Shore Project Plans
Version 0.1

The Shore Project Group
Computer Sciences Department
Madison, WI

Thu Nov 3 14:13:18 CST 1994

1 Introduction

This document describes what, in the overall plan for Shore, is yet to be done, and it describes our plans for finishing the Shore project.

2 Fix Known Bugs

  1. Shore Value-Added Server (SVAS) RPC does not handle shipping objects that are larger than the amount of shared memory allocated for the client-server connection. (Presently prints a message; need to remove this restriction.)

  2. du/df information for indexes needs to be checked, corrected if necessary, and printed by the du/df commands. The figure for alignment in non-index pages is wrong (it doesn't take into account alignment bytes within a record). This needs to be corrected. For the alpha release, some of these functions result in an error message or a warning message.

  3. Persistent mounts are not entirely debugged. There might still be assertions and assumptions in the SVAS about the targets of links being on the same volume as the directory containing the link. Persistent mounts are not supported on the client side either. For the Alpha release, the persistent mount operation returns an error message (not implemented).

  4. One cannot destroy a file system (volume). That will be fixed.

  5. "Error not checked" still appears in places.

  6. The SVAS lookup function doesn't behave the same on the client and server sides.

  7. SVAS getDirEntries returns BadCookie (-2) when it reaches the end of the directory. It should return NoSuchCookie.

3 New Features and Internal Changes for Beta Release

  1. Errors and logging: The Shore Value-Added Server needs options to initialize the logging levels for the various services. Error logging for all services needs to be sent to the services' logs, and nothing to the screen.

  2. NFS service: The NFS server needs to pass back small integers for the fsid and fileid, and it needs a transient map for serial numbers to fileids.

  3. Error codes: Error messages need to be revamped. We need to reduce the quantity of error codes that the application needs to check, and make sure the functions are consistent about returning similar errors in similar conditions.

    We also need to ensure that the error codes get converted to the proper Unix errors by the NFS server.

    The entire error return (w_rc_t) list needs to be sent back in the SVAS RPC reply (at least, in the debugging case, it does) and reconstructed on the client side.

    SVAS internal functions will return a w_rc_t.

  4. Simple functions for processing options (for the application) need to process the command line.

  5. The SVAS, Storage Manager (SM), and the SVAS shell need functions to destroy off-volume references. The object-destroy function need to clean up references whenever possible.

  6. We need some fsck()-like utilities to check the integrity of the file system. We also need programs to remove off-volume references that are no longer needed. A list of persistent mounts onto a volume will be stashed in the volume's root index so that it is possible to identify all mounts (for fsck() purposes) without scanning the entire file system.

    The SVAS shell needs administrative commands for patching structures found to be erroneous by fsck(). (This is necessary because someone could reformat a volume that's linked into the name space, without first unlinking (dismounting) it.)

  7. We will flatten the du_infostructure and clean up all the code that uses it.

  8. SVAS, SM, and SVAS shell need a functions to list the mounted (served) devices.

  9. SVAS shell needs a command to tell if suppression of error messages is on or off.

  10. SVAS will use savepoints rather than transaction-abort whenever it can (when errors are encountered).

  11. We plan to offer documentation for all layers of the Shore software.

  12. The SSM log will work on a raw device.

  13. Release on HP-UX with HP CC. Fix libraries to include ptrepository.

  14. Finish configuration variations for SVAS: make the SVAS a library, put main.C in a different directory to make the server. Make it easier to configure different combinations of services (for someone writing another VAS).

  15. Shutting down and dismounting volumes: SM and SVAS will offer two forms of shutdown: wait for transactions to end, and aborting all transactions. In either case, it will be possible to shut down the server and bring it back up. Dismounts will be disallowed, except in shut-down state.

  16. Formatting will not be allowed on devices while they are being served. This will require the SM to "fstat" the device so that mounted devices can be identified by inode or dev no.

  17. SVAS: object cache needs a version of mkAnonymous with uninitialized data (minor performance hack).

  18. SSM performance: file pages are locked when records are created; this needs to be changed.

  19. statistics: statistics exist at all layers; need to be coordinated and we need a clean way to gather them for an application.

  20. performance improvement: SSM will allow files to be opened for scan-with-destroy so that a file's objects can be destroyed during a scan. We might also allow scan-with-updates but prohibit any updates that would result in an object being moved.

  21. performance improvement: SSM needs a next-page interface so that scanning files can be done in the client. (Now it's done entirely on the server, despite the fact that some pages are cached in the client.)

  22. performance improvement: SVAS and object cache need a protocol to batch requests. The queued share-memory buffers used in EXODUS will go into Shore; this should speed up the client-server communication.

  23. SSM will make files and indexes look like records inasmuch as they will have a "header" for meta-data.

  24. Object cache needs a stat() method for the application to call on registered objects.

  25. We need to write a generic mount (for platforms other than Sparcs.)

  26. The size of system properties stored by the SVAS will be reduced.

  27. SSM will offer a new logging variant for files : log only the meta-data.

  28. SSM and SVAS will support more than one volume on a device.

  29. Large objects: If an application reads any portion of a large object, the entire objects is read from the server. If the application writes any portion of the object, then the entire object is written back to the server. Fixing this, in conjunction with incremental removal of objects from the object cache should improve the performance of large objects significantly.

  30. Performance and flexibility: The object cache will be able to replace objects.

4 Plans Beyond Beta

  1. File system implementation: We plan to reconsider the file system implementation. We are considering modifying the concept of a hard link somewhat, in order to improve unix compatibility (with respect to cross-references and NFS), and to make it possible to generate a path to an object, given its OID.

  2. Transparent data distribution: We plan to support the distribution of data among cooperating peer servers. We will use a two-phase commit protocol to resolve transactions that use distributed data. The servers need not be on the same architectures.

  3. Security: we plan to build authentication and some security into the system.

  4. Performance improvement: Cache index data in the application process.

  5. SDL support: Method dispatch will be addressed.

  6. SDL support: Indexable attributes and automatic indexes will be supported.

  7. Performance and administrative support: Disk management and page allocation will be improved.

  8. Flexibility: Support for transient objects.

  9. Language heterogeneity: we plan to implement another language binding, possibly for Smalltalk.

  10. Type integrity: Objects that are destroyed leave dangling pointers if the destroyed object participates in bidirectional relationships. An object cache and part of the type system will be added to the server to support type integrity in the event that objects are destroyed through NFS, and the C++ language binding will also maintain the integrity of bidirectional relationships.

  11. Unix compatibility: With extensions to the SVAS to support Unix open-file semantics, we will build a Unix link-level compatibility library for applications.

  12. Unix compatibility: Make Shore POSIX-compatible (the service it provides will be POSIX-compatible, and it will build and run on a POSIX machine).

  13. Inter-transaction caching (client-side): We plan to explore ways to avoid flushing a client process' object cache when a transaction commits.

  14. Exceptions: Exceptions would be a useful and natural way of reporting errors to application programs. Currently, C++ exceptions are not viable, but as soon as they are, we would like to explore their use in simplifying error handling.

  15. C++ Standard Templates: We will take a close look at the C++ standard templates library to see if it would be useful to adopt the interfaces described there for SDL.
Thu Nov 3 14:13:14 CST 1994