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SubjectRe: iptables very slow after commit 784544739a25c30637397ace5489eeb6e15d7d49
On Fri, 10 Apr 2009 21:15:33 -0700
"Paul E. McKenney" <paulmck@linux.vnet.ibm.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 06:39:18PM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> >
> >
> > On Fri, 10 Apr 2009, David Miller wrote:
> > >
> > > [ CC:'ing netfilter-devel and netdev... ]
> >
> > I wonder if we should bring in the RCU people too, for them to tell you
> > that the networking people are beign silly, and should not synchronize
> > with the very heavy-handed
> >
> > synchronize_net()
> >
> > but instead of doing synchronization (which is probably why adding a few
> > hundred rules then takes several seconds - each synchronizes and that
> > takes a timer tick or so), add the rules to be free'd on some rcu-freeing
> > list for later freeing.
> >
> > Or whatever. Paul? synchronize_net() just calls synchronize_rcu(), and
> > with that knowledge and a simple
> >
> > git show 784544739a25c30637397ace5489eeb6e15d7d49
> >
> > I bet you can already tell people how to fix their performance issue.
>
> Well, I am certainly happy to demonstrate my ignorance of the networking
> code by throwing out a few suggestions.
>
> So, Dave and Steve, you might want to get out your barf bag before
> reading further. You have been warned! ;-)
>
> 1. Assuming that the synchronize_net() is intended to guarantee
> that the new rules will be in effect before returning to
> user space:

In this case it is to make sure that the old counter table is no
longer being used by other cpu's receiving.

> a. Split this functionality, so that there is a new
> user-space primitive that installs a new rule, but
> without waiting. They provide an additional user-space
> primitive that waits for the rules to take effect.
> Then, when loading a long list of rules, load them
> using the non-waiting primitive, and wait at the end.
>
> b. As above, but provide a flag that says whether or not
> to wait. Same general effect.
>
> But I am not seeing the direct connection between this patch
> and netfilter, so...

> 2. For the xt_replace_table() case, it would be necessary to add an
> rcu_head to the xt_table_info, and replace each caller's direct
> calls to xt_free_table_info() with call_rcu().
>
> Now this has an issue in that the caller wants to return the
> final counter values. My assumption is that these values do
> not in fact need to be exact. If I am wrong about that, then
> my suggestion would lose the counts from late readers.
> I must defer to the networking guys as to whether this is
> acceptable or not. If not, more head-scratching would be
> required. (But it looks to me that the rule is being trashed,
> so who cares about the extra counts?)

The problem is that users want to account for every byte.

> In addition, a malicious user might be able to force this to
> happen extremely frequently, running the system out of memory.
> One way to fix this is to invoke synchronize_net() one out of
> 20 times or some such.

Malicious user == root, therefore don't care.

> 3. For the alloc_counters() case, the comments indicate that we
> really truly do want an atomic sampling of the counters.
> The counters are 64-bit entities, which is a bit inconvenient.
> Though people using this functionality are no doubt quite happy
> to never have to worry about overflow, I hasten to add!

And we need snapshot of all counters (which are not even an array but
a skip list).

> I will nevertheless suggest the following egregious hack to
> get a consistent sample of one counter for some other CPU:
>
> a. Disable interrupts
> b. Atomically exchange the bottom 32 bits of the
> counter with the value zero.
> c. Atomically exchange the top 32 bits of the counter
> with the value zero.
> d. Concatenate the values obtained in (b) and (c), which
> is the snapshot value.
> e. Re-enable interrupts. Yes, for each counter. Do it
> for the honor of the -rt patchset. ;-)
>
> Disabling interrupts should make it impossible for
> the low-order 32 bits of the counter to overflow before
> we get around to zeroing the upper 32 bits. Yes, this
> is horribly paranoid, but please keep in mind that even
> my level of paranoia is not always sufficient to keep
> RCU working correctly. :-/
>
> Architectures with 64-bit atomics can simply do a 64-bit
> exchange (or cmpxchg(), for that matter).
>
> Now we still have the possibility that the other CPU is still
> hammering away on the counter that we just zeroed from a
> long-running RCU read-side critical section.
>
> So, we also need to add an rcu_head somewhere, perhaps reuse
> the one in xt_table_info, create a second one, or squirrel one
> away somewhere else. As long as there is a way to get to the
> old counter values. And a flag to indicate that the rcu_head
> is in use. It is socially irresponsible to pass a given
> rcu_head to call_rcu() before it has been invoked after the
> previous time it was passed to call_rcu(). But you guys all
> knew that already.
>
> We replace the synchronize_net() with call_rcu(), more or less.
> The call_rcu() probably needs to be under the lock -- or at the
> very least, setting the flag saying that it is in use needs to
> be under the lock.
>
> The RCU callback function traverses the old counters one last
> time, adding their values to the new set of counters. No
> atomic exchange tricks are required this time, since all the
> RCU readers that could possibly have held a reference to the
> old set of counters must now be done. We now clear the flag,
> allowing the next counter snapshot to proceed.
>
> OK, OK, Dave and Steve, I should have suggested that you get two
> barf bags. Maybe three. ;-)
>
> Additional caveat: coward that I am, I looked only at the IPv4 code.
> There might well be additional complications in the arp and IPv6 code.
>
> However, I do believe that something like this might actually work.
>
> Thoughts?
>
> Thanx, Paul
>
> > Linus
> >
> > ---
> > > > On Fri, 10 Apr 2009 17:15:52 +0800 (SGT)
> > > > Jeff Chua <jeff.chua.linux@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > >>
> > > >> Adding 200 records in iptables took 6.0sec in 2.6.30-rc1 compared to
> > > >> 0.2sec in 2.6.29. I've bisected down this commit.
> > > >>
> > > >> There are a few patches on top of the original patch. When I reverted the
> > > >> original commit + changing rcu_read() to rcu_read_bh(), it speeds up the
> > > >> inserts back to .2sec again.
> > > >>
> > > >> I'm loading all the firewall rules during boot-up and this 6 secs slowness
> > > >> is really not very nice to wait for.
> > > >
> > > > The performance benefit during operation is more important. The load
> > > > time is fixable. The problem is probably generic to any set of rules,
> > > > but could you post some info about your configuration (like the rule
> > > > set), and the system configuration (# of cpu's, config etc).
> > > > --
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> > >
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