[ovs-dev] [idl 1/2] ovsdb-idl: Fix atomicity of writes that don't change a column's value.

Ben Pfaff blp at nicira.com
Tue Apr 5 19:24:52 UTC 2011

The first version wasn't quite right.  Here's a fixed version.

--8<--------------------------cut here-------------------------->8--

From: Ben Pfaff <blp at nicira.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2011 10:50:52 -0700
Subject: [PATCH] ovsdb-idl: Fix atomicity of writes that don't change a column's value.

The existing ovsdb_idl_txn_commit() drops any writes that don't change a
column's value from what was last reported by the database.  But this isn't
a valid optimization, because it breaks the atomicity of transactions.
Suppose columns A and B initially have values 1 and 2.  Client 1 writes
value 1 to both columns in one transaction.  Client 2 writes value 2 to
both columns in another transaction.  The only possible valid results for
any serial ordering of transactions are 1,1 or 2,2.  But if both clients
drop writes to columns that they have not modified, then 2,1 also becomes
possible (because client 1 just writes to B and client 2 just writes to A).

However, for write-only columns we can optimize this out because the IDL
can assume it is the only client writing to a column.

Found by inspection.
 lib/ovsdb-idl.c |   19 ++++++++++++++++---
 1 files changed, 16 insertions(+), 3 deletions(-)

diff --git a/lib/ovsdb-idl.c b/lib/ovsdb-idl.c
index b264591..911d7b8 100644
--- a/lib/ovsdb-idl.c
+++ b/lib/ovsdb-idl.c
@@ -1436,9 +1436,7 @@ ovsdb_idl_txn_commit(struct ovsdb_idl_txn *txn)
                     if (row->old
-                        ? !ovsdb_datum_equals(&row->old[idx], &row->new[idx],
-                                              &column->type)
-                        : !ovsdb_datum_is_default(&row->new[idx],
+                        || !ovsdb_datum_is_default(&row->new[idx],
                                                   &column->type)) {
                         json_object_put(row_json, column->name,
@@ -1633,6 +1631,21 @@ ovsdb_idl_txn_write(const struct ovsdb_idl_row *row_,
     assert(row->old == NULL ||
            row->table->modes[column_idx] & OVSDB_IDL_MONITOR);
+    /* If this is a write-only column and the datum being written is the same
+     * as the one already there, just skip the update entirely.  This is worth
+     * optimizing because we have a lot of columns that get periodically
+     * refreshed into the database but don't actually change that often.
+     *
+     * We don't do this for read/write columns because that would break
+     * atomicity of transactions--some other client might have written a
+     * different value in that column since we read it. */
+    if (row->table->modes[column_idx] == OVSDB_IDL_MONITOR
+        && ovsdb_datum_equals(ovsdb_idl_read(row, column),
+                              datum, &column->type)) {
+        ovsdb_datum_destroy(datum, &column->type);
+        return;
+    }
     if (hmap_node_is_null(&row->txn_node)) {
         hmap_insert(&row->table->idl->txn->txn_rows, &row->txn_node,

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