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SubjectRe: [PATCHv5 3/3] vhost_net: a kernel-level virtio server
On Tue, Sep 08, 2009 at 10:20:35AM -0700, Ira W. Snyder wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 07, 2009 at 01:15:37PM +0300, Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> > On Thu, Sep 03, 2009 at 11:39:45AM -0700, Ira W. Snyder wrote:
> > > On Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 07:07:50PM +0300, Michael S. Tsirkin wrote:
> > > > What it is: vhost net is a character device that can be used to reduce
> > > > the number of system calls involved in virtio networking.
> > > > Existing virtio net code is used in the guest without modification.
> > > >
> > > > There's similarity with vringfd, with some differences and reduced scope
> > > > - uses eventfd for signalling
> > > > - structures can be moved around in memory at any time (good for migration)
> > > > - support memory table and not just an offset (needed for kvm)
> > > >
> > > > common virtio related code has been put in a separate file vhost.c and
> > > > can be made into a separate module if/when more backends appear. I used
> > > > Rusty's lguest.c as the source for developing this part : this supplied
> > > > me with witty comments I wouldn't be able to write myself.
> > > >
> > > > What it is not: vhost net is not a bus, and not a generic new system
> > > > call. No assumptions are made on how guest performs hypercalls.
> > > > Userspace hypervisors are supported as well as kvm.
> > > >
> > > > How it works: Basically, we connect virtio frontend (configured by
> > > > userspace) to a backend. The backend could be a network device, or a
> > > > tun-like device. In this version I only support raw socket as a backend,
> > > > which can be bound to e.g. SR IOV, or to macvlan device. Backend is
> > > > also configured by userspace, including vlan/mac etc.
> > > >
> > > > Status:
> > > > This works for me, and I haven't see any crashes.
> > > > I have done some light benchmarking (with v4), compared to userspace, I
> > > > see improved latency (as I save up to 4 system calls per packet) but not
> > > > bandwidth/CPU (as TSO and interrupt mitigation are not supported). For
> > > > ping benchmark (where there's no TSO) troughput is also improved.
> > > >
> > > > Features that I plan to look at in the future:
> > > > - tap support
> > > > - TSO
> > > > - interrupt mitigation
> > > > - zero copy
> > > >
> > >
> > > Hello Michael,
> > >
> > > I've started looking at vhost with the intention of using it over PCI to
> > > connect physical machines together.
> > >
> > > The part that I am struggling with the most is figuring out which parts
> > > of the rings are in the host's memory, and which parts are in the
> > > guest's memory.
> >
> > All rings are in guest's memory, to match existing virtio code.
>
> Ok, this makes sense.
>
> > vhost
> > assumes that the memory space of the hypervisor userspace process covers
> > the whole of guest memory.
>
> Is this necessary? Why?

Because with virtio ring can give us arbitrary guest addresses. If
guest was limited to using a subset of addresses, hypervisor would only
have to map these.

> The assumption seems very wrong when you're
> doing data transport between two physical systems via PCI.
> I know vhost has not been designed for this specific situation, but it
> is good to be looking toward other possible uses.
>
> > And there's a translation table.
> > Ring addresses are userspace addresses, they do not undergo translation.
> >
> > > If I understand everything correctly, the rings are all userspace
> > > addresses, which means that they can be moved around in physical memory,
> > > and get pushed out to swap.
> >
> > Unless they are locked, yes.
> >
> > > AFAIK, this is impossible to handle when
> > > connecting two physical systems, you'd need the rings available in IO
> > > memory (PCI memory), so you can ioreadXX() them instead. To the best of
> > > my knowledge, I shouldn't be using copy_to_user() on an __iomem address.
> > > Also, having them migrate around in memory would be a bad thing.
> > >
> > > Also, I'm having trouble figuring out how the packet contents are
> > > actually copied from one system to the other. Could you point this out
> > > for me?
> >
> > The code in net/packet/af_packet.c does it when vhost calls sendmsg.
> >
>
> Ok. The sendmsg() implementation uses memcpy_fromiovec(). Is it possible
> to make this use a DMA engine instead?

Maybe.

> I know this was suggested in an earlier thread.

Yes, it might even give some performance benefit with e.g. I/O AT.

> > > Is there somewhere I can find the userspace code (kvm, qemu, lguest,
> > > etc.) code needed for interacting with the vhost misc device so I can
> > > get a better idea of how userspace is supposed to work?
> >
> > Look in archives for kvm@vger.kernel.org. the subject is qemu-kvm: vhost net.
> >
> > > (Features
> > > negotiation, etc.)
> > >
> >
> > That's not yet implemented as there are no features yet. I'm working on
> > tap support, which will add a feature bit. Overall, qemu does an ioctl
> > to query supported features, and then acks them with another ioctl. I'm
> > also trying to avoid duplicating functionality available elsewhere. So
> > that to check e.g. TSO support, you'd just look at the underlying
> > hardware device you are binding to.
> >
>
> Ok. Do you have plans to support the VIRTIO_NET_F_MRG_RXBUF feature in
> the future? I found that this made an enormous improvement in throughput
> on my virtio-net <-> virtio-net system. Perhaps it isn't needed with
> vhost-net.

Yes, I'm working on it.

> Thanks for replying,
> Ira


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