . RVM will carry out log truncation automatically when the log is too full. Users can specify the option truncate to set the threshold. Alternatively, the application can initiate a trunction by calling rvm_truncate() . Also, note that RVM will do a log truncation upon start up and rvm_map() operations. This is to ensure the data segment has the lastest updates before it get mapped into virtual memory.

7.3 Structure of log

Log pointers and limits

The log device can be a

It is recommended to use the third option, raw partition in a dedicated disk. As we see in the discussion in section 1, the purpose of the log device is to make the disk I/Os as sequential as possible, having other simultaneous disk I/O will defeat this purpose.

Meta data of the log are collectively recorded on the log status block which is located at the beginning of the log. It is offset by either FILE_STATUS_OFFSET or RAW_STATUS_OFFSET , depending on the types of the log devices. The two constants are currently 0 and 8192 bytes (16 sectors) respectively.

Log records are appended sequentially on log area after the log status block. The area starts from log_start and is of size log_size . (Fig fig_log_struct )

As new records are appended, the log pointer log_tail will be advanced. log_head point to the first record in the log that is not yet subjected to truncation ( current epoch ). If truncation is not in progress, both of the pointers prev_log_head and prev_log_tail will have a zero value. (Fig fig_log_trunc b)

Currently, the log are truncated in a way called epoch truncation . In one atomic operation, the function new_epoch() will bracket all the current log records by prev_log_head and prev_log_tail , those records are said to be in truncation epoch and are subject to truncation. At the same time log_head will be advanced to log_tail , effectively resetting the current epoch to be empty. New log records may be appended by concurrent threads while truncation is in progress, and log_tail will advance to new position. (Fig fig_log_trunc a)

It is important to use the log pointer to delimit the log into truncation epoch and current epoch as we don't want the log truncation process to interfere with the log flushing process.

If the truncation goes well and all the records are successfully applied to the data segment. The log pointers prev_log_head and prev_log_tail will be reset to zero. The area that was once occupied by those truncated records are now reclaimed.

However, it is possible that the program crashes while truncation is in progress. RVM will know this upon next restart, by finding the two log pointers prev_log_head and prev_log_tail are non-zero. It will then redo the truncation. Truncations can always be redone as it is just writing the same value on the same location again.

Log records

There are five different types of log records. Each of them has a corresponding in-core structure defined. They are listed in the table record-type

Six record types and their in-core structure

Generic record
rec_hdr_t 20 bytes
Transaction header trans_hdr_t 48 bytes
New value record nv_range_t 56 + length + pad bytes
Record end marker rec_end_t 28 bytes
Wrap marker log_wrap_t 24 bytes
Special log record log_special_t 24 + special + pad bytes

Generic record ( rec_hdr_t ) does not actually exist in the log. It contains the common first four fields as the other five 'real' records. When RVM scans the log and find a record, it may not know the type of the record. It can always cast the record as a generic record, and then interpret the first four fields to determine the appropiate action. For example, it can know the types of the records by looking at the first field. (The common four fields are struct_id , rec_length , timestamp and rec_num )

In the five 'real' records, type specific fields will follow the common four fields. For example, in the following we show the declaration of rec_hdr_t and trans_hdr_t .

typedef struct
    struct_id_t     struct_id;          /* type of entry */
    rvm_length_t    rec_length;         /* record length */
    struct timeval  timestamp;          /* timestamp of record entry */
    long            rec_num;            /* record number of entry */

typedef struct
    struct_id_t     struct_id;          /* self-identifier */
    rvm_length_t    rec_length;         /* log record length, displacement to
                                           end mark */
    struct timeval  timestamp;          /* timestamp of log entry */
    rvm_length_t    rec_num;            /* record number of log entry */
    rvm_length_t    num_ranges;         /* number of ranges in record */
    struct timeval  uname;              /* uname of transaction */
    struct timeval  commit_stamp;       /* timestamp of commit */
    rvm_length_t    n_coalesced;        /* count of coalesced transactions */
    rvm_length_t    flags;              /* mode and optimization flags */

trans_hdr_t , nv_range_t and rec_end_t represent the transaction header , new value range header and record end marker . They are the majority of records on the log. Each transaction will be written in a sequence of records: it begins with a transaction header, follows by one or more sub-record (the new value range record) and ends with a record end marker (Fig fig_log_rec ). This is for the simple case when the transaction are not split by a wrap marker in between. If the transaction is split by a wrap marker, it will have two sequences of records, each begins and ends with a transaction header and end marker. Details of log wrapping will be discussed in section log-wrap .

New value records have variable lengths, each of them begins with a new value range header and follows by the actual data. The actual data is the image of the virtual memory range that the transaction has committed. The header is of type nv_range_t and is 56 bytes long, the actual data length varies. Note that RVM may pad some bytes after the actual data so that the next sub-record will be word-aligned.

To allow RVM to scan the log in both forward and backward direction, different forward and backward links are provided. Generally speaking, rec_length is a forward link. For transaction header, it is the forward link to the end marker; for new value record, it is the forward link to the next new value record (or record end marker). However, for end record marker, this value means the backward link to the transaction header. (RVM is somewhat inconsistent in naming here). On the other hand, sub_rec_len is a backward link to the previous sub-record. In new value range header, there is the third lenght field: length , it is the length of the actual data. length may not be equal to rec_length because of the padding. See Fig fig_rec_link for the details of those links.

The fourth possible record type that could be find on log is the wrap marker. Note that wrapping may not happen exactly at the end of the log, it may happen a little bit earlier. In the latter case, the bytes follow the wrap marker will all be written with value 0xff .

The fifth possible record type is special log record. Currently, the only special log record is segment mapping descriptor (of type log_seg_t ). RVM allows more than one data segment for one log. To support this, every new value range will be tagged with a seg_code which indicates to which segment that range should be applied to. seg_code is only a short hand of the segment. Details of the segment ( num_bytes and name ) will be recorded in the segment mapping descriptor. Segment mapping descriptors are inserted into the log whenever a new data segment is mapped the first time. At the time of log truncation, RVM will use those segment mapping descriptors to reconstruct the necessary information to open the segment device.

Log wrapping

When log_tail approaches the end of the log, RVM will choose an appropiate point to do a wrapping . This is done by writting out a wrap marker. After that, RVM will starting appending new records from log_start . There will be no risk of overwriting onto useful records because the old records should have been truncated long before. Even if they are not truncated yet, RVM will call a internal function wait_for_space() to force a truncation.

Log wrapping can happens between transaction. In this case, it simply leave a wrap marker (of type log_wrap_t and start a brand new transaction at the beginning of log log_start (Fig fig_wrap a).

It can also happens within a transaction. There are two possibilities: between different new value records or splitting a new value records. Since a range can be very long, spliting new value records prevents leaving too much space not used by inserting the wrap marker too early.

In the first case, after the current new value records are written, a record-end marker is inserted into the log, and then followed by a log-wrap marker. Another transaction header will be inserted at log_start before the remaining new value records are written. Effectively, the same transaction will have two transaction headers: the first is written before log wrapping, the second is written after log wrapping. The flag field of the transaction headers helps to indicates this situation. The first transaction header will only have FIRST_ENTRY_FLAG set, while the second transaction header will only have the LAST_ENTRY_FLAG set. (If the whole sequence of records for the transaction is not interrupted by a log wrapping, both FIRST_ENTRY_FLAG and LAST_ENTRY_FLAG of the transaction header will be set.) (Fig fig_wrap b)

For the latter case where a new value range is split, each of the two portion of the data will has its own new value range header. The first portion of the splitted range is written followed by a record-end marker and a wrap marker. The second transaction header are then written at log_start , followed by the second portion of the splitted range. The remaining new value records then follows. There is a flag is_split in the new value record header indicates that this happens. (Fig 6c) The flag FIRST_ENTRY_FLAG and LAST_ENTRY_FLAG will also be set as in the previous case.

7.4 Internal Data Structure

Before we describe the important data structure used by RVM, we will first discuss some of the building block of these data structure. In next section we will discuss the generic list and generic tree data structure. In the following section we will discuss the synchronization primitive used by RVM that enable multi-threading for RVM.

Generic data structure

A lot of the RVM data structure are organized as lists or trees. To support that, RVM internally defined a generic list type as well as a generic tree type.

Generic list is declared as list_entry_t , while generic tree node is declared as tree_node_t . Supporting routine for them are move_list_entry() and tree_insert() etc.

Each of these generic list/tree will contain enough topological information for it to be manuipulated as a list-node or tree node. Generic list and tree are typically not allocated as themselves, rather, they are the first member of other specific data structures that need to be organized. For example, the region descriptor region_t is declared with list_entry_t as the first member of the structure. That way, the region descriptor can be manuipulated as a list element. We can do the following:

seg_t     seg;
region_t  region;

to move a region descriptor region to the mapped region list ( map_list ) in the segment descriptor seg .

Support for multi-threading

RVM is designed to be thread-safe: application is responsible for protecting access to its data structures by concurrent threads, but can otherwise use RVM function freely. RVM will synchronizing its internal operations. This is done by using the following three primitives:


Internal data which may be accessed concurrently are protected by mutex of type RVM_MUTEX . Routines accessing those data are required to do a mutex_lock() before, and do a mutex_unlock() after. Alternatively, they can use the macro CRITICAL() to bracket their access to critical data.

RVM_MUTEX    lck;

lck);   /* initialization */

lck);   /* begin    lck crit. sec */
  /* body */;           /* codes in lck crit. sec */
lck); /* end      lck crit. sec */

                    /* alternatively use macro */
CRITICAL(lck,       /* begin    lck crit. sec */
  /* body */;       /* codes in lck crit. sec */
);                  /* end      lck crit. sec */

Read/Write Lock

Sometimes a data can be read by many threads simultaneously, provided none of them attempts to update on the data. This kind of concurrency is supported by read/write lock of type rw_lock_t . Readers access those data with rw_lock(...,r) , they will be allowed to proceed immediately if there are no other writer, otherwise, they will be blocked until the writer releases the lock. Writers access those data with rw_lock(...,w) , they will be allowed to proceed immediately if there are no other readers or writers, otherwise, they will be blocked until all of them release the lock. Both readers and writers have to do a rw_un_lock() when they are done accessing the protected data. There is also a macro RW_CRITICAL() for bracketing accesses to critical data protected by read/write lock.

rw_lock_t     rwl;

rwl); /* initialization */

/* reader */
rwl,r);    /* begin rwl crit. sec. */
  /* body */;           /* read immediately if no other
  /* body */;           /*  writer, otherwise, block until
  /* body */;           /*  it releases lock */
rwl,r);  /* end   rwl crit. sec. */

/* writer */
rwl,w);    /* begin rwl crit. sec. */
  /* body */;           /* write immediately if no other */
  /* body */;           /*  writer/readers otherwise block */
  /* body */;           /*  until they release lock */
rwl,w);  /* end   rwl crit. sec. */

RW_CRITICAL(rwl, mode, /* begin rwl crit. sec., mode=r|w */
  /* body */;
);                     /* end   rwl crit. sec. */

Condition variable

Two concurrent threads can synchronize their actions by using the condition variable of type RVM_CONDITION . Thread A can sleep by calling condition_wait() , waiting to be waked up by thread B when it calls condition_signal() .

This techniques is used for the asynchronous log truncation. A seperate thread will execute the code of log_daemon() if there are multi-thread support (either mach's cthread, or unix's lwp or pthread). Normally this thread is block waiting, other thread(s) will run. From time to time, when transactions are committed, the other thread(s) will check and see if the log is too full, if it is, it will wake up the log_daemon() which will then truncate the log asynchronusly.


/* thread of log_daemon() */
    while (state == rvm_idle)
  /* async. log truncation, or terminate
   * log daemon here */

/* thread of log_tid() */
      if (need_truncation) {
        if (state == rvm_idle) {
          state = truncating;

Important Data Structure

The following structure are all declared in the file rvm_private.h . The important data structures are the following.

Segment Descriptor ( seg_t )

There can be more than one segment per process. Each of the segment has a segment descriptor. These segment descriptor are linked together as a list, and the list header is the global variable seg_root .

The segment descriptor contains the header map_list for an important list: list of mapped region, which will be discussed in more details in section sect2-region

There can be more than one segment per log. In fact, each individual new value record can be applied to different segment. This is achieved by tagging a short-name of segment seg_code with each new value record. The short name of each segment is also stored in its own descriptor.

Log descriptor ( log_t )

Like the segment descriptors, log descriptors are also connected as a list (header is a global variable log_root . However, currently RVM only support one log in a process, which is pointed to by the global pointer default_log .

log_status is the in-core copy of the log status block, it will be explained in more detail in the next section. Similarily, trans_hdr , rec_end , log_wrap are the area for preparing the corresponing records on log (c.f. section sect2-log-record ).

log_buf is the log recovery buffer descriptor and it will explained in the section log-buf .

Log descriptor contains headers for three important list: tid_list , flush_list and special_list . The first link up transaction that have beginned but not yet ended. The second link up transaction that have been committed but not yet flushed.

Log status area ( log_status )

Log status has a in-core copy as well as in-disk copy. The in-core copy is declared as type log_status_t . The in-core copy is stored as a sub-structure of the log descriptor, and the in-disk copy is written on the log status block. Ideally, we would want the in-core copy to written to disk everytime the log status change, however, doing so will require a lot of disk head seeks between the log status block and the log tail, which defeat the purpose of the log, so RVM updates the on-disk log status block only every UPDATE_STATUS (currently the value is 100) of status change. This is keep tracked by the count update_cnt . Because of that, RVM will not complete trust on the value in the log status block. For example, when doing log truncation, RVM trusted the value prev_log_head but not the value log_tail , so it will do a locate_tail() to make sure it can find the last records written on the log.

Log status area records important log pointers: log_head , log_tail , prev_log_head , prev_log_tail and log limit: log_start and log_size . Besides, it also records a huge numbers of consistency check fields, transaction statistics and log statistics.

Area for preparing log records

Each of the log record types has a corresponding in-core data structure. They are used to prepare the records before they are written out to log. There are only one copy for trans_hdr_t , rec_ent_t and log_wrap_t per-log and they are part of the log descriptor. For new value records, areas are required for the headers and the actual data and they are per-range. Headers are of type nv_range_t and are store in the range descriptors (described in the following section). Actual data are stored in a sperately allocated buffer pointed to by the field data in range descriptor. Log special records are associated with the log, and they dynamically allocated and are organized as a list (header: log_special_list ) in the log descriptor.

Log recovery buffer ( log_buf- > buf ) and its descriptor( log_buf )

Log recovery buffer (also called log buffer) is used in log truncation. It is used to keep an image of log records for processing. The descriptor of the buffer is called log recovery buffer descriptor (type log_buf_t ). It is a sub-structure of log descriptor. The actually buffer is pointed to by the field buf , the length of the buffer is stored by the field buf_len .

Two routines can be used to fill and refill the log recovery buffer:

The log can be scanned in two direction. This is indicated by the argument direction of the two routines. They will try to read as much as possible of data from the log device, subject to the length of the log buffer and other constraints:

Upon returns of these two routines, log_buf- > ptr will be the index into log buffer that corresponds the current log position, and log_buf- > offset will correspond to the log offset of byte 0 in log buffer. log_buf- > offset will be sector aligned. (Figure fig_log_buf )

The following is a typical sequence code in log truncation:

r_length      = init_buffer(log, off, REVERSE, ...);
ptr -= sizeof(rec_end_t);
rec_end       = (rec_end_t *)
if (rec_end-
struct_id == rec_end_id) {

In the code, off is the current log position. Routine init_buffer() is instructed to initialize the buffer by scanning the log in the reverse direction. When it returns, r_length number of bytes are read into the log recovery buffer (pointed to by log_buf- > buf ), log_buf- > ptr is index of the byte in log buffer that corresponds to off . Assume the routine here is expecting a end record in log, it decrements log_buf- > ptr by the known size of rec_end_t so as to point to the end record. After the decrement, the address of log_buf- > buf[log_buf- > ptr] should be the beginning of the in core image of the end record. It type-cast it as (rec_end_t *) and stores it in rec_end . After that it can manipulate the record as it likes. In the example, it examines and see if struct_id of the end record is really a rec_end_id ...

Region descriptors ( region_t )

Each segment will have a list of regions that are mapped. So in each segment descriptor (type seg_t ) there is a member map_list which is the head of this list. Each node in the list is a region descriptr of type region_t .

It records the offset and end_offset of the region in the data segment, as well as the vmaddr and length of region that is mapped to.

The member n_uncommit records the number of uncommitted range in this region, it is incremented everytime application does a rvm_set_range() , it will be decrement when a transaction is committed or aborted. When application tries to do rvm_unmap() , this value must be zero otherwise it will return RVM_EUNCOMMIT.

region_t may be confused with rvm_region_t and mem_region_t . We will explain the former in the following and the latter in the next section. rvm_region_t is part of the API, it is the structure used by the application to indicate the mapping parameters: data_dev , offset , length , vmaddr and no_copy etc. RVM does not use this structure internally, once it has got all the parameters from the application and has transferred them to region_t .

Memory region descriptors ( mem_region_t )

In addition to the per segment region list described above, there is also a per process memory region tree. It is used to record the regions in the virtual memory space that are mapped, and it is arranged in the order of vm address.

When application does a rvm_map() , this tree is consulted to make sure the requested virtual memory region is not already mapped. If it is already mapped, RVM_EVM_OVERLAP will be returned. Also, when application does a rvm_set_range() , this tree is consulted to make sure the requested range is totally contained within a single virtual memory region. If it isn't, RVM_ENOT_MAPPED will be returned.

The root of the tree is region_tree . Each node of the tree is of type mem_region_t .

Transaction descriptor ( int_tid_t )

Whenever the application does a rvm_begin_transaction() , rvm will allocate a transaction descriptor of type int_tid_t . These descriptors are linked up into list. Before the transaction commits, the descriptor is in the list headed by log- > tid_list . If the transaction is committed, it will be moved to another list headed by log- > flush_list . If the transaction record is flushed, it will be removed from the flush list.

Typically, the application may inform RVM one or more memory range which will be affected by the transaction. This is done by issuing one or more rvm_set_range() or rvm_modify_bytes() after rvm_begin_transaction() . Internally, these memory ranges are organized as a tree rooted at range_tree (of type tree_root_t ). The tree root is a field of the transaction descriptor.

int_tid_t may be confused with rvm_tid_t . The latter is the transaction identifier used by applications while the former is used internally by RVM. Althought rvm_tid_t contains a pointer to int_tid_t , applications are not expected to use or touch the pointer.

modification range descriptor ( range_t )

When application specifies modification range by rvm_set_range() or rvm_modify_bytes() , the vm address ( range- > nv.vmaddr ) and the length ( data_len ) of the range is stored internally in the range descriptor ( range_t ). When the transaction commits, the content of virtual memory pointed to by ( range- > nv.vmaddr ) will be copied to the buffer pointed to by range- > data . The same buffer has another purpose: if the transaction is in restore mode, the buffer is used also for saving the old image of VM. In case the transaction is aborted, the old image can be restored.

Range descriptors are connected together as a tree, with the tree root in the corresponding transaction descriptor. If the optimization flag RVM_COALESCE_RANGES is specified, the tree is sorted according to the vm address, and ranges are coalesced before they are inserted into the tree. If RVM_COALESCE_RANGES is not specified, the tree is simply sorted by the range number.

There is also an area of type nv_range_t called nv which is used as the in-memory image of the nv range record on log.

storage device region node ( dev_region_t )

This is not to be confused with region_t and mem_region_t . dev_region_t is used only in log truncation. During log trunctation, all sub-records of all transactions in the truncation epoch are processed. A tree called mod_tree is built. Each node of the tree is of type dev_region_t . The tree is sorted according to the segment offset. The purpose of the tree is to make the disk write operation on the segment device sequential.

Device descriptor ( device_t )

Device descriptor (of type device_t ) contains the details of the phyical devices: name, handle, size. Also, it contains the pointers to the gather-write I/O vectors.

7.5 RVM in action


Global lists and trees are initialized ( seg_root , log_root , region_tree ). A log truncation ( log_recover() ) is performed.


There is always a log truncation at the begin of mapping. This is necessary to ensure the mapping will get the latest committed image from the data segment. It also checks if application has specified a new segment device, if so, it will create a special record of type log_seg_t and queue it on log- > special_list . This record will be flushed to the log before any next transaction.

Application may or may not specified the mapped-to address for the region. If it is not specified, rvm_map() will do a page_alloc() to find a VM address for the request region. Either case, the mapped-to address will be stored in region- > vmaddr as well as mem_region- > vmaddr .

Before carry out the mapping, rvm_map() also need to check that the requested mapping is not overlapped with existing mapping in both the VM address space as well as the segment offset space. The former is detected with the aid of region_tree while the latter is detected with the aid of seg- > map_list . If there are overlapping, RVM_EVM_OVERLAP will be returned in the former case and RVM_EOVERLAP will be returned in the latter case.

Finally, the content of the data segment at the specified offset is copied into the VM space (unless no_copy mode is specified).


A transaction descriptor (of type int_tid_t ) will be allocated and inserted in log- > tid_list . The address of that descriptor is also noted in rvm_tid- > tid .

rvm_set_range() and rvm_modify_bytes()

The range declared must be totally included inside a mapped region, other RVM_ENOT_MAPPED will be returned. This is done by consulting region_tree .

A new range descriptor (of type range_t will be allocated and inserted into tid- > range_tree . Depending on the optimization flag of the transaction, the range tree may be sorted by vm address or sorted by range numbers.

If transaction is in restore mode, the current image of VM in the range will be first saved to a buffer pointed to by range- > data .

VM address of the range declared is stored in range- > nv.vmaddr .


When application calls rvm_end_transaction() , for each of the ranges in tid_range_tree , the vm area pointed to by range- > nv.vmaddr is copied to range- > data . This is to ensure the atomicity of transaction: when rvm_end_transaction() returns, all declared ranges have been copied to a seperate location. If the program crashes before rvm_end_transaction() returns, then the data segment will contain the old value of the of the declared ranged. Applications are free to write new data on the ranges after rvm_end_transaction() returns.

The transaction descriptor tid is dequeued from log- > tid_list and is queued to log- > flush_list .

If RVM_COALESCE_TRANS flag is set for the transaction, an inter-transaction coalescing will be carried out.

If the transaction is committed in flush mode, flush_log() is called.


Every transaction descriptors in log- > flush_list are written out to the log, this is done by the routine log_tid() . First, the transaction header of type trans_hdr is built and added to the gather write vector dev- > iov . Then, for every ranges in tid- > range_tree , the new value range header of type nv_range_t is built and added to the gather write vector, followed by the actual new value data. After all the new value records are written, a record end marker (of type rec_end_t is built and added to the gather write vector.

If log wrapping is need, there will be intervening record end marker, log wrap marker and transaction header record inserted, as described in section log-wrap .


Log truncation is carried out by log_recover() . For each segment, a modification tree mod_tree is built. Each node is of type dev_region_t , it is arranged in order of segment offset. For each new value records of each transactions on the log, a node of type dev_region_t is built and inserted into the modification tree. If there are overlaps in segment offset , the overlapped portion is not repeatedly inserted into the modification tree. In this case, it is not an error to have overlapped segment, for example, the same memory range can be updated by different transaction. Also note that since the log is truncated in last-in-first-out order, i.e. new value records that was flushed last is inserted into tree first, we always have the most up-to-date range inserted into the tree.

When all the log records bracket by the log pointers prev_log_head and prev_log_tail are scanned and inserted into the modification tree. The whole tree is written to data device ( apply_mods() ).


The program rvmutl is a utility program that allows:

The following is an incomplete list of commands available in rvmutl :

In the rvm source codes, you can often see the global variable rvm_utlsw . RVM is designed in mind that there are two possible types of users for rvm's routines: ordinary applications or the program rvmutl . This variable allows a differential treatment on exception condition. For example, in the routine scan_forward() , if the record type is found not to be one that the routine is expecting (possibly means a corrupted log) the program will:

The latter treatment allow manual handling of log corruption via rvmutl .
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