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    SubjectRe: The performance and behaviour of the anti-fragmentation related patches
    On Fri, Mar 02, 2007 at 04:57:51AM +0100, Nick Piggin wrote:
    > On Thu, Mar 01, 2007 at 07:05:48PM -0800, Christoph Lameter wrote:
    > > On Thu, 1 Mar 2007, Andrew Morton wrote:
    > > > For prioritisation purposes I'd judge that memory hot-unplug is of similar
    > > > value to the antifrag work (because memory hot-unplug permits DIMM
    > > > poweroff).
    > >
    > > I would say that anti-frag / defrag enables memory unplug.
    >
    > Well that really depends. If you want to have any sort of guaranteed
    > amount of unplugging or shrinking (or hugepage allocating), then antifrag
    > doesn't work because it is a heuristic.
    >
    > One thing that worries me about anti-fragmentation is that people might
    > actually start _using_ higher order pages in the kernel. Then fragmentation
    > comes back, and it's worse because now it is not just the fringe hugepage or
    > unplug users (who can anyway work around the fragmentation by allocating
    > from reserve zones).
    >
    There's two sides to that, the ability to use higher order pages in the
    kernel also means that it's possible to use larger TLB entries while
    keeping the base page size small, too. There are already many places in
    the kernel that attempt to use the largest possible size when setting up
    the entries, and this is something that those of us with tiny
    software-managed TLBs are a huge fan of -- some platforms have even opted
    to do perverse things such as scanning for contiguous PTEs and bumping to
    the next order automatically at set_pte() time.

    Unplug is also interesting from a power management point of view.
    Powering off is still more attractive than self-refresh, for example, but
    could also be used at run-time depending on the workload.
    -
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