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SubjectRe: [RFC][PATCH 00/11] blkiocg async support
Vivek Goyal wrote, on 07/09/2010 09:45 AM:
> On Thu, Jul 08, 2010 at 10:57:13PM -0400, Munehiro Ikeda wrote:
>> These RFC patches are trial to add async (cached) write support on blkio
>> controller.
>> Only test which has been done is to compile, boot, and that write bandwidth
>> seems prioritized when pages which were dirtied by two different processes in
>> different cgroups are written back to a device simultaneously. I know this
>> is the minimum (or less) test but I posted this as RFC because I would like
>> to hear your opinions about the design direction in the early stage.
>> Patches are for 2.6.35-rc4.
>> This patch series consists of two chunks.
>> (1) iotrack (patch 01/11 -- 06/11)
>> This is a functionality to track who dirtied a page, in exact which cgroup a
>> process which dirtied a page belongs to. Blkio controller will read the info
>> later and prioritize when the page is actually written to a block device.
>> This work is originated from Ryo Tsuruta and Hirokazu Takahashi and includes
>> Andrea Righi's idea. It was posted as a part of dm-ioband which was one of
>> proposals for IO controller.
>> (2) blkio controller modification (07/11 -- 11/11)
>> The main part of blkio controller async write support.
>> Currently async queues are device-wide and async write IOs are always treated
>> as root group.
>> These patches make async queues per a cfq_group per a device to control them.
>> Async write is handled by flush kernel thread. Because queue pointers are
>> stored in cfq_io_context, io_context of the thread has to have multiple
>> cfq_io_contexts per a device. So these patches make cfq_io_context per an
>> io_context per a cfq_group, which means per an io_context per a cgroup per a
>> device.
>> This might be a piece of puzzle for complete async write support of blkio
>> controller. One of other pieces in my head is page dirtying ratio control.
>> I believe Andrea Righi was working on about the situation?
> Thanks Muuh. I will look into the patches in detail.
> In my initial patches I had implemented the support for ASYNC control
> (also included Ryo's IO tracking patches) but it did not work well and
> it was unpredictable. I realized that until and unless we implement
> some kind of per group dirty ratio/page cache share at VM level and
> create parallel paths for ASYNC IO, writes often get serialized.
> So writes belonging to high priority group get stuck behind low priority
> group and you don't get any service differentiation.

I also faced the situation that high priority writes are behind
lower priority writes. Although this patch seems to prioritize
IOs if these IOs are contended, yes, it is rare a bit because they
are serialized often.

> So IMHO, this piece should go into kernel after we have first fixed the
> problem at VM (read memory controller) with per cgroup dirty ratio kind
> of thing.

Well, right. I agree.
But I think we can work parallel. I will try to struggle on both.

By the way, I guess that write serialization is caused by page selection
of flush kernel thread. If so, simple dirty ratio/page cache share
controlling don't seem to be able to solve that for me. Instead or in
addition to it, page selection order should be modified. Am I correct?

>> And also, I'm thinking that async write support is required by bandwidth
>> capping policy of blkio controller. Bandwidth capping can be done in upper
>> layer than elevator.
> I think capping facility we should implement in higher layers otherwise
> it is not useful for higher level logical devices (dm/md).
> It was ok to implement proportional bandwidth division at CFQ level
> because one can do proportional BW division at each leaf node and still get
> overall service differentation at higher level logical node. But same can
> not be done for max BW control.

A reason why I prefer to have BW control in elevator is
based on my evaluation result of three proposed IO controller
comparison before blkio controller was merged. Three proposals
were dm-ioband, io-throttle, and elevator implementation which is
the closest one to current blkio controller. Former two handled
BIOs and only last one handled REQUESTs. The result shows that
only handling REQUESTs can produce expected service differentiation.
Though I've not dived into the cause analysis, I guess that BIO
is not associated with actual IO request one by one and elevator
behavior are possibly the cause.
But on the other hand, as you say, BW controller in elevator
cannot control logical devices (or quite hard to adapt to them).
It's painful situation.

I will analyse the cause of non-differentiation in BIO handling
case much deeper.

>> However I think it should be also done in elevator layer
>> in my opinion. Elevator buffers and sort requests. If there is another
>> buffering functionality in upper layer, it is doubled buffering and it can be
>> harmful for elevator's prediction.
> I don't mind doing it at elevator layer also because in that case of
> somebody is not using dm/md, then one does not have to load max bw
> control module and one can simply enable max bw control in CFQ.
> Thinking more about it, now we are suggesting implementing max BW
> control at two places. I think it will be duplication of code and
> increased complexity in CFQ. Probably implement max bw control with
> the help of dm module and use same for CFQ also. There is pain
> associated with configuring dm device but I guess it is easier than
> maintaining two max bw control schemes in kernel.

Do you mean that sharing code for max BW control between dm and CFQ
is a possible solution? It's interesting. I will think about it.

> Thanks
> Vivek

Greatly thanks for your suggestion as always.

IKEDA, Munehiro
NEC Corporation of America

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