[Spice-devel] client_migrate_info - do we need a new command?

Yonit Halperin yhalperi at redhat.com
Wed Dec 14 01:26:59 PST 2011

On 12/13/2011 08:19 PM, Anthony Liguori wrote:
> In our call today, Avi asked that we evaluate whether the interface for
> client_migrate_info is the Right Interface before we introduce a new
> command to work around the fact that async commands are broken.
> I looked into this today and here's what I came to.
> 1) What are the failure scenarios?
> The issue is qerror_report(). Roughly speaking, qerror_report either
> prints to stderr or it associates an error with the current monitor
> command.
> The problem with this is that qerror_report() is used all over the code
> base today and if an error occurs in a device that has nothing to do
> with the command, instead of printing to stderr, the command will fail
> with a bizarre error reason (even though it really succeeded).
> 2) Does the command have the right semantics?
> The command has the following doc:
> client_migrate_info
> ------------------
> Set the spice/vnc connection info for the migration target. The spice/vnc
> server will ask the spice/vnc client to automatically reconnect using the
> new parameters (if specified) once the vm migration finished successfully.
> Arguments:
> - "protocol": protocol: "spice" or "vnc" (json-string)
> - "hostname": migration target hostname (json-string)
> - "port": spice/vnc tcp port for plaintext channels (json-int, optional)
> - "tls-port": spice tcp port for tls-secured channels (json-int, optional)
> - "cert-subject": server certificate subject (json-string, optional)
> Example:
> -> { "execute": "client_migrate_info",
> "arguments": { "protocol": "spice",
> "hostname": "virt42.lab.kraxel.org",
> "port": 1234 } }
> <- { "return": {} }
> Originally, the command was a normal sync command and my understanding
> is that it simply posted notification to the clients. Apparently, users
> of the interface need to actually know when the client has Ack'd this
> operation because otherwise it's racy since a disconnect may occur
> before the client processes the redirection.
It's racy because the migration can start before the client manages to 
connect to the migration target. And since the target is unresponsive 
during migration, the client will manage to connect to it only after 
migration completes; but that can take a while, and the client's ticket 
might expire till then.
> OTOH, that means that what we really need is 1) tell connected clients
> that they need to redirect 2) notification when/if connected clients are
> prepared to redirect.
> The trouble with using a async command for this is that the time between
> (1) & (2) may be arbitrarily long. Since most QMP clients today always
> use a NULL tag, that effectively means the monitor is blocked for an
> arbitrarily long time while this operation is in flight.
> I don't know if libspice uses a timeout for this operation,
We use a timeout of 10 Sec
but if it
> doesn't, this could block arbitrarily long. Even with tagging, we don't
> have a way to cancel in flight commands so blocking for arbitrary time
> periods is problematic.
> I think splitting this into two commands, one that requests the clients
> to redirect and then an event that lets a tool know that the clients are
> ready to migrate ends up being nicer. It means that we never end up with
> a blocked QMP session and clients are more likely to properly deal with
> the fact that an event may take arbitrarily long to happen.
> Clients can also implement their own cancel logic by choosing to stop
> waiting for an event to happen and then ignoring spurious events.
> So regardless of the async issue, I think splitting this command is the
> right thing to do long term.
I just want to emphasize that using client_migrate_info for connecting 
to to target is more of a workaround. IMHO, the more complete solution 
would have been (similar to the one we have in Rhel5):
1) Add a migration notifier for pre-starting migration. Introduce 
completion cb to these notifiers.
2) actually start migration only after the completion cb is called.

Then, the client_migrate_info can go back to be sync.
If we already plan to make changes, maybe they should be aimed to such a 
Btw, if we also had such notifier for pre-finish migration (before 
starting the target vm), we could even turn the client migration to be 
really seamless again.


> Regards,
> Anthony Liguori
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