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Subject[RFC PATCH v2 0/2] Saving power by cpu evacuation sched_max_capacity_pct=n
Date
Hi,

The idea of extending sched_mc_powersavings tunable for cpu evacuation
was discussed at http://lwn.net/Articles/330309/

The summary of the discussion is as follows:

* Using sched_mc=3,4,5 to evacuate 1,2,4 cores is completely
non-intuitive and broken interface. Ingo wanted to see if we can
model a global percentile tunable that would map to core throttling.

* Peter Zijlstra wanted more justifications for throttling at the core
level. Throttling may be a resource management problem rather than
scheduler/load balancer

* CPU hotplug and cpuset/cgroup based cpu throttling are viable
alternatives to this approach.

Changes in v2:

* Created a percentage knob sched_max_capacity_pct=n
Defaults to 100, can be set to 75 or 50 to evacuate cores

* This patch is still a hack for discussion and has many
limitations.

v1: http://lkml.org/lkml/2009/4/26/202

Into and parts from previous post for quick reference:
------------------------------------------------------
Objective:
----------
* Framework to evacuate tasks from cpus in order to force the cpu
cores to stay at idle. Forcefully idling cores and packages can
reduce power consumption.

* Fast response time and low OS overhead to moved tasks away from
selected cpu packages. CPU hotplug is too heavyweight for this
purpose

Use cases:
---------
* Ability to throttle the number of cores used in the system along
with other power saving controls like cpufreq governors can enable
the system to operate at a more power efficient operating point and
still meet the design objectives.

* Facilitate thermal management by evacuating cores from hot cpu
packages

Alternatives:
-------------
* CPU hotplug: Heavy weight and slow. Setting up and tear down of
data structures involved. May need new fast or light weight
notifications

* CPUSets: Exclusive CPU sets and partitioned sched domains involve
rebuilding sched domains and relatively heavy weight for the purpose

The following patch is against 2.6.30-rc5 and will work only in an
under utilised system (No of tasks <= number of cores).

Test results for ebizzy 8 threads at various sched_max_capacity_pct
settings. The test platform is dual socket quad core x86 system
(pre-Nehalem).

This is an interesting characteristics of the ebizzy benchmark where
the following command line improved in performance as we evacuated
cores! Perhaps cross-cache traffic... I will verify that next time.

ebizzy -s 4096 -t 8 -S 30

sched_mc_power_savings was set to 2 in the experiment

-----------------------------------------------------------------
sched_max_capacity_pct No Cores Performance AvgPower
used Records/sec (Watts)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
100 8 1.00x 1.00y
87 7 1.03x 0.98y
75 6 1.06x 0.95y
62 5 1.26x 0.91y
50 4 1.15x 0.86y
-----------------------------------------------------------------
There were wide run variation with ebizzy. The purpose of the above
data is to justify use of core evacuation for power vs performance
trade-offs. The patch does not yet work for kernbench and other
complex workloads/benchmarks. I even tried SPECjbb and did not get the
expected CPU utilisation at various settings to reduce power
consumption. The utilisation/power was much lower than expected.

ToDo:
-----
* Identify good benchmark to demonstrate benefits of cpu evacuation

* Make the core evacuation predictable under different system load
conditions and workload characteristics. This is turning out to be
a major challenge in this approach.

* Enhance framework to control which particular packages/cores will be
evacuated, this is needed for thermal management. The
CPU hotplug/cpuset approach will solve this problem.

I can experiment with different benchmarks/platforms and post results
while the framework is being discussed.

Please let me know you comments and suggestions.

Thanks,
Vaidy

---
Vaidyanathan Srinivasan (2):
sched: loadbalancer hacks for forced packing of tasks
sched: add sched_max_capacity_pct


kernel/sched.c | 65 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-
1 files changed, 64 insertions(+), 1 deletions(-)


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