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    SubjectRe: Reducing inode cache usage on 2.4?

    Hi James,

    On Fri, Dec 17, 2004 at 05:26:20PM +0000, James Pearson wrote:
    > I have an NFS server with 1Gb RAM running a 2.4.26 kernel with 2 XFS
    > file systems with about 2 million files in total.
    > Occasionally I get reports that the server is 'sticky' (slow
    > read/writes) and the inode cache appears to consume most of the
    > available memory and doesn't appear to reduce - a typical /proc/slabinfo
    > output is below.
    > If I run a simple application that grabs memory on the server, the inode
    > and other caches are reduced and the server becomes more responsive
    > (i.e. data rates to/from the server are restored to 'normal').
    > Is there anyway I can purge the cached inode data, or any kernel
    > parameters I can tweak to limit the inode cache or flush it more frequently?
    > Or am I looking in completely the wrong place i.e. the inode cache is
    > not the problem?

    No, in your case the extreme inode/dcache sizes indeed seem to be a problem.

    The default kernel shrinking ratio can be tuned for enhanced reclaim efficiency.

    > xfs_inode 931428 931428 408 103492 103492 1 : 124 62
    > dentry_cache 499222 518850 128 17295 17295 1 : 252 126

    is what proportion of the VFS queues we will scan in one go.
    A value of 6 for vm_vfs_scan_ratio implies that 1/6th of the
    unused-inode, dentry and dquot caches will be freed during a
    normal aging round.
    Big fileservers (NFS, SMB etc.) probably want to set this
    value to 3 or 2.

    The default value is 6.

    Tune /proc/sys/vm/vm_vfs_scan_ratio increasing the value to 10 and so on and
    examine the results.
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