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    Subject[PATCH 01/23] io-controller: Documentation
    o Documentation for io-controller.

    Signed-off-by: Vivek Goyal <>
    Acked-by: Rik van Riel <>
    Documentation/block/00-INDEX | 2 +
    Documentation/block/io-controller.txt | 407 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    2 files changed, 409 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)
    create mode 100644 Documentation/block/io-controller.txt

    diff --git a/Documentation/block/00-INDEX b/Documentation/block/00-INDEX
    index 961a051..dc8bf95 100644
    --- a/Documentation/block/00-INDEX
    +++ b/Documentation/block/00-INDEX
    @@ -10,6 +10,8 @@ capability.txt
    - Generic Block Device Capability (/sys/block/<disk>/capability)
    - Deadline IO scheduler tunables
    + - IO controller for provding hierarchical IO scheduling
    - Block io priorities (in CFQ scheduler)
    diff --git a/Documentation/block/io-controller.txt b/Documentation/block/io-controller.txt
    new file mode 100644
    index 0000000..21948c3
    --- /dev/null
    +++ b/Documentation/block/io-controller.txt
    @@ -0,0 +1,407 @@
    + IO Controller
    + =============
    +This patchset implements a proportional weight IO controller. That is one
    +can create cgroups and assign prio/weights to those cgroups and task group
    +will get access to disk proportionate to the weight of the group.
    +These patches modify elevator layer and individual IO schedulers to do
    +IO control hence this io controller works only on block devices which use
    +one of the standard io schedulers can not be used with any xyz logical block
    +The assumption/thought behind modifying IO scheduler is that resource control
    +is primarily needed on leaf nodes where the actual contention for resources is
    +present and not on intertermediate logical block devices.
    +Consider following hypothetical scenario. Lets say there are three physical
    +disks, namely sda, sdb and sdc. Two logical volumes (lv0 and lv1) have been
    +created on top of these. Some part of sdb is in lv0 and some part is in lv1.
    + lv0 lv1
    + / \ / \
    + sda sdb sdc
    +Also consider following cgroup hierarchy
    + root
    + / \
    + A B
    + / \ / \
    + T1 T2 T3 T4
    +A and B are two cgroups and T1, T2, T3 and T4 are tasks with-in those cgroups.
    +Assuming T1, T2, T3 and T4 are doing IO on lv0 and lv1. These tasks should
    +get their fair share of bandwidth on disks sda, sdb and sdc. There is no
    +IO control on intermediate logical block nodes (lv0, lv1).
    +So if tasks T1 and T2 are doing IO on lv0 and T3 and T4 are doing IO on lv1
    +only, there will not be any contetion for resources between group A and B if
    +IO is going to sda or sdc. But if actual IO gets translated to disk sdb, then
    +IO scheduler associated with the sdb will distribute disk bandwidth to
    +group A and B proportionate to their weight.
    +CFQ already has the notion of fairness and it provides differential disk
    +access based on priority and class of the task. Just that it is flat and
    +with cgroup stuff, it needs to be made hierarchical to achive a good
    +hierarchical control on IO.
    +Rest of the IO schedulers (noop, deadline and AS) don't have any notion
    +of fairness among various threads. They maintain only one queue where all
    +the IO gets queued (internally this queue is split in read and write queue
    +for deadline and AS). With this patchset, now we maintain one queue per
    +cgropu per device and then try to do fair queuing among those queues.
    +One of the concerns raised with modifying IO schedulers was that we don't
    +want to replicate the code in all the IO schedulers. These patches share
    +the fair queuing code which has been moved to a common layer (elevator
    +layer). Hence we don't end up replicating code across IO schedulers. Following
    +diagram depicts the concept.
    + --------------------------------
    + | Elevator Layer + Fair Queuing |
    + --------------------------------
    + | | | |
    +This patchset takes the inspiration from CFS cpu scheduler and CFQ to come
    +up with core of hierarchical scheduling. Like CFQ we give time slices to
    +every queue based on their priority. Like CFS, this disktime given to a
    +queue is converted to virtual disk time based on queue's weight (vdisktime)
    +and based on this vdisktime we decide which is the queue next to be
    +From data structure point of view, one can think of a tree per device, where
    +io groups and io queues are hanging and are being scheduled using B-WF2Q+
    +algorithm. io_queue, is end queue where requests are actually stored and
    +dispatched from (like cfqq).
    +These io queues are primarily created by and managed by end io schedulers
    +depending on its semantics. For example, noop, deadline and AS ioschedulers
    +keep one io queues per cgroup and cfqq keeps one io queue per io_context in
    +a cgroup (apart from async queues).
    +A request is mapped to an io group by elevator layer and which io queue it
    +is mapped to with in group depends on ioscheduler. Currently "current" task
    +is used to determine the cgroup (hence io group) of the request. Down the
    +line we need to make use of bio-cgroup patches to map delayed writes to
    +right group.
    +Going back to old behavior
    +In new scheme of things essentially we are creating hierarchical fair
    +queuing logic in elevator layer and chaning IO schedulers to make use of
    +that logic so that end IO schedulers start supporting hierarchical scheduling.
    +Elevator layer continues to support the old interfaces. So even if fair queuing
    +is enabled at elevator layer, one can have both new hierchical scheduler as
    +well as old non-hierarchical scheduler operating.
    +Also noop, deadline and AS have option of enabling hierarchical scheduling.
    +If it is selected, fair queuing is done in hierarchical manner. If hierarchical
    +scheduling is disabled, noop, deadline and AS should retain their existing
    +CFQ is the only exception where one can not disable fair queuing as it is
    +needed for provding fairness among various threads even in non-hierarchical
    +Various user visible config options
    + - Enables hierchical fair queuing in noop. Not selecting this option
    + leads to old behavior of noop.
    + - Enables hierchical fair queuing in deadline. Not selecting this
    + option leads to old behavior of deadline.
    + - Enables hierchical fair queuing in AS. Not selecting this option
    + leads to old behavior of AS.
    + - Enables hierarchical fair queuing in CFQ. Not selecting this option
    + still does fair queuing among various queus but it is flat and not
    + hierarchical.
    + - This option enables blkio-cgroup controller for IO tracking
    + purposes. That means, by this controller one can attribute a write
    + to the original cgroup and not assume that it belongs to submitting
    + thread.
    + - Currently CFQ attributes the writes to the submitting thread and
    + caches the async queue pointer in the io context of the process.
    + If this option is set, it tells cfq and elevator fair queuing logic
    + that for async writes make use of IO tracking patches and attribute
    + writes to original cgroup and not to write submitting thread.
    + This should be primarily useful when lots of asynchronous writes
    + are being submitted by pdflush threads and we need to assign the
    + writes to right group.
    + - Throws extra debug messages in blktrace output helpful in doing
    + doing debugging in hierarchical setup.
    + - Also allows for export of extra debug statistics like group queue
    + and dequeue statistics on device through cgroup interface.
    + - Enables some vdisktime related debugging messages.
    +Config options selected automatically
    +These config options are not user visible and are selected/deselected
    +automatically based on IO scheduler configurations.
    + - Enables/Disables the fair queuing logic at elevator layer.
    + - Enables/Disables hierarchical queuing and associated cgroup bits.
    +You can do a very simple testing of running two dd threads in two different
    +cgroups. Here is what you can do.
    +- Enable hierarchical scheduling in io scheuduler of your choice (say cfq).
    +- Enable IO tracking for async writes.
    + (This will automatically select CGROUP_BLKIO)
    +- Compile and boot into kernel and mount IO controller and blkio io tracking
    + controller.
    + mount -t cgroup -o io,blkio none /cgroup
    +- Create two cgroups
    + mkdir -p /cgroup/test1/ /cgroup/test2
    +- Set weights of group test1 and test2
    + echo 1000 > /cgroup/test1/io.weight
    + echo 500 > /cgroup/test2/io.weight
    +- Set "fairness" parameter to 1 at the disk you are testing.
    + echo 1 > /sys/block/<disk>/queue/iosched/fairness
    +- Create two same size files (say 512MB each) on same disk (file1, file2) and
    + launch two dd threads in different cgroup to read those files. Make sure
    + right io scheduler is being used for the block device where files are
    + present (the one you compiled in hierarchical mode).
    + sync
    + echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
    + dd if=/mnt/sdb/zerofile1 of=/dev/null &
    + echo $! > /cgroup/test1/tasks
    + cat /cgroup/test1/tasks
    + dd if=/mnt/sdb/zerofile2 of=/dev/null &
    + echo $! > /cgroup/test2/tasks
    + cat /cgroup/test2/tasks
    +- At macro level, first dd should finish first. To get more precise data, keep
    + on looking at (with the help of script), at io.disk_time and io.disk_sectors
    + files of both test1 and test2 groups. This will tell how much disk time
    + (in milli seconds), each group got and how many secotors each group
    + dispatched to the disk. We provide fairness in terms of disk time, so
    + ideally io.disk_time of cgroups should be in proportion to the weight.
    +Some High Level Test setups
    +One of the use cases of IO controller is to provide some kind of IO isolation
    +between multiple virtual machines on the same host. Following is one
    +example setup which worked for me.
    + KVM KVM
    + Guest1 Guest2
    + --------- ----------
    + | ----- | | ------ |
    + | | vdb | | | | vdb | |
    + | ----- | | ------ |
    + --------- ----------
    + ---------------------------
    + | Host |
    + | ------------- |
    + | | sdb1 | sdb2 | |
    + | ------------- |
    + ---------------------------
    +On host machine, I had a spare SATA disk. I created two partitions sdb1
    +and sdb2 and gave this partitions as additional storage to kvm guests. sdb1
    +to KVM guest1 and sdb2 KVM guest2. These storage appeared as /dev/vdb in
    +both the guests. Formatted the /dev/vdb and created ext3 file system and
    +started a 1G file writeout in both the guests. Before writeout I had created
    +two cgroups of weight 1000 and 500 and put virtual machines in two different
    +Following is write I started in both the guests.
    +dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/vdc/zerofile1 bs=4K count=262144 conv=fdatasync
    +Following are the results on host with "deadline" scheduler.
    +group1 time=8:16 17254 group1 sectors=8:16 2104288
    +group2 time=8:16 8498 group2 sectors=8:16 1007040
    +Virtual machine with cgroup weight 1000 got almost double the time of virtual
    +machine with weight 500.
    +What Works and What Does not
    +Service differentiation at application level can be noticed only if completely
    +parallel IO paths are created from application to IO scheduler and there
    +are no serializations introduced by any intermediate layer. For example,
    +in some cases file system and page cache layer introduce serialization and
    +we don't see service difference between higher weight and lower weight
    +process groups.
    +For example, when I start an O_SYNC write out on an ext3 file system (file
    +is being created newly), I see lots of activity from kjournald. I have not
    +gone into details yet, but my understanding is that there are lot more
    +journal commits and kjournald kind of introduces serialization between two
    +processes. So even if you put these two processes in two different cgroups
    +with different weights, higher weight process will not see more IO done.
    +It does work very well when we bypass filesystem layer and IO is raw. For
    +example in above virtual machine case, host sees raw synchronous writes
    +coming from two guest machines and filesystem layer at host is not introducing
    +any kind of serialization hence we can see the service difference.
    +It also works very well for reads even on the same file system as for reads
    +file system journalling activity does not kick in and we can create parallel
    +IO paths from application to all the way down to IO scheduler and get more
    +IO done on the IO path with higher weight.
    +Regarding "fairness" parameter
    +IO controller has introduced a "fairness" tunable for every io scheduler.
    +Currently this tunable can assume values 0, 1.
    +If fairness is set to 1, then IO controller waits for requests to finish from
    +previous queue before requests from new queue are dispatched. This helps in
    +doing better accouting of disk time consumed by a queue. If this is not done
    +then on a queuing hardware, there can be requests from multiple queues and
    +we will not have any idea which queue consumed how much of disk time.
    +Details of cgroup files
    +- io.ioprio_class
    + - Specifies class of the cgroup (RT, BE, IDLE). This is default io
    + class of the group on all the devices until and unless overridden by
    + per device rule. (See io.policy).
    + 1 = RT; 2 = BE, 3 = IDLE
    +- io.weight
    + - Specifies per cgroup weight. This is default weight of the group
    + on all the devices until and unless overridden by per device rule.
    + (See io.policy).
    + Currently allowed range of weights is from 100 to 1000.
    +- io.disk_time
    + - disk time allocated to cgroup per device in milliseconds. First
    + two fields specify the major and minor number of the device and
    + third field specifies the disk time allocated to group in
    + milliseconds.
    +- io.disk_sectors
    + - number of sectors transferred to/from disk by the group. First
    + two fields specify the major and minor number of the device and
    + third field specifies the number of sectors transferred by the
    + group to/from the device.
    +- io.disk_queue
    + - Debugging aid only enabled if CONFIG_DEBUG_GROUP_IOSCHED=y. This
    + gives the statistics about how many a times a group was queued
    + on service tree of the device. First two fields specify the major
    + and minor number of the device and third field specifies the number
    + of times a group was queued on a particular device.
    +- io.disk_queue
    + - Debugging aid only enabled if CONFIG_DEBUG_GROUP_IOSCHED=y. This
    + gives the statistics about how many a times a group was de-queued
    + or removed from the service tree of the device. This basically gives
    + and idea if we can generate enough IO to create continuously
    + backlogged groups. First two fields specify the major and minor
    + number of the device and third field specifies the number
    + of times a group was de-queued on a particular device.
    +- io.policy
    + - One can specify per cgroup per device rules using this interface.
    + These rules override the default value of group weight and class as
    + specified by io.weight and io.ioprio_class.
    + Following is the format.
    + #echo dev_maj:dev_minor weight ioprio_class > /patch/to/cgroup/io.policy
    + weight=0 means removing a policy.
    + Examples:
    + Configure weight=300 ioprio_class=2 on /dev/hdb (8:16) in this cgroup
    + # echo 8:16 300 2 > io.policy
    + # cat io.policy
    + dev weight class
    + 8:16 300 2
    + Configure weight=500 ioprio_class=1 on /dev/hda (8:0) in this cgroup
    + # echo 8:0 500 1 > io.policy
    + # cat io.policy
    + dev weight class
    + 8:0 500 1
    + 8:16 300 2
    + Remove the policy for /dev/hda in this cgroup
    + # echo 8:0 0 1 > io.policy
    + # cat io.policy
    + dev weight class
    + 8:16 300 2
    +About configuring request desriptors
    +Traditionally there are 128 request desriptors allocated per request queue
    +where io scheduler is operating (/sys/block/<disk>/queue/nr_requests). If these
    +request descriptors are exhausted, processes will put to sleep and woken
    +up once request descriptors are available.
    +With io controller and cgroup stuff, one can not afford to allocate requests
    +from single pool as one group might allocate lots of requests and then tasks
    +from other groups might be put to sleep and this other group might be a
    +higher weight group. Hence to make sure that a group always can get the
    +request descriptors it is entitled to, one needs to make request descriptor
    +limit per group on every queue.
    +A new parameter /sys/block/<disk>/queue/nr_group_requests has been introduced
    +and this parameter controlls the maximum number of requests per group.
    +nr_requests still continues to control total number of request descriptors
    +on the queue.
    +Ideally one should set nr_requests to be following.
    +nr_requests = number_of_cgroups * nr_group_requests
    +This will make sure that at any point of time nr_group_requests number of
    +request descriptors will be available for any of the cgroups.
    +Currently default nr_requests=512 and nr_group_requests=128. This will make
    +sure that apart from root group one can create 3 more group without running
    +into any issues. If one decides to create more cgorus, nr_requests and
    +nr_group_requests should be adjusted accordingly.

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      Last update: 2009-08-28 23:57    [W:0.046 / U:5.272 seconds]
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