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SubjectRe: [RFC] Improve CFQ fairness
On Mon, Jul 13, 2009 at 02:19:32PM -0700, Divyesh Shah wrote:
> Hi Vivek,
> I saw a similar issue when running some tests with parallel sync
> workloads. Looking at the blktrace output and staring at the
> idle_window and seek detection code I realized that the think time
> samples were taken for all consecutive IOs from a given cfqq. I think
> doing so is not entirely correct as it also includes very long ttime
> values for consecutive IOs which are separated by timeslices for other
> sync queues too. To get a good estimate of the arrival pattern for a
> cfqq we should only consider samples where the process was allowed to
> send consecutive IOs down to the disk.
> I have a patch that fixes this which I will rebase and post soon.
> This might help you avoid the idle window disabling.

Hi Divyesh,

I will be glad to try the patch but in my particular test case, we disable
the idle window not because of think time but because CFQ thinks it is
a seeky workload. CFQ currently disables the idle window for seeky process
on hardware supporting command queuing.

In fact in general, I am trying to solve the issue of fairness with CFQ
IO schedulers. There seem to places where we let go fairness to achive
better throughput/latency. And disabling the idle window for seeky
processes (even though think time is with-in slice_idle limit), seems to
be one of those cases.

Thanks
Vivek

>
> Regards,
> Divyesh
>
> On Sun, Jul 12, 2009 at 11:57 AM, Vivek Goyal<vgoyal@redhat.com> wrote:
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> > Sometimes fairness and throughput are orthogonal to each other. CFQ provides
> > fair access to disk to different processes in terms of disk time used by the
> > process.
> >
> > Currently above notion of fairness seems to be valid only for sync queues
> > whose think time is within slice_idle (8ms by default) limit.
> >
> > To boost throughput, CFQ disables idling based on seek patterns also. So even
> > if a sync queue's think time is with-in slice_idle limit, but this sync queue
> > is seeky, then CFQ will disable idling on hardware supporting NCQ.
> >
> > Above is fine from throughput perspective but not necessarily from fairness
> > perspective. In general CFQ seems to be inclined to favor throughput over
> > fairness.
> >
> > How about introducing a CFQ ioscheduler tunable "fairness" which if set, will
> > help CFQ to determine that user is interested in getting fairness right
> > and will disable some of the hooks geared towards throughput.
> >
> > Two patches in this series introduce the tunable "fairness" and also do not
> > disable the idling based on seek patterns if "fairness" is set.
> >
> > I ran four "dd" prio 0 BE class sequential readers on SATA disk.
> >
> > # Test script
> > ionice -c 2 -n 0 dd if=/mnt/sdb/zerofile1
> > ionice -c 2 -n 0 dd if=/mnt/sdb/zerofile2
> > ionice -c 2 -n 0 dd if=/mnt/sdb/zerofile3
> > ionice -c 2 -n 0 dd if=/mnt/sdb/zerofile4
> >
> > Normally one would expect that these processes should finish in almost similar
> > time but following are the results of one of the runs (results vary between runs).
> >
> > 234179072 bytes (234 MB) copied, 6.0338 s, 38.8 MB/s
> > 234179072 bytes (234 MB) copied, 6.34077 s, 36.9 MB/s
> > 234179072 bytes (234 MB) copied, 8.4014 s, 27.9 MB/s
> > 234179072 bytes (234 MB) copied, 10.8469 s, 21.6 MB/s
> >
> > Different between first and last process finishing is almost 5 seconds (Out of
> > total 10 seconds duration). This seems to be too big a variance.
> >
> > I ran the blktrace to find out what is happening, and it seems we are very
> > quick to disable idling based mean seek distance. Somehow initial 7-10 reads
> > seem to be seeky for these dd processes. After that things stablize and we
> > enable back the idling. But some of the processes get idling enabled early
> > and some get it enabled really late and that leads to discrepancy in results.
> >
> > With this patchset applied, following are the results for above test case.
> >
> > echo 1  > /sys/block/sdb/queue/iosched/fairness
> >
> > 234179072 bytes (234 MB) copied, 9.88874 s, 23.7 MB/s
> > 234179072 bytes (234 MB) copied, 10.0234 s, 23.4 MB/s
> > 234179072 bytes (234 MB) copied, 10.1747 s, 23.0 MB/s
> > 234179072 bytes (234 MB) copied, 10.4844 s, 22.3 MB/s
> >
> > Notice, how close the finish time and effective bandwidth are for all the
> > four processes. Also notice that I did not witness any throughput degradation
> > at least for this particular test case.
> >
> > Thanks
> > Vivek
> > --
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