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    SubjectRe: SMP scalability: 8 -> 32 CPUs
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    >>>>> "Larry" == Larry McVoy <lm@bitmover.com> writes:

    [snip]

    Larry> What does this all mean? It means that if you try and scale
    Larry> beyond a handful of processors, you complicate your kernel
    Larry> substantially and make it almost impossible to keep it a
    Larry> lightweight thing on a UP (look at Sun vs Linux lmbench numbers
    Larry> on the same hardware, that's all the proof you need).

    Larry> Furthermore, most people have UP or 2 way SMP machines, very
    Larry> very few people have 8 way SMPs and even fewer have 32 way
    Larry> SMPs. And that distribution will remain quite constant.

    Larry> So ask yourself - should the Linux kernel team do an incredible
    Larry> amount of work, destroying performance and reliability in the
    Larry> overwhelmingly common case, for the benefit of a very, very
    Larry> small number of machines?

    I cut out a fair bit of your posting ... though I would like to
    comment on the general stuff.

    I agree with you that the market is primarily in the 1-2 CPU boxes at
    the moment, but I believe we'll see Intel and others trying to push
    2-4 way SMP machines soon for end users soon (I just don't believe
    they can continue to boost the performance curve). Besides, several
    companies have announced/delivers 8 way x86 SMP boxes now.

    Linux is beginning to move into the low/mid-range server market as PCs
    are beginning to become interesting when looking at I/O performance,
    at least that is the trend I see here at CERN. Until now we have
    primarily been using PC's for number crunching, but with the latest
    chipsets from Intel it has started to become interesting to use them
    as I/O servers (tape/disk) as well.

    Right now our filesystem and SCSI (and probably network stack as well)
    code just doesn't scale for this but I really want to see that change
    in 2.3.x (I hope and believe I am not the only one with that vision
    ;-). I would sure like to be able to replace Sun 450 & DEC 1200 class
    machines[1] with Linux boxes, but right now it is just not feasible.

    So basically what I wanted to point out is that we need more
    scalability to take over some of the new markets where Linux is
    beginning to evolve. I think these are very important areas and it is
    important not just to focus on private desktop users (of course we
    should not forget this market either).

    Jes

    [1]: This is my own personal dream, not an official company statement!

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