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SubjectRe: [Patch 0/5] I/O statistics through request queues
On Wed, Oct 25 2006, Martin Peschke wrote:
> >>>I have to say it's news to
> >>>me that it's performance intensive, tests I did with Alan Brunelle a
> >>>year or so ago showed it to be quite low impact.
> >>I found some discussions on linux-btrace (Feburary 2006).
> >>There is little information on how the alleged 2 percent impact has
> >>been determined. Test cases seem to comprise formatting disks ...hmm.
> >
> >It may sound strange, but formatting a large drive generates a huge
> >flood of block layer events from lots of io queued and merged. So it's
> >not a bad benchmark for this type of thing. And it's easy to test :-)
>
> Just wondering to what degree this might resemble I/O workloads run
> by customers in their data centers.

It wont of course, the point is to generate a flood of events to put as
much pressure on blktrace logging as possible. Dirtying tons of data
does that.

> >>>You'd be silly to locally store traces, send them out over the network.
> >>Will try this next and post complaints, if any, along with numbers.
> >
> >Thanks! Also note that you do not need to log every event, just register
> >a mask of interesting ones to decrease the output logging rate. We could
> >so with some better setup for that though, but at least you should be
> >able to filter out some unwanted events.
>
> ...and consequently try to scale down relay buffers, reducing the risk of
> memory constraints caused by blktrace activation.

Pretty pointless, unless you are tracing lots of disks. 4x128kb gone
wont be a showstopper for anyone.

> >>However, a fast network connection plus a second system for blktrace
> >>data processing are serious requirements. Think of servers secured
> >>by firewalls. Reading some counters in debugfs, sysfs or whatever
> >>might be more appropriate for some one who has noticed an unexpected
> >>I/O slowdown and needs directions for further investigation.
> >
> >It's hard to make something that will suit everybody. Maintaining some
> >counters in sysfs is of course less expensive when your POV is cpu
> >cycles.
>
> Counters are also cheaper with regard to memory consumption. Counters
> are probably cause less side effects, but are less flexible than
> full-blown traces.

And the counters are special cases and extremely inflexible.

--
Jens Axboe

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