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SubjectRe: [RFC v1][PATCH]page_fault retry with NOPAGE_RETRY
On Thu, Nov 27, 2008 at 11:00:07AM +0100, Peter Zijlstra wrote:
> On Thu, 2008-11-27 at 01:28 -0800, Mike Waychison wrote:
> > Correct. I don't recall the numbers from the pathelogical cases we were
> > seeing, but iirc, it was on the order of 10s of seconds, likely
> > exascerbated by slower than usual disks. I've been digging through my
> > inbox to find numbers without much success -- we've been using a variant
> > of this patch since 2.6.11.
> > We generally try to avoid such things, but sometimes it a) can't be
> > easily avoided (third party libraries for instance) and b) when it hits
> > us, it affects the overall health of the machine/cluster (the monitoring
> > daemons get blocked, which isn't very healthy).
> If its only monitoring, there might be another solution. If you can keep
> the required data in a separate (approximate) copy so that you don't
> need mmap_sem at all to show them.
> If your mmap_sem is so contended your latencies are unacceptable, adding
> more users to it - even statistics gathering, just isn't going to cure
> the situation.
> Furthermore, /proc code usually isn't written with performance in mind,
> so its usually simple and robust code. Adding it to a 'hot'-path like
> you're doing doesn't seem advisable.
> Also, releasing and re-acquiring mmap_sem can significantly add to the
> cacheline bouncing that thing already has.

Yes, it would be nice to reduce mmap_sem load regardless of any other
fixes or problems. I guess they're not very worried about cacheline
bouncing but more about hold time (how many sockets in these systems?
4 at most?)

I guess it is the pagemap stuff that they use most heavily?

pagemap_read looks like it can use get_user_pages_fast. The smaps and
clear_refs stuff might have been nicer if they could work on ranges
like pagemap. Then they could avoid mmap_sem as well (although maps
would need to be sampled and take mmap_sem I guess).

One problem with dropping mmap_sem is that it hurts priority/fairness.
And it opens a bit of a (maybe theoretical but not something to completely
ignore) forward progress hole AFAIKS. If mmap_sem is very heavily
contended, then the refault is going to take a while to get through,
and then the page might get reclaimed etc).

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