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    SubjectRe: [PATCH 5/5] writeback: IO-less balance_dirty_pages()
    On Sun, Aug 07, 2011 at 03:18:57PM +0800, Wu Fengguang wrote:
    > Andrea,
    >
    > On Sun, Aug 07, 2011 at 12:46:56AM +0800, Andrea Righi wrote:
    > > On Sat, Aug 06, 2011 at 04:44:52PM +0800, Wu Fengguang wrote:
    >
    > > > So here is a pause time oriented approach, which tries to control the
    > > > pause time in each balance_dirty_pages() invocations, by controlling
    > > > the number of pages dirtied before calling balance_dirty_pages(), for
    > > > smooth and efficient dirty throttling:
    > > >
    > > > - avoid useless (eg. zero pause time) balance_dirty_pages() calls
    > > > - avoid too small pause time (less than 4ms, which burns CPU power)
    > > > - avoid too large pause time (more than 200ms, which hurts responsiveness)
    > > > - avoid big fluctuations of pause times
    > >
    > > I definitely agree that too small pauses must be avoided. However, I
    > > don't understand very well from the code how the minimum sleep time is
    > > regulated.
    >
    > Thanks for pointing this out. Yes, the sleep time regulation is not
    > here and I should have mentioned that above. Since this is only the
    > core bits, there will be some followup patches to fix the rough edges.
    > (attached the two relevant patches)
    >
    > > I've added a simple tracepoint (see below) to monitor the pause times in
    > > balance_dirty_pages().
    > >
    > > Sometimes I see very small pause time if I set a low dirty threshold
    > > (<=32MB).
    >
    > Yeah, it's definitely possible.
    >
    > > Example:
    > >
    > > # echo $((16 * 1024 * 1024)) > /proc/sys/vm/dirty_bytes
    > > # iozone -A >/dev/null &
    > > # cat /sys/kernel/debug/tracing/trace_pipe
    > > ...
    > > iozone-2075 [001] 380.604961: writeback_dirty_throttle: 1
    > > iozone-2075 [001] 380.605966: writeback_dirty_throttle: 2
    > > iozone-2075 [001] 380.608405: writeback_dirty_throttle: 0
    > > iozone-2075 [001] 380.608980: writeback_dirty_throttle: 1
    > > iozone-2075 [001] 380.609952: writeback_dirty_throttle: 1
    > > iozone-2075 [001] 380.610952: writeback_dirty_throttle: 2
    > > iozone-2075 [001] 380.612662: writeback_dirty_throttle: 0
    > > iozone-2075 [000] 380.613799: writeback_dirty_throttle: 1
    > > iozone-2075 [000] 380.614771: writeback_dirty_throttle: 1
    > > iozone-2075 [000] 380.615767: writeback_dirty_throttle: 2
    > > ...
    > >
    > > BTW, I can see this behavior only in the first minute while iozone is
    > > running. Ater ~1min things seem to get stable (sleeps are usually
    > > between 50ms and 200ms).
    > >
    >
    > Yeah, it's roughly in line with this graph, where the red dots are the
    > pause time:
    >
    > http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/wfg/writeback/dirty-throttling-v8/512M/xfs-1dd-4k-8p-438M-20:10-3.0.0-next-20110802+-2011-08-06.11:03/balance_dirty_pages-pause.png
    >
    > Note that the big change of pattern in the middle is due to a
    > deliberate disturb: a dd will be started at 100s _reading_ 1GB data,
    > which effectively livelocked the other dd dirtier task with the CFQ io
    > scheduler.
    >
    > > I wonder if we shouldn't add an explicit check also for the minimum
    > > sleep time.
    >
    > With the more complete patchset including the pause time regulation,
    > the pause time distribution should look much better, falling nicely
    > into the range (5ms, 20ms):
    >
    > http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/wfg/writeback/dirty-throttling-v8/3G/xfs-1dd-4k-8p-2948M-20:10-3.0.0-rc2-next-20110610+-2011-06-12.21:51/balance_dirty_pages-pause.png
    >
    > > +TRACE_EVENT(writeback_dirty_throttle,
    > > + TP_PROTO(unsigned long sleep),
    > > + TP_ARGS(sleep),
    >
    > btw, I've just pushed two more tracing patches to the git tree.
    > Hope it helps :)

    Perfect. Thanks for the clarification and the additional patches, I'm
    going to test them right now.

    -Andrea


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