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SubjectRe: [Bug #14141] order 2 page allocation failures in iwlagn
On Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 10:06:09PM +0100, Frans Pop wrote:
> On Tuesday 20 October 2009, Mel Gorman wrote:
> > I've attached a patch below that should allow us to cheat. When it's
> > applied, it outputs who called congestion_wait(), how long the timeout
> > was and how long it waited for. By comparing before and after sleep
> > times, we should be able to see which of the callers has significantly
> > changed and if it's something easily addressable.
>
> The results from this look fairly interesting (although I may be a bad
> judge as I don't really know what I'm looking at ;-).
>
> I've tested with two kernels:
> 1) 2.6.31.1: 1 test run
> 2) 2.6.31.1 + congestion_wait() reverts: 2 test runs
>
> The 1st kernel had the expected "freeze" while reading commits in gitk;
> reading commits with the 2nd kernel was more fluent.
> I did 2 runs with the 2nd kernel as the first run had a fairly long music
> skip and more SKB errors than expected. The second run was fairly normal
> with no music skips at all even though it had a few SKB errors.
>
> Data for the tests:
> 1st kernel 2nd kernel 1 2nd kernel 2
> end reading commits 1:15 1:00 0:55
> "freeze" yes no no
> branch data shown 1:55 1:15 1:10
> system quiet 2:25 1:50 1:45
> # SKB allocation errors 10 53 5
>
> Note that the test is substantially faster with the 2nd kernel and that the
> SKB errors don't really affect the duration of the test.
>

Ok. I think that despite expectations, the writeback changes have
changed the timing significantly enough to be worth examining closer.

>
> - without the revert 'background_writeout' is called a lot less frequently,
> but when it's called it gets long delays
> - without the revert you have 'wb_kupdate', which is relatively expensive
> - with the revert 'shrink_list' is relatively expensive, although not
> really in absolute terms
>

Lets look at the callers that waited in congestion_wait() for at least
25 jiffies.

2.6.31.1-async-sync-congestion-wait i.e. vanilla kernel
generated with: cat kern.log_1_test | awk -F ] '{print $2}' | sort -k 5 -n | uniq -c
24 background_writeout congestion_wait sync=0 delay 25 timeout 25
203 kswapd congestion_wait sync=0 delay 25 timeout 25
5 shrink_list congestion_wait sync=0 delay 25 timeout 25
155 try_to_free_pages congestion_wait sync=0 delay 25 timeout 25
145 wb_kupdate congestion_wait sync=0 delay 25 timeout 25
2 kswapd congestion_wait sync=0 delay 26 timeout 25
8 wb_kupdate congestion_wait sync=0 delay 26 timeout 25
1 try_to_free_pages congestion_wait sync=0 delay 54 timeout 25

2.6.31.1-write-congestion-wait i.e. kernel with patch reverted
generated with: cat kern.log_2.1_test | awk -F ] '{print $2}' | sort -k 5 -n | uniq -c
2 background_writeout congestion_wait rw=1 delay 25 timeout 25
188 kswapd congestion_wait rw=1 delay 25 timeout 25
14 shrink_list congestion_wait rw=1 delay 25 timeout 25
181 try_to_free_pages congestion_wait rw=1 delay 25 timeout 25
5 kswapd congestion_wait rw=1 delay 26 timeout 25
10 try_to_free_pages congestion_wait rw=1 delay 26 timeout 25
3 try_to_free_pages congestion_wait rw=1 delay 27 timeout 25
1 kswapd congestion_wait rw=1 delay 29 timeout 25
1 __alloc_pages_nodemask congestion_wait rw=1 delay 30 timeout 5
1 try_to_free_pages congestion_wait rw=1 delay 31 timeout 25
1 try_to_free_pages congestion_wait rw=1 delay 35 timeout 25
1 kswapd congestion_wait rw=1 delay 51 timeout 25
1 try_to_free_pages congestion_wait rw=1 delay 56 timeout 25

So, wb_kupdate and background_writeout are the big movers in terms of waiting,
not the direct reclaimers which is what we were expecting. Of those big
movers, wb_kupdate is the most interested because compare the following

$ cat kern.log_2.1_test | awk -F ] '{print $2}' | sort -k 5 -n | uniq -c | grep wb_kup
[ no output ]
$ $ cat kern.log_1_test | awk -F ] '{print $2}' | sort -k 5 -n | uniq -c | grep wb_kup
1 wb_kupdate congestion_wait sync=0 delay 15 timeout 25
1 wb_kupdate congestion_wait sync=0 delay 23 timeout 25
145 wb_kupdate congestion_wait sync=0 delay 25 timeout 25
8 wb_kupdate congestion_wait sync=0 delay 26 timeout 25

The vanilla kernel is not waiting in wb_kupdate at all.

Jens, before the congestion_wait() changes, wb_kupdate was waiting on
congestion and afterwards it's not. Furthermore, look at the number of pages
that are queued for writeback in the two page allocation failure reports.

without-revert: writeback:65653
with-revert: writeback:21713

So, after the move to async/sync, a lot more pages are getting queued
for writeback - more than three times the number of pages are queued for
writeback with the vanilla kernel. This amount of congestion might be why
direct reclaimers and kswapd's timings have changed so much.

Chris Mason hinted at this but I didn't quite "get it" at the time but is it
possible that writeback_inodes() is converting what is expected to be async
IO into sync IO? One way of checking this is if Frans could test the patch
below that makes wb_kupdate wait on sync instead of async.

If this makes a difference, I think the three main areas of trouble we
are now seeing are

1. page allocator regressions - mostly fixed hopefully
2. page writeback change in timing - theory yet to be confirmed
3. drivers using more atomics - iwlagn specific, being dealt with

Of course, the big problem is if the changes are due to major timing
differences in page writeback, then mainline is a totally different
shape of problem as pdflush has been replaced there.

====
Have wb_kupdate wait on sync IO congestion instead of async

wb_kupdate is expected to only have queued up pages for async IO.
However, something screwy is happening because it never appears to go to
sleep. Frans, can you test with this patch instead of the revert please?
Preferably, keep the verbose-congestion_wait patch applied so we can
still get an idea who is going to sleep and for how long when calling
congestion_wait. thanks

Not-signed-off-hacket-job: Mel Gorman <mel@csn.ul.ie>
---

diff --git a/mm/page-writeback.c b/mm/page-writeback.c
index 81627eb..cb646dd 100644
--- a/mm/page-writeback.c
+++ b/mm/page-writeback.c
@@ -787,7 +787,7 @@ static void wb_kupdate(unsigned long arg)
writeback_inodes(&wbc);
if (wbc.nr_to_write > 0) {
if (wbc.encountered_congestion || wbc.more_io)
- congestion_wait(BLK_RW_ASYNC, HZ/10);
+ congestion_wait(BLK_RW_SYNC, HZ/10);
else
break; /* All the old data is written */
}

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