2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 26, 2006 12:35 PM by Brian Stansberry

    Distributed call deadlocks in BuddyManager

    Brian Stansberry Master

      We've got some deadlocks in the BuddyManager code due inter-server calls forming a loop.

      Thread A is node A's JG up thread.
      Thread B is node B's JG up thread

      What we've got:

      1) A calls BuddyManager's TreeCacheListener's viewAccepted().
      2) A makes a synchronous remote method call to B's _remoteAssignToBuddyGroup method
      3) B synchronously calls A's _getState method
      4) A prepares and returns state
      5) B calls its own _setState.

      This for sure fails at step 4, since A can't prepare and return state; it's still in step 2 waiting for _remoteAssignToBuddyGroup to return.

      In reality it fails in step 3, because at the same time A got a viewAccepted call, so did B, so B is blocking waiting for A to respond to *its*_remoteAssignToBuddyGroup call.


      1) Any extensive work done from a viewAccepted() notification should be done in a separate thread to avoid blocking the JGroups channel. That's the way HAPartition works now. We use a handler thread backed by a queue.

      2) When _remoteAssignToBuddyGroup is invoked, it also does its work asynchronously. The same handler thead / queue combo used for #1 could deal with this.

      3) Downside to #2 is it eliminates the possiblity of throwing an exception back to the cache that made the remote call to _remoteAssignToBuddyGroup. So, if there was a problem on the buddy, the DataOwner would not know. An alternative to #2 is to switch to a push-based state transfer; i.e. the call to _remoteAssignToBuddyGroup includes with it the state transfer.

      A minor complication with #3 is that if Region-based marshalling is used, there are multiple state transfers. We could either make multiple remote calls pushing the state, or group the serialized state for the various regions in a List. The latter seems preferable.

        • 1. Re: Distributed call deadlocks in BuddyManager
          Manik Surtani Master

          I actually did see the problem yesterday but it was past 1am and I figured I'd just leave it till I could look at it again with a fresh mind. :-) Looks like you beat me to it though, thanks for spotting this!

          I'd veer towards solution 1. above.

          1. - Seems the most logical that we don't block the JG thread as viewchanges come in.

          2. I'm not too happy with this, simply because, as you said, there is no chance of spotting exceptions and dealing with this.

          3. Not happy with switching to a push-based state transfer either, simply because of the rework needed in the state transfer codebase. Logically, a push-based state transfer makes the most sense since the data owner controls whole process. Regarding regions, I agree that a List in a single call is best here. Do you think a push-based state transfer can easily be retrofitted on top of the existing state transfer codebase? If so, I'd prefer it anyway since it means 1 less RPC message when assigning a buddy.

          I'm still going ahead and implementing 1 though, I don't lilke blocking the listener.


          • 2. Re: Distributed call deadlocks in BuddyManager
            Brian Stansberry Master

            #1 is necessary but insufficient to fix the problem, as a set of cyclical calls still remain. Found this out when I hacked in a quick fix for #1 (not a proper one at all, just the fastest I could do to move past the problem). That's when I finally applied my brain and thought through the whole sequence of calls that I wrote about.

            So, either #2 or #3 is necessary. I too prefer #3.

            I think converting to push-based state transfer should be pretty easy (i.e. doable today, tomorrow at latest). There are 3 main areas involved in state transfer:

            a) _getState, which prepares a state transfer byte[] for a given region.
            b) _setState, which integrates the state transfer byte[] into a given region.
            c) Various methods which orchestrate the remote call and the processing of the return, either through a call to JChannel.getState() or through an RPC call.

            We're just talking about adding a slightly different flavor to c) -- a and b are the harder parts and should remain unaffected.