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SubjectRe: [PATCH] Document huge memory/cache overhead of memory controller in Kconfig
Nick Piggin wrote:
> On Wednesday 20 February 2008 23:52, Balbir Singh wrote:
>> Andi Kleen wrote:
>>> Document huge memory/cache overhead of memory controller in Kconfig
>>>
>>> I was a little surprised that 2.6.25-rc* increased struct page for the
>>> memory controller. At least on many x86-64 machines it will not fit into
>>> a single cache line now anymore and also costs considerable amounts of
>>> RAM.
>> The size of struct page earlier was 56 bytes on x86_64 and with 64 bytes it
>> won't fit into the cacheline anymore? Please also look at
>> http://lwn.net/Articles/234974/
>
> BTW. We'll probably want to increase the width of some counters
> in struct page at some point for 64-bit,

You mean change count to atomic64_t? Do you have real evidence
the 32bit counter is a problem?

> so then it really will
> go over with the memory controller!

Not sure how they are related? The count and the memory controller
data would be always separate.

BTW if the memory controllers were limited in number it would
be also possible on 64bit to encode them in the high bits of
->flags. I assume 16bit or so could be spared in there. Probably
would not be enough though.

> Actually, an external data structure is a pretty good idea. We
> could probably do it easily with a radix tree (pfn->memory
> controller). And that might be a better option for distros.

I would think just a separate vmalloc()ed array for the counters
would be easy enough. That array could be allocated the first time
the memory controller is used (so making it zero cost for
distribution kernels when it is not used at all) and then also on
memory hotplug etc. If we assume most memory will be in
memory controllers that is also more efficient (in terms of
memory and of cache consumption) than any kind
of tree.

Balbir mentioned one reason they didn't do that earlier was
that they worried about the limited vmalloc space on 32bit,
but I don't think that's a good reason against it. That is because
vmalloc on 32bit is limited because of the limited direct
mapped kernel memory, but increasing mem_map size eats that
the same limited resource. So rather the 32bit vmalloc
reservation can be just increased by the same amount as the
mem_map increase would be (ok modulo hotplug, but that
is difficult anyways on 32bit)

Another issue is that it will slightly increase TLB/cache
cost of the memory controller, but I think that would be a fair
trade off for it being zero cost when disabled but compiled
in.

Doing it with vmalloc should be easy enough. I can do such
a patch later unless someone beats me to it...

-Andi


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