Use Case 5

Christian Ferrari
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use_case_5a.png (28336 bytes)

Use Case #5: non exclusive locking

Note: this use case is available since flom version 0.1.4

Sometimes you need to manage shared locks instead of exclusive locks.
A typical scenario is the "multiple readers / single-writer lock": many processes can access a resource at the same time (because they does not modify the resource state) and only one process can access a resource to update it.
Much more interesting use cases can be implemented using the lock mode semantic proposed by VMS Distributed Lock Manager.

Open two terminals and try this experiment:

  1. inside the first terminal write this command at prompt, but do not press "enter": "flom --lock-mode=PR -- ls"
  2. inside the second terminal write this command at prompt: "flom --lock-mode=PR -- sleep 10"
  3. now press "enter" key at the second terminal (where you have written "flom --lock-mode=PR -- sleep 10")
  4. switch to first terminal and press "enter" key

Expected result:

  1. the second terminal pauses for 10 seconds
  2. the first terminal displays the output of directory content (ls command) immediately: it does not enqueue and wait second terminal command termination.

Terminal 1 output:

tiian@mojan:/usr$ flom --lock-mode=PR -- ls
bin  games  include  lib  lib64  local  sbin  share  src
tiian@mojan:/usr$ echo $?
0
tiian@mojan:/usr$

Terminal 2 output:

tiian@mojan:~$ flom -- sleep 10
tiian@mojan:~/src/flom$ echo $?
0
tiian@mojan:~$

Explanation:

command "sleep 10" locks the default resource, but it specifies Protected Read (PR) as lock mode, command "ls" tries to lock the same resource using Protected Read lock mode and as explained in VMS DLM truth table, Protected Read lock mode allows resource sharing.

Come back to first terminal...

  1. prepare command "flom -- ls" inside the terminal first using default lock mode (Exclusive)
  2. prepare command "flom --lock-mode=PR -- sleep 10" inside the second terminal using Protected Read lock mode
  3. press "enter" key at the second terminal (where you have written "flom --lock-mode=PR -- sleep 10")
  4. switch to first terminal and press "enter" key

Expected result:

"ls" command is executed after terminal two terminated

Explanation:

The second terminal command uses Protected Read lock mode and can share the resource with someone else, but first terminal command uses (default) Exclusive lock mode and must wait the resource becomes free to lock it exclusively.

Summary

This use case explains you how to implement the "multiple readers / single-writer lock" pattern and gives you the tool to implement more complex patterns using the powerful semantic offered by flom lock manager because it implements the full lock mode semantic proposed by VMS DLM: "Null Lock", "Concurrent Read", "Concurrent Write", "Protected Read", "Protected Write", "Exclusive".

See also

Flom available arguments are documented in man page: use man flom.
Flom [Configuration] explains how you can specify flom behavior without using command line arguments.
VMS Distributed Lock Manager is a good start point for understanding lock modes.


Related

Wiki: Configuration
Wiki: FLoM by examples
Wiki: Use Case 11