Wandering Thoughts archives

2018-03-26

xprt: data for NFS mounts in /proc/self/mountstats is per-fileserver, not per-mount

A while back I wrote about all of the handy NFS statistics that appear in mountstats for all of your NFS mounts, including the xprt: NFS RPC information. For TCP mounts, this includes the local port and at the time I said:

  1. port: The local port used for this particular NFS mount. Probably not particularly useful, since on our NFS clients all NFS mounts from the same fileserver use the same port (and thus the same underlying TCP connection).

I then blithely talked about all of the remaining statistics as if they were specific to the particular NFS mount that the line was for. This turns out to be wrong, and the port number is in fact vital. I can demonstrate how vital by a little exercise:

$ fgrep xprt: /proc/self/mountstats | sort | uniq -c | sort -nr
    105   xprt: tcp 903 1 1 0 62 97817460 97785284 11122 2101962256388 0 574 10700678 55890249
     82   xprt: tcp 1005 1 1 0 0 48538448 48536496 1788 48292655827 0 810 26226830 53362451
[...]

It's not a coincidence that we have 105 NFS filesystems mounted from one fileserver and 82 from another. It turns out that at least with TCP based NFS mounts, all NFS mounts from the same fileserver will normally share the same RPC xprt transport, and it is the xprt transport's statistics that are being reported here. As a result, all of that xprt: NFS RPC information is for all NFS RPC traffic to the entire fileserver, not just the NFS RPC traffic for this specific mount.

(For TCP mounts, the combination of the local port plus the mountaddr= IP address will identify which xprt transport a given NFS mount is using. On our systems all NFS mounts from a given fileserver use the same port and thus the same xprt transport, but this may not always be the case. Also, each different fileserver is using a different local port, but again I'm not sure this is guaranteed.)

If the system is sufficiently busy doing NFS (and has enough NFS mounts), it's possible to see slightly different xprt: values for different mounts from a given fileserver that are using the same xprt transport. This isn't a true difference; it's just an artifact of the fact that the information for mountstats isn't being gathered all at once. If things update sufficiently frequently and fast, an early mount will report slightly older xprt: values than a later mount.

If you want to get a global view of RPC to a given fileserver, this is potentially convenient. If you want to get a per-mount view, it's inconvenient. For instance, to get the total number of NFS requests sent by this mount or the total bytes sent and received by it, you can't just look at the xprt: stats; instead you'll need to add up the counts from the per-operation statistics. Much of the information you want can be found by summing up per-operation stats this way, but I haven't checked to see if all of it can be.

There are probably clever things that can be done by combining and contrasting the xprt global stats and the per-mount stats you can calculate. I haven't tried to wrangle those metrics yet, though.

PS: The way that I found this is that the current version of nfsiostat does its sorting for -s based on the xprt: statistics, which gave us results that were sufficiently drastically off that it was obvious something was wrong.

(I suppose I should file a bug report about this with the nfs-utils people. My last bug report experience there went pretty smoothly and the current nfsd(7) manpage is now accurate.)

linux/NFSMountstatsXprtII written at 02:10:51; Add Comment


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