Race to power off harming SATA SSDs

David Woodhouse dwmw2 at infradead.org
Mon May 8 04:09:20 PDT 2017

On Mon, 2017-05-08 at 12:49 +0200, Pavel Machek wrote:
> On Mon 2017-05-08 10:34:08, David Woodhouse wrote:
> > 
> > On Mon, 2017-05-08 at 11:28 +0200, Pavel Machek wrote:
> > > 
> > > 
> > > Are you sure you have it right in JFFS2? Do you journal block erases?
> > > Apparently, that was pretty much non-issue on older flashes.
> > It isn't necessary in JFFS2. It is a *purely* log-structured file
> > system (which is why it doesn't scale well past the 1GiB or so that we
> > made it handle for OLPC).
> > 
> > So we don't erase a block until all its contents are obsolete. And if
> > we fail to complete the erase... well the contents are either going to
> > fail a CRC check, or... still be obsoleted by later entries elsewhere.
> > 
> > And even if it *looks* like an erase has completed and the block is all
> > 0xFF, we erase it again and write a 'clean marker' to it to indicate
> > that the erase was completed successfully. Because otherwise it can't
> > be trusted.
> Aha, nice, so it looks like ubifs is a step back here.
> 'clean marker' is a good idea... empty pages have plenty of space.

Well... you lose that space permanently. Although I suppose you could
do things differently and erase a block immediately prior to using it.
But in that case why ever write the cleanmarker? Just maintain a set of
blocks that you *will* erase and re-use.

> How do you handle the issue during regular write? Always ignore last
> successfully written block?

Log nodes have a CRC. If you get interrupted during a write, that CRC
should fail.

> Do you handle "paired pages" problem on MLC?

No. It would theoretically be possible, by not considering a write to
the first page "committed" until the second page of the pair is also
written. Essentially, it's not far off expanding the existing 'wbuf'
which we use to gather writes into full pages for NAND, to cover the
*whole* of the set of pages which are affected by MLC.

But we mostly consider JFFS2 to be obsolete these days, in favour of
UBI/UBIFS or other approaches.
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