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SubjectRe: SMP/cc Cluster description
At 06:36 PM 12/4/01 -0800, David S. Miller wrote:
>What is the difference between your messages and spin locks?
>Both seem to shuffle between cpus anytime anything interesting
>happens.
>
>In the spinlock case, I can thread out the locks in the page cache
>hash table so that the shuffling is reduced. In the message case, I
>always have to talk to someone.

While what I'm about to say has little bearing on the SMP/cc case: one
significant advantage of messages over spinlocks is being able to assign
priority with low overhead in the quick-response real-time multi-CPU
arena. I worked with a cluster of up to 14 CPUs using something very much
like NUMA in which task scheduling used a set of prioritized message
queues. The system I worked on was designed to break transaction-oriented
tasks into a string of "work units" each of which could be processed very
quickly -- on the order of three milliseconds or less. (The limit of 14
CPUs was set by the hardware used to implement the main system bus.)

I bring this up only because I have never seen a spinlock system that dealt
with priority issues very well when under heavy load.

OK, I've said my piece, now I'll sit back and continue to watch your
discussion.

Satch

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