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    SubjectRe: [PATCH RFC 0/2] kvm: Improving directed yield in PLE handler
    On Mon, 2012-07-09 at 11:50 +0530, Raghavendra K T wrote:
    > Currently Pause Looop Exit (PLE) handler is doing directed yield to a
    > random VCPU on PL exit. Though we already have filtering while choosing
    > the candidate to yield_to, we can do better.

    Hi, Raghu.

    > Problem is, for large vcpu guests, we have more probability of yielding
    > to a bad vcpu. We are not able to prevent directed yield to same guy who
    > has done PL exit recently, who perhaps spins again and wastes CPU.
    > Fix that by keeping track of who has done PL exit. So The Algorithm in series
    > give chance to a VCPU which has:
    > (a) Not done PLE exit at all (probably he is preempted lock-holder)
    > (b) VCPU skipped in last iteration because it did PL exit, and probably
    > has become eligible now (next eligible lock holder)
    > Future enhancemnets:
    > (1) Currently we have a boolean to decide on eligibility of vcpu. It
    > would be nice if I get feedback on guest (>32 vcpu) whether we can
    > improve better with integer counter. (with counter = say f(log n )).
    > (2) We have not considered system load during iteration of vcpu. With
    > that information we can limit the scan and also decide whether schedule()
    > is better. [ I am able to use #kicked vcpus to decide on this But may
    > be there are better ideas like information from global loadavg.]
    > (3) We can exploit this further with PV patches since it also knows about
    > next eligible lock-holder.
    > Summary: There is a huge improvement for moderate / no overcommit scenario
    > for kvm based guest on PLE machine (which is difficult ;) ).
    > Result:
    > Base : kernel 3.5.0-rc5 with Rik's Ple handler fix
    > Machine : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU X7560 @ 2.27GHz, 4 numa node, 256GB RAM,
    > 32 core machine

    Is this with HT enabled, therefore 64 CPU threads?

    > Host: enterprise linux gcc version 4.4.6 20120305 (Red Hat 4.4.6-4) (GCC)
    > with test kernels
    > Guest: fedora 16 with 32 vcpus 8GB memory.

    Can you briefly explain the 1x and 2x configs? This of course is highly
    dependent whether or not HT is enabled...

    FWIW, I started testing what I would call "0.5x", where I have one 40
    vcpu guest running on a host with 40 cores and 80 CPU threads total (HT
    enabled, no extra load on the system). For ebizzy, the results are
    quite erratic from run to run, so I am inclined to discard it as a
    workload, but maybe I should try "1x" and "2x" cpu over-commit as well.

    >From initial observations, at least for the ebizzy workload, the
    percentage of exits that result in a yield_to() are very low, around 1%,
    before these patches. So, I am concerned that at least for this test,
    reducing that number even more has diminishing returns. I am however
    still concerned about the scalability problem with yield_to(), which
    shows like this for me (perf):

    > 63.56% 282095 qemu-kvm [kernel.kallsyms] [k] _raw_spin_lock
    > 5.42% 24420 qemu-kvm [kvm] [k] kvm_vcpu_yield_to
    > 5.33% 26481 qemu-kvm [kernel.kallsyms] [k] get_pid_task
    > 4.35% 20049 qemu-kvm [kernel.kallsyms] [k] yield_to
    > 2.74% 15652 qemu-kvm [kvm] [k] kvm_apic_present
    > 1.70% 8657 qemu-kvm [kvm] [k] kvm_vcpu_on_spin
    > 1.45% 7889 qemu-kvm [kvm] [k] vcpu_enter_guest

    For the cpu threads in the host that are actually active (in this case
    1/2 of them), ~50% of their time is in kernel and ~43% in guest. This
    is for a no-IO workload, so that's just incredible to see so much cpu
    wasted. I feel that 2 important areas to tackle are a more scalable
    yield_to() and reducing the number of pause exits itself (hopefully by
    just tuning ple_window for the latter).

    Honestly, I not confident addressing this problem will improve the
    ebizzy score. That workload is so erratic for me, that I do not trust
    the results at all. I have however seen consistent improvements in
    disabling PLE for a http guest workload and a very high IOPS guest
    workload, both with much time spent in host in the double runqueue lock
    for yield_to(), so that's why I still gravitate toward that issue.

    -Andrew Theurer

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