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SubjectRe: [PATCH 3/3] sched: Disable affine wakeups by default
On Sat, 2009-10-24 at 13:07 -0700, Arjan van de Ven wrote:
> Subject: sched: Disable affine wakeups by default
> From: Arjan van de Ven <>
> The global affine wakeup scheduler feature sounds nice, but there is a problem
> with this: This is ALSO a per scheduler domain feature already.
> By having the global scheduler feature enabled by default, the scheduler domains
> no longer have the option to opt out.

? The affine decision is qualified by SD_WAKE_AFFINE.

if (want_affine && (tmp->flags & SD_WAKE_AFFINE) &&
cpumask_test_cpu(prev_cpu, sched_domain_span(tmp))) {

affine_sd = tmp;
want_affine = 0;

> There are domains (for example the HT/SMT domain) that have good reason to want
> to opt out of this feature.

Even if you're sharing a cache, there are reasons to wake affine. If
the wakee can preempt the waker while it's still eligible to run, wakee
not only eats toasty warm data, it can hand the cpu back to the waker so
it can make more and repeat this procedure for a while without someone
else getting in between, and trashing cache. Also, for a task which
wakes another, then checks to see if it has more work, sleeps if not,
this preemption can keep that task running, saving wakeups. If you put
the wakee on a runqueue where it may have to wait even a tiny bit, buddy
goes to sleep, so that benefit is gone. These things have a HUGE effect
on scalability, as you can see below.

There are times when not waking affine is good, eg immediately after
fork(), it's _generally_ a good idea to not wake affine, because there
may be more no the way, a work generator like make, for example doing
it's thing, and fork() also frequently means an exec is on the way.
That's not usually a producer/consumer situation.

At low load, with producer/consumer, iff you can hit a shared cache,
it's a good idea to not wake affine, any waker/wakee overlap is pure
performance loss in that case. On my Q6600, there's a 1:3 chance of
hitting if left to random chance. You can see that case happening in
the pgsql+oltp numbers below. That wants further examination.

> With this patch they can opt out, while all other domains currently default to
> the affine setting anyway.

Patch globally disabled affine wakeups. Not good.

Oh, btw, wrt affinity vs interrupt, a long time ago, I tried disabling
affine wakeups in hard/soft and both contexts. In all cases, it was a
losing proposition here.

One thing that would be nice for some mixed loads, including the desktop
is, if a cpu is doing high frequency sync/affine wakeups, try to keep
other things away from that cpu by considering synchronous tasks to
count as two instead of one load balancing wise.

(damn, i'm rambling.. time to shut up;)

Sorry for verbosity, numbers probably would have sufficed. I've been
overdosing on boring affinity/scalability testing ;-)

tip v2.6.32-rc5-1691-g9a8523b

tbench 4
tip 936.314 MB/sec 8 procs
tip+patches 869.153 MB/sec 8 procs

tip 125307 messages per second
tip+patches 103743 messages per second

clients 1 2 4 8 16 32 64 128 256
tip 10013.90 18526.84 34900.38 34420.14 33069.83 32083.40 30578.30 28010.71 25605.47
tip+patches 8436.34 17826.34 34524.32 31471.92 29188.59 27896.10 26036.43 23774.57 19524.33
.842 .962 .989 .914 .882 .869 .851 .848 .762

clients 1 2 4 8 16 32 64 128 256
tip 13907.85 27135.87 52951.98 52514.04 51742.52 50705.43 49947.97 48374.19 46227.94
tip+patches 15277.63 23050.99 51943.13 51937.16 42246.60 38397.86 34998.71 31154.21 26335.68
1.098 .849 .980 .989 .816 .757 .700 .644 .569

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