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SubjectQUESTION: can netdev_alloc_skb() errors be reduced by tuning?

I submitted testcase for a hugepages bug that has been
successfully resolved. Have an apparently obscure question
related to MM, and so I am asking anyone who might have some idea
on this. Nothing much turned up via Google and digging into
the KMEM code looks daunting.

Running Intel 82598/ixgbe 10 gig Ethernet under heavy stress.
Generally is working well after tuning IRQ affinities, but a
fair number of buffer allocation failures are occurring in the
'ixgbe' device driver and are reported via 'ethtool' statistics.
This may be causing data loss.

The kernel primitive returning the error is netdev_alloc_skb().

Are any tuneable parameters available that can reduce or
eliminate these allocation failures? Have about eleven
gigabytes of free memory, though most of that is consumed
by non-dirty file cache data. Total system memory is 16GB with
4GB allocated to hugepages. Zero swap usage and activity though
swap is enabled. Most application memory is hugepage or is

Thank you.

System rebooted before test run.

Dual Xeon E5430, 16GB FB-DIMM RAM.

$ cat /proc/meminfo
MemTotal: 16443828 kB
MemFree: 281176 kB
Buffers: 53896 kB
Cached: 11331924 kB
SwapCached: 0 kB
Active: 200740 kB
Inactive: 11284312 kB
HighTotal: 0 kB
HighFree: 0 kB
LowTotal: 16443828 kB
LowFree: 281176 kB
SwapTotal: 2031608 kB
SwapFree: 2031400 kB
Dirty: 4 kB
Writeback: 0 kB
AnonPages: 104464 kB
Mapped: 14644 kB
Slab: 440452 kB
PageTables: 4032 kB
NFS_Unstable: 0 kB
Bounce: 0 kB
CommitLimit: 8156368 kB
Committed_AS: 122452 kB
VmallocTotal: 34359738367 kB
VmallocUsed: 266872 kB
VmallocChunk: 34359471043 kB
HugePages_Total: 2048
HugePages_Free: 735
HugePages_Rsvd: 0
Hugepagesize: 2048 kB

# ethtool -S eth2 | egrep -v ': 0$'
NIC statistics:
rx_packets: 724246449
tx_packets: 229847
rx_bytes: 152691992335
tx_bytes: 10573426
multicast: 725997241
broadcast: 6
rx_csum_offload_good: 723051776
alloc_rx_buff_failed: 7119
tx_queue_0_packets: 229847
tx_queue_0_bytes: 10573426
rx_queue_0_packets: 340698332
rx_queue_0_bytes: 70844299683
rx_queue_1_packets: 385298923
rx_queue_1_bytes: 82276167594

ixgbe driver fragment
struct sk_buff *skb = netdev_alloc_skb(adapter->netdev, bufsz);

if (!skb) {
goto no_buffers;

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