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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 0/3] generic hypercall support
Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> On Fri, May 08, 2009 at 08:43:40AM -0400, Gregory Haskins wrote:
>
>> Marcelo Tosatti wrote:
>>
>>> On Fri, May 08, 2009 at 10:59:00AM +0300, Avi Kivity wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>> Marcelo Tosatti wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> I think comparison is not entirely fair. You're using
>>>>> KVM_HC_VAPIC_POLL_IRQ ("null" hypercall) and the compiler optimizes that
>>>>> (on Intel) to only one register read:
>>>>>
>>>>> nr = kvm_register_read(vcpu, VCPU_REGS_RAX);
>>>>>
>>>>> Whereas in a real hypercall for (say) PIO you would need the address,
>>>>> size, direction and data.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>> Well, that's probably one of the reasons pio is slower, as the cpu has
>>>> to set these up, and the kernel has to read them.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Also for PIO/MMIO you're adding this unoptimized lookup to the
>>>>> measurement:
>>>>>
>>>>> pio_dev = vcpu_find_pio_dev(vcpu, port, size, !in);
>>>>> if (pio_dev) {
>>>>> kernel_pio(pio_dev, vcpu, vcpu->arch.pio_data);
>>>>> complete_pio(vcpu); return 1;
>>>>> }
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>> Since there are only one or two elements in the list, I don't see how it
>>>> could be optimized.
>>>>
>>>>
>>> speaker_ioport, pit_ioport, pic_ioport and plus nulldev ioport. nulldev
>>> is probably the last in the io_bus list.
>>>
>>> Not sure if this one matters very much. Point is you should measure the
>>> exit time only, not the pio path vs hypercall path in kvm.
>>>
>>>
>> The problem is the exit time in of itself isnt all that interesting to
>> me. What I am interested in measuring is how long it takes KVM to
>> process the request and realize that I want to execute function "X".
>> Ultimately that is what matters in terms of execution latency and is
>> thus the more interesting data. I think the exit time is possibly an
>> interesting 5th data point, but its more of a side-bar IMO. In any
>> case, I suspect that both exits will be approximately the same at the
>> VT/SVM level.
>>
>> OTOH: If there is a patch out there to improve KVMs code (say
>> specifically the PIO handling logic), that is fair-game here and we
>> should benchmark it. For instance, if you have ideas on ways to improve
>> the find_pio_dev performance, etc.... One item may be to replace the
>> kvm->lock on the bus scan with an RCU or something.... (though PIOs are
>> very frequent and the constant re-entry to an an RCU read-side CS may
>> effectively cause a perpetual grace-period and may be too prohibitive).
>> CC'ing pmck.
>>
>
> Hello, Greg!
>
> Not a problem. ;-)
>
> A grace period only needs to wait on RCU read-side critical sections that
> started before the grace period started. As soon as those pre-existing
> RCU read-side critical get done, the grace period can end, regardless
> of how many RCU read-side critical sections might have started after
> the grace period started.
>
> If you find a situation where huge numbers of RCU read-side critical
> sections do indefinitely delay a grace period, then that is a bug in
> RCU that I need to fix.
>
> Of course, if you have a single RCU read-side critical section that
> runs for a very long time, that -will- delay a grace period. As long
> as you don't do it too often, this is not a problem, though if running
> a single RCU read-side critical section for more than a few milliseconds
> is probably not a good thing. Not as bad as holding a heavily contended
> spinlock for a few milliseconds, but still not a good thing.
>

Hey Paul,
This makes sense, and it clears up a misconception I had about RCU.
So thanks for that.

Based on what Paul said, I think we can get some amount of gains in the
PIO and PIOoHC stats from converting to RCU. I will do this next.

-Greg



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