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SubjectRe: [PATCH 0/7] Per-bdi writeback flusher threads v20
On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 11:59:41PM +0800, Chris Mason wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 09:18:32PM +0800, Wu Fengguang wrote:
> > On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 07:30:55PM +0800, Chris Mason wrote:
>
> [ using a very large MAX_WRITEBACK_PAGES ]
>
> > > > > I'm starting to rethink the 128MB MAX_WRITEBACK_PAGES. 128MB is the
> > > > > right answer for the flusher thread on sequential IO, but definitely not
> > > > > on random IO. We don't want the flusher to get bogged down on random
> > > > > writeback and start ignoring every other file.
> > > >
> > > > Hmm, I'd think a larger MAX_WRITEBACK_PAGES shall never increase the
> > > > writeback randomness.
> > >
> > > It doesn't increase the randomness, but if we have a file full of
> > > buffered random IO (say from bdb or rpm), the 128MB max will mean that
> > > one file dominates the flusher thread writeback completely.
> >
> > What if we add a bdi->max_segments quota? A segment is a continuous
> > run of dirty pages in the inode address space. SSD or fast RAID could
> > set it to a large enough value.
>
> I'd rather play with timeslice ideas first ;) But, don't let me stop
> you from trying interesting things.

OK.

> >
> > > >
> > > > > My btrfs performance branch has long had a change to bump the
> > > > > nr_to_write up based on the size of the delayed allocation that we're
> > > > > doing. It helped, but not as much as I really expected it too, and a
> > > > > similar patch from Christoph for XFS was good but not great.
> > > > >
> > > > > It turns out the problem is in write_cache_pages. It processes a whole
> > > > > pagevec at a time, something like this:
> > > > >
> > > > > while(!done) {
> > > > > for each page in the pagegvec {
> > > > > writepage()
> > > > > if (wbc->nr_to_write <= 0)
> > > > > done = 1;
> > > > > }
> > > > > }
> > > > >
> > > > > If the filesystem decides to bump nr_to_write to cover a whole
> > > > > extent (or a max reasonable size), the new value of nr_to_write may
> > > > > be ignored if nr_to_write had already gone done to zero.
> > > > >
> > > > > I fixed btrfs to recheck nr_to_write every time, and the results are
> > > > > much smoother. This is what it looks like to write out all the .o files
> > > > > in the kernel.
> > > > >
> > > > > http://oss.oracle.com/~mason/seekwatcher/btrfs-nr-to-write.png
> > > > >
> > > > > In this graph, Btrfs is writing the full extent or 8192 pages, whichever
> > > > > is smaller. The write_cache_pages change is here, but it is local to
> > > > > the btrfs copy of write_cache_pages:
> > > > >
> > > > > http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/mason/btrfs-unstable.git;a=commit;h=f85d7d6c8f2ad4a86a1f4f4e3791f36dede2fa76
> > > >
> > > > It seems you tried to an upper limit of 32-64MB:
> > > >
> > > > + if (wbc->nr_to_write < delalloc_to_write) {
> > > > + int thresh = 8192;
> > > > +
> > > > + if (delalloc_to_write < thresh * 2)
> > > > + thresh = delalloc_to_write;
> > > > + wbc->nr_to_write = min_t(u64, delalloc_to_write,
> > > > + thresh);
> > > > + }
> > > >
> > > > However it is possible that btrfs bumps up nr_to_write for each inode,
> > > > so that the accumulated bump ups are too large to be acceptable for
> > > > balance_dirty_pages().
> > >
> > > We bump up to a limit of 64MB more than the original nr_to_write. This
> > > is because when we do bump we know we'll write the whole amount, and
> > > then write_cache_pages will end.
> >
> > Imagine this scenario. There are inodes A, B, C, ...
> >
> > A) delalloc_to_write=3000 but only 1000 pages dirty.
>
> The part that isn't clear from the code you're reading is that if
> delalloc_to_write is 3000, then there must be 3000 pages dirty. The
> count of delalloc bytes to go down always reflects IO that must be done.
>
> So, once my writepage call bumps nr_to_write, that IO will happen. The
> only exception is if someone else jumps in and writes the pages, which
> won't happen unless there is synchronous writeback.

Ah thanks for the clarification.

> > > > Yes a more general solution would help. I'd like to propose one which
> > > > works in the other way round. In brief,
> > > > (1) the VFS give a large enough per-file writeback quota to btrfs;
> > > > (2) btrfs tells VFS "here is a (seek) boundary, stop voluntarily",
> > > > before exhausting the quota and be force stopped.
> > > >
> > > > There will be two limits (the second one is new):
> > > >
> > > > - total nr to write in one wb_writeback invocation
> > > > - _max_ nr to write per file (before switching to sync the next inode)
> > > >
> > > > The per-invocation limit is useful for balance_dirty_pages().
> > > > The per-file number can be accumulated across successive wb_writeback
> > > > invocations and thus can be much larger (eg. 128MB) than the legacy
> > > > per-invocation number.
> > > >
> > > > The file system will only see the per-file numbers. The "max" means
> > > > if btrfs find the current page to be the last page in the extent,
> > > > it could indicate this fact to VFS by setting wbc->would_seek=1. The
> > > > VFS will then switch to write the next inode.
> > > >
> > > > The benefit of early voluntarily yield is, it reduced the possibility
> > > > to be force stopped half way in an extent. When next time VFS returns
> > > > to sync this inode, it will again be honored the full 128MB quota,
> > > > which should be enough to cover a big fresh extent.
> > >
> > > This is interesting, but it gets into a problem with defining what a
> > > seek is. On some hardware they are very fast and don't hurt at all. It
> > > might be more interesting to make timeslices.
> >
> > We could have quotas for max pages, page segments and submission time.
> > Will they be good enough? The first two quotas could be made per-bdi
> > to reflect hardware capabilities.
>
> The reason I prefer the timeslice idea is that we don't need the
> hardware to tell us how fast it is. We just write for a while and move
> on.

That makes sense. Note that the triple (pages, page segments,
submission time) can somehow adapt to hardware capabilities
(and at least won't hurt fast arrays).

- max pages are set to large enough number for big arrays
- max page segments could be based on the existing blk_queue_nonrot()
- submission time = 1s, which is mainly a safeguard for slow devices
(ie. usb stick), to prevent one single inode from taking too much
time. This time limit has little performance impacts.

Possible merits are
- these parameters are concrete ones and easy to handle
- it's natural to implement related logics in the VFS level
- file systems can do nothing to get most benefits

Also the (now necessary) per-invocation limit could be somehow
eliminated when balance_dirty_pages() does not do IO itself.

Thanks,
Fengguang


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