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SubjectRe: [PATCH RFC] v5 expedited "big hammer" RCU grace periods
On Wed, May 20, 2009 at 10:09:24AM +0200, Ingo Molnar wrote:
>
> * Paul E. McKenney <paulmck@linux.vnet.ibm.com> wrote:
>
> > On Tue, May 19, 2009 at 02:44:36PM +0200, Ingo Molnar wrote:
> > >
> > > * Paul E. McKenney <paulmck@linux.vnet.ibm.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > On Tue, May 19, 2009 at 10:58:25AM +0200, Ingo Molnar wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > * Paul E. McKenney <paulmck@linux.vnet.ibm.com> wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > > On Mon, May 18, 2009 at 05:42:41PM +0200, Ingo Molnar wrote:
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > * Paul E. McKenney <paulmck@linux.vnet.ibm.com> wrote:
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > i might be missing something fundamental here, but why not just
> > > > > > > > > have per CPU helper threads, all on the same waitqueue, and wake
> > > > > > > > > them up via a single wake_up() call? That would remove the SMP
> > > > > > > > > cross call (wakeups do immediate cross-calls already).
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > My concern with this is that the cache misses accessing all the
> > > > > > > > processes on this single waitqueue would be serialized, slowing
> > > > > > > > things down. In contrast, the bitmask that smp_call_function()
> > > > > > > > traverses delivers on the order of a thousand CPUs' worth of bits
> > > > > > > > per cache miss. I will give it a try, though.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > At least if you go via the migration threads, you can queue up
> > > > > > > requests to them locally. But there's going to be cachemisses
> > > > > > > _anyway_, since you have to access them all from a single CPU,
> > > > > > > and then they have to fetch details about what to do, and then
> > > > > > > have to notify the originator about completion.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Ah, so you are suggesting that I use smp_call_function() to run
> > > > > > code on each CPU that wakes up that CPU's migration thread? I
> > > > > > will take a look at this.
> > > > >
> > > > > My suggestion was to queue up a dummy 'struct migration_req' up with
> > > > > it (change migration_req::task == NULL to mean 'nothing') and simply
> > > > > wake it up using wake_up_process().
> > > >
> > > > OK. I was thinking of just using wake_up_process() without the
> > > > migration_req structure, and unconditionally setting a per-CPU
> > > > variable from within migration_thread() just before the list_empty()
> > > > check. In your approach we would need a NULL-pointer check just
> > > > before the call to __migrate_task().
> > > >
> > > > > That will force a quiescent state, without the need for any extra
> > > > > information, right?
> > > >
> > > > Yep!
> > > >
> > > > > This is what the scheduler code does, roughly:
> > > > >
> > > > > wake_up_process(rq->migration_thread);
> > > > > wait_for_completion(&req.done);
> > > > >
> > > > > and this will always have to perform well. The 'req' could be put
> > > > > into PER_CPU, and a loop could be done like this:
> > > > >
> > > > > for_each_online_cpu(cpu)
> > > > > wake_up_process(cpu_rq(cpu)->migration_thread);
> > > > >
> > > > > for_each_online_cpu(cpu)
> > > > > wait_for_completion(&per_cpu(req, cpu).done);
> > > > >
> > > > > hm?
> > > >
> > > > My concern is the linear slowdown for large systems, but this
> > > > should be OK for modest systems (a few 10s of CPUs). However, I
> > > > will try it out -- it does not need to be a long-term solution,
> > > > after all.
> > >
> > > I think there is going to be a linear slowdown no matter what -
> > > because sending that many IPIs is going to be linear. (there are
> > > no 'broadcast to all' IPIs anymore - on x86 we only have them if
> > > all physical APIC IDs are 7 or smaller.)
> >
> > With the current code, agreed. One could imagine making an IPI
> > tree, so that a given CPU IPIs (say) eight subordinates. Making
> > this work nice with CPU hotplug would be entertaining, to say the
> > least.
>
> Certainly! :-)
>
> As a general note, unrelated to your patches: i think our
> CPU-hotplug related complexity seems to be a bit too much. This is
> really just a gut feeling - from having seen many patches that also
> have hotplug notifiers.
>
> I'm wondering whether this is because it's structured in a
> suboptimal way, or because i'm (intuitively) under-estimating the
> complexity of what it takes to express what happens when a CPU is
> offlined and then onlined?

I suppose that I could take this as a cue to reminisce about the old days
in a past life with a different implementation of CPU online/offline,
but life is just too short for that sort of thing. Not that guys my
age let that stop them. ;-)

And in that past life, exercising CPU online/offline usually exposed
painful bugs in new code, so I cannot claim that the old-life approach
to CPU hotplug was perfect. Interestingly enough, running uniprocessor
also exposed painful bugs more often than not. Of course, the only way
to run uniprocessor was to offline all but one of the CPUs, so you would
hit the online/offline bugs before hitting the uniprocessor-only bugs.

The thing that worries me most about CPU hotplug in Linux is that
there is no clear hierarchy of CPU function in the offline process,
given that the offlining process invokes notifiers in the same order
as does the onlining process. Whether this is a real defect in the CPU
hotplug design or is instead simply a symptom of my not yet being fully
comfortable with the two-phase CPU-removal process is an interesting
question to which I do not have an answer.

Either way, the thought process is different. In my old life, CPUs shed
roles in the opposite order that they acquired them. This meant that a
given CPU was naturally guaranteed to be correctly taking interrupts for
the entire time that it was capable of running user-level processes.
Later in the offlining process, it would still take interrupts, but
would be unable to run user processes. Still later, it would no longer
be taking interrupts, and would stop participating in RCU and in the
global TLB-flush algorithm. There was no need to stop the whole machine
to make a given CPU go offline, in fact, most of the work was done by
the CPU in question.

In the case of RCU, this meant that there was no need for double-checking
for offlined CPUs, because CPUs could reliably indicate a quiescent
state on their way out.

On the other hand, there was no equivalent of dynticks in the old days.
And it is dynticks that is responsible for most of the complexity present
in force_quiescent_state(), not CPU hotplug.

So I cannot hold up RCU as something that would be greatly simplified
by changing the CPU hotplug design, much as I might like to. ;-)

Thanx, Paul


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