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SubjectRe: [announce] [patch] limiting IRQ load, irq-rewrite-2.4.11-B5

Ingo Molnar writes:

> (i did not criticize the list_add/list_del in any way, it's obviously
> correct to cycle the polled devices. I highlited that code only to show
> that the current patch as-is polls too agressively for generic server
> load.)

Yes I think we need some data here...

> can you really make it 100% successful for rx? Ie. do you only ever call
> the ->poll() function if there is a new packet waiting? How do you know
> with a 100% probability that someone on the network just sent a new packet
> waiting? (without receiving an interrupt to begin with that is.)

Well we need RX-interrupts not to spin away the CPU or exhaust the the PCI-
bus. The NAPI scheme is simple, turn off RX-interrupts when the first packet
comes and have the kernel to pull packets from the RX-ring.

I tried have pure polling... it easy do just have your driver return
"not_done" all the time. Not a good idea. :-) Maybe as sofirq test.

If the device has more packets to deliver than is "allowed" we put this
back on list and the polling process can give the next device its share
and so on. So we handle screaming network devices and packet flooding
nicely a deliver a decent performance even under those circumstances.

As you seen from some code fragments we have played with some mechanisms
to delay the transition from polling to irq-enable. I think I accepted
a not_done polls for jiffies in some of the tests. Agree other variants
are possible and hopefully better.

SMP is another area, robustness and performance of course but in case
of SMP we also have to deal with packet reordering which is something
we really like to minimize. Even here I think the NAPI polling scheme
is interesting. During consecutive polls the device is bound to the same
CPU and no packet reordering should occur.

And from data we have now we can see packet load is even distributed
among different CPU's and should follow the smp_affinity.



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