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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 00/19] Cleanup and optimise the page allocator V2
On Mon, 2009-03-02 at 11:21 +0000, Mel Gorman wrote:
> (Added Ingo as a second scheduler guy as there are queries on tg_shares_up)
> On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 04:44:43PM +0800, Lin Ming wrote:
> > On Thu, 2009-02-26 at 19:22 +0800, Mel Gorman wrote:
> > > In that case, Lin, could I also get the profiles for UDP-U-4K please so I
> > > can see how time is being spent and why it might have gotten worse?
> >
> > I have done the profiling (oltp and UDP-U-4K) with and without your v2
> > patches applied to 2.6.29-rc6.
> > I also enabled CONFIG_DEBUG_INFO so you can translate address to source
> > line with addr2line.
> >
> > You can download the oprofile data and vmlinux from below link,
> >
> >
> Perfect, thanks a lot for profiling this. It is a big help in figuring out
> how the allocator is actually being used for your workloads.
> The OLTP results had the following things to say about the page allocator.
In case we might mislead you guys, I want to clarify that here OLTP is
sysbench (oltp)+mysql, not the famous OLTP which needs lots of disks and big

Ma Chinang, another Intel guy, does work on the famous OLTP running.

> Samples in the free path
> vanilla: 6207
> mg-v2: 4911
> Samples in the allocation path
> vanilla 19948
> mg-v2: 14238
> This is based on glancing at the following graphs and not counting the VM
> counters as it can't be determined which samples are due to the allocator
> and which are due to the rest of the VM accounting.
> So the path costs are reduced in both cases. Whatever caused the regression
> there doesn't appear to be in time spent in the allocator but due to
> something else I haven't imagined yet. Other oddness
> o According to the profile, something like 45% of time is spent entering
> the __alloc_pages_nodemask() function. Function entry costs but not
> that much. Another significant part appears to be in checking a simple
> mask. That doesn't make much sense to me so I don't know what to do with
> that information yet.
> o In get_page_from_freelist(), 9% of the time is spent deleting a page
> from the freelist.
> Neither of these make sense, we're not spending time where I would expect
> to at all. One of two things are happening. Something like cache misses or
> bounces are dominating for some reason that is specific to this machine. Cache
> misses are one possibility that I'll check out. The other is that the sample
> rate is too low and the profile counts are hence misleading.
> Question 1: Would it be possible to increase the sample rate and track cache
> misses as well please?
I will try to capture cache miss with oprofile.

> Another interesting fact is that we are spending about 15% of the overall
> time is spent in tg_shares_up() for both kernels but the vanilla kernel
> recorded 977348 samples and the patched kernel recorded 514576 samples. We
> are spending less time in the kernel and it's not obvious why or if that is
> a good thing or not. You'd think less time in kernel is good but it might
> mean we are doing less work overall.
> Total aside from the page allocator, I checked what we were doing
> in tg_shares_up where the vast amount of time is being spent. This has
> something to do with CONFIG_FAIR_GROUP_SCHED.
> Question 2: Scheduler guys, can you think of what it means to be spending
> less time in tg_shares_up please?
> I don't know enough of how it works to guess why we are in there. FWIW,
> we are appear to be spending the most time in the following lines
> weight = tg->cfs_rq[i]->load.weight;
> if (!weight)
> weight = NICE_0_LOAD;
> tg->cfs_rq[i]->rq_weight = weight;
> rq_weight += weight;
> shares += tg->cfs_rq[i]->shares;
> So.... cfs_rq is SMP aligned, but we iterate though it with for_each_cpu()
> and we're writing to it. How often is this function run by multiple CPUs? If
> the answer is "lots", does that not mean we are cache line bouncing in
> here like mad? Another crazy amount of time is spent accessing tg->se when
> validating. Basically, any access of the task_group appears to incur huge
> costs and cache line bounces would be the obvious explanation.
FAIR_GROUP_SCHED is a feature to support configurable cpu weight for different users.
We did find it takes lots of time to check/update the share weight which might create
lots of cache ping-pang. With sysbench(oltp)+mysql, that becomes more severe because
mysql runs as user mysql and sysbench runs as another regular user. When starting
the testing with 1 thread in command line, there are 2 mysql threads and 1 sysbench
thread are proactive.

> More stupid poking around. We appear to update these share things on each
> fork().
> Question 3: Scheduler guys, If the database or clients being used for OLTP is
> fork-based instead of thread-based, then we are going to be balancing a lot,
> right? What does that mean, how can it be avoided?
> Question 4: Lin, this is unrelated to the page allocator but do you know
> what the performance difference between vanilla-with-group-sched and
> vanilla-without-group-sched is?
When FAIR_GROUP_SCHED appeared in kernel at the first time, we did many such testing.
There is another thread to discuss it at

set sched_shares_ratelimit to a large value could reduce the regression.

Scheduler guys keep improving it.

> The UDP results are screwy as the profiles are not matching up to the
> images. For example
Mostly, it's caused by not cleaning up old oprofile data when starting
new sampling.

I will retry.

> oltp.oprofile.2.6.29-rc6: ffffffff802808a0 11022 0.1727 get_page_from_freelist
> oltp.oprofile.2.6.29-rc6-mg-v2: ffffffff80280610 7958 0.2403 get_page_from_freelist
> UDP-U-4K.oprofile.2.6.29-rc6: ffffffff802808a0 29914 1.2866 get_page_from_freelist
> UDP-U-4K.oprofile.2.6.29-rc6-mg-v2: ffffffff802808a0 28153 1.1708 get_page_from_freelist
> Look at the addresses. UDP-U-4K.oprofile.2.6.29-rc6-mg-v2 has the address
> for UDP-U-4K.oprofile.2.6.29-rc6 so I have no idea what I'm looking at here
> for the patched kernel :(.
> Question 5: Lin, would it be possible to get whatever script you use for
> running netperf so I can try reproducing it?
Below is a simple script. As for formal testing, we add parameter "-i 50,3 -I" 99,5"
to get a more stable result.

taskset -c 0 ${PROG_DIR}/netserver
sleep 2
taskset -c 7 ${PROG_DIR}/netperf -t UDP_STREAM -l 60 -H -- -P 15895 12391 -s 32768 -S 32768 -m 4096
killall netserver

Basically, we start 1 client and bind client/server to different physical cpu.

> Going by the vanilla kernel, a *large* amount of time is spent doing
> high-order allocations. Over 25% of the cost of buffered_rmqueue() is in
> the branch dealing with high-order allocations. Does UDP-U-4K mean that 8K
> pages are required for the packets? That means high-order allocations and
> high contention on the zone-list. That is bad obviously and has implications
> for the SLUB-passthru patch because whether 8K allocations are handled by
> SL*B or the page allocator has a big impact on locking.
> Next, a little over 50% of the cost get_page_from_freelist() is being spent
> acquiring the zone spinlock. The implication is that the SL*B allocators
> passing in order-1 allocations to the page allocator are currently going to
> hit scalability problems in a big way. The solution may be to extend the
> per-cpu allocator to handle magazines up to PAGE_ALLOC_COSTLY_ORDER. I'll
> check it out.

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