This document is for a development version of Ceph.
Handling a full Ceph file system
When a RADOS cluster reaches its
95%) capacity, it is marked with the OSD full flag. This flag causes
most normal RADOS clients to pause all operations until it is resolved
(for example by adding more capacity to the cluster).
The file system has some special handling of the full flag, explained below.
Hammer and later
Since the hammer release, a full file system will lead to ENOSPC results from:
Data writes on the client
Metadata operations other than deletes and truncates
Because the full condition may not be encountered until
data is flushed to disk (sometime after a
write call has already
returned 0), the ENOSPC error may not be seen until the application
fclose (or equivalent) on the file handle.
fsync is guaranteed to reliably indicate whether the data
made it to disk, and will return an error if it doesn’t.
only return an error if buffered data happened to be flushed since
the last write -- a successful
fclose does not guarantee that the
data made it to disk, and in a full-space situation, buffered data
may be discarded after an
fclose if no space is available to persist it.
If an application appears to be misbehaving on a full file system,
check that it is performing
fsync() calls as necessary to ensure
data is on disk before proceeding.
Data writes may be cancelled by the client if they are in flight at the
time the OSD full flag is sent. Clients update the
when releasing capabilities on files affected by cancelled operations, in
order to ensure that these cancelled operations do not interfere with
subsequent access to the data objects by the MDS or other clients. For
more on the epoch barrier mechanism, see Background: Blocklisting and OSD epoch barrier.
Legacy (pre-hammer) behavior
In versions of Ceph earlier than hammer, the MDS would ignore the full status of the RADOS cluster, and any data writes from clients would stall until the cluster ceased to be full.
There are two dangerous conditions to watch for with this behaviour:
If a client had pending writes to a file, then it was not possible for the client to release the file to the MDS for deletion: this could lead to difficulty clearing space on a full file system
If clients continued to create a large number of empty files, the resulting metadata writes from the MDS could lead to total exhaustion of space on the OSDs such that no further deletions could be performed.