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SubjectRe: [PATCH 2/3] writeback: Record if the congestion was unnecessary
On Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 10:24:16AM +0100, Mel Gorman wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 27, 2010 at 10:16:48AM +0200, Johannes Weiner wrote:
> > On Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 09:31:30PM +0100, Mel Gorman wrote:
> > > On Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 08:29:04PM +0200, Johannes Weiner wrote:
> > > > On Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 04:14:15PM +0100, Mel Gorman wrote:
> > > > > If congestion_wait() is called when there is no congestion, the caller
> > > > > will wait for the full timeout. This can cause unreasonable and
> > > > > unnecessary stalls. There are a number of potential modifications that
> > > > > could be made to wake sleepers but this patch measures how serious the
> > > > > problem is. It keeps count of how many congested BDIs there are. If
> > > > > congestion_wait() is called with no BDIs congested, the tracepoint will
> > > > > record that the wait was unnecessary.
> > > >
> > > > I am not convinced that unnecessary is the right word. On a workload
> > > > without any IO (i.e. no congestion_wait() necessary, ever), I noticed
> > > > the VM regressing both in time and in reclaiming the right pages when
> > > > simply removing congestion_wait() from the direct reclaim paths (the
> > > > one in __alloc_pages_slowpath and the other one in
> > > > do_try_to_free_pages).
> > > >
> > > > So just being stupid and waiting for the timeout in direct reclaim
> > > > while kswapd can make progress seemed to do a better job for that
> > > > load.
> > > >
> > > > I can not exactly pinpoint the reason for that behaviour, it would be
> > > > nice if somebody had an idea.
> > > >
> > >
> > > There is a possibility that the behaviour in that case was due to flusher
> > > threads doing the writes rather than direct reclaim queueing pages for IO
> > > in an inefficient manner. So the stall is stupid but happens to work out
> > > well because flusher threads get the chance to do work.
> >
> > The workload was accessing a large sparse-file through mmap, so there
> > wasn't much IO in the first place.
> >
>
> Then waiting on congestion was the totally wrong thing to do. We were
> effectively calling sleep(HZ/10) and magically this was helping in some
> undefined manner. Do you know *which* called of congestion_wait() was
> the most important to you?

Removing congestion_wait() in do_try_to_free_pages() definitely
worsens reclaim behaviour for this workload:

1. wallclock time of the testrun increases by 11%

2. the scanners do a worse job and go for the wrong zone:

-pgalloc_dma 79597
-pgalloc_dma32 134465902
+pgalloc_dma 297089
+pgalloc_dma32 134247237

-pgsteal_dma 77501
-pgsteal_dma32 133939446
+pgsteal_dma 294998
+pgsteal_dma32 133722312

-pgscan_kswapd_dma 145897
-pgscan_kswapd_dma32 266141381
+pgscan_kswapd_dma 287981
+pgscan_kswapd_dma32 186647637

-pgscan_direct_dma 9666
-pgscan_direct_dma32 1758655
+pgscan_direct_dma 302495
+pgscan_direct_dma32 80947179

-pageoutrun 1768531
-allocstall 614
+pageoutrun 1927451
+allocstall 8566

I attached the full vmstat contents below. Also the test program,
which I ran in this case as: ./mapped-file-stream 1 $((512 << 30))

> > > > So personally I think it's a good idea to get an insight on the use of
> > > > congestion_wait() [patch 1] but I don't agree with changing its
> > > > behaviour just yet, or judging its usefulness solely on whether it
> > > > correctly waits for bdi congestion.
> > > >
> > >
> > > Unfortunately, I strongly suspect that some of the desktop stalls seen during
> > > IO (one of which involved no writes) were due to calling congestion_wait
> > > and waiting the full timeout where no writes are going on.
> >
> > Oh, I am in full agreement here! Removing those congestion_wait() as
> > described above showed a reduction in peak latency. The dilemma is
> > only that it increased the overall walltime of the load.
> >
>
> Do you know why because leaving in random sleeps() hardly seems to be
> the right approach?

I am still trying to find out what's going wrong.

> > And the scanning behaviour deteriorated, as in having increased
> > scanning pressure on other zones than the unpatched kernel did.
> >
>
> Probably because it was scanning more but not finding what it needed.
> There is a condition other than congestion it is having trouble with. In
> some respects, I think if we change congestion_wait() as I propose,
> we may see a case where CPU usage is higher because it's now
> encountering the unspecified reclaim problem we have.

Exactly.

> > So I think very much that we need a fix. congestion_wait() causes
> > stalls and relying on random sleeps for the current reclaim behaviour
> > can not be the solution, at all.
> >
> > I just don't think we can remove it based on the argument that it
> > doesn't do what it is supposed to do, when it does other things right
> > that it is not supposed to do ;-)
> >
>
> We are not removing it, we are just stopping it going to sleep for
> stupid reasons. If we find that wall time is increasing as a result, we
> have a path to figuring out what the real underlying problem is instead
> of sweeping it under the rug.

Well, for that testcase it is in effect the same as a removal as
there's never congestion.

But again: I agree with your changes per-se, I just don't think they
should get merged as long as they knowingly catalyze a problem that
has yet to be identified.
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/mman.h>
#include <sys/wait.h>
#include <limits.h>
#include <signal.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <errno.h>
#include <stdio.h>

static int start_process(unsigned long nr_bytes)
{
char filename[] = "/tmp/clog-XXXXXX";
unsigned long i;
char *map;
int fd;
fd = mkstemp(filename);
unlink(filename);
if (fd == -1) {
perror("mkstemp()");
return -1;
}
if (ftruncate(fd, nr_bytes)) {
perror("ftruncate()");
return -1;
}
map = mmap(NULL, nr_bytes, PROT_READ | PROT_WRITE, MAP_SHARED, fd, 0);
if (map == MAP_FAILED) {
perror("mmap()");
return -1;
}
if (madvise(map, nr_bytes, MADV_RANDOM)) {
perror("madvise()");
return -1;
}
kill(getpid(), SIGSTOP);

for (i = 0; i < nr_bytes; i += 4096)
((volatile char *)map)[i];

close(fd);
return 0;
}
static int do_test(unsigned long nr_procs, unsigned long nr_bytes)
{
pid_t procs[nr_procs];
unsigned long i;
int dummy;
for (i = 0; i < nr_procs; i++) {
switch ((procs[i] = fork())) {
case -1:
kill(0, SIGKILL);
perror("fork()");
return -1;
case 0:
return start_process(nr_bytes);
default:
waitpid(procs[i], &dummy, WUNTRACED);
break;
}
}
kill(0, SIGCONT);

for (i = 0; i < nr_procs; i++)
waitpid(procs[i], &dummy, 0);

return 0;
}
static int xstrtoul(const char *str, unsigned long *valuep)
{
unsigned long value;
char *endp;
value = strtoul(str, &endp, 0);
if (*endp || (value == ULONG_MAX && errno == ERANGE))
return -1;
*valuep = value;
return 0;
}
int main(int ac, char **av)
{
unsigned long nr_procs, nr_bytes;
if (ac != 3)
goto usage;
if (xstrtoul(av[1], &nr_procs))
goto usage;
if (xstrtoul(av[2], &nr_bytes))
goto usage;
setbuf(stdout, NULL);
setbuf(stderr, NULL);
return !!do_test(nr_procs, nr_bytes);
usage:
fprintf(stderr, "usage: %s nr_procs nr_bytes\n", av[0]);
return 1;
}[unhandled content-type:application/x-troff-man][unhandled content-type:application/x-troff-man]
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