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SubjectHeavy NFS load with 2.4.10-pre12 still fails
Date
I'm still seeing kswapd run wild during heavy NFS loads with
linux-2.4.10-pre12. I'm running the SPEC NFS test
(http://www.spec.org/osg/sfs97). I ran "top > top.log" during the test to
capture the kswapd behavior.

Hardware:
- 4 processors, 4GB ram
- 45 fibre channel drives, set up in hardware RAID 0/1
- 2 direct Gigabit Ethernet connections between SPEC SFS prime client and
system under test
- reiserfs
- all NFS filesystems exported with sync,no_wdelay to insure O_SYNC writes
to storage
- NFS v3 UDP
- linux-2.4.10-pre12

The spec results consist of the following data (only the first three numbers
are significant for this discussion)
- load. The load the SPEC prime client will try to get out of the system
under test. Measured in I/O's per second (IOPS).
- throughput. The load seen from the system under test. Measured in IOPS
- response time. Measured in milliseconds
- total operations
- elapsed time. Measured in seconds
- NFS version. 2 or 3
- Protocol. UDP (U) or TCP (T)
- file set size in megabytes
- number of clients
- number of SPEC SFS processes
- biod reads
- biod writes
- SPEC SFS version

"INVALID" means that too many (> 1%) of the RPC calls between the SPEC prime
client and the system under test failed. This is not a good thing

SPEC results before 2.4.10-pre12 test stopped:
500 497 1.2 149134 300 3 U 5070624 1 48 2 2
2.0
1000 1001 1.5 299153 299 3 U 10141248 1 48 2 2
2.0
1500 1587 6.9 476068 300 3 U 15210624 1 48 2 2
2.0
INVALID 2000 795 24.5 237732 299 3 U 20281248 1 48 2 2
2.0

2.4.7 Results (only first three numbers shown, test continues fine for many
more tests)
500 497 1.2 149206 300 3 U 5070624 1 48 2 2
2.0
1000 1005 1.5 300503 299 3 U 10141248 1 48 2 2
2.0
1500 1502 1.3 449232 299 3 U 15210624 1 48 2 2
2.0

With 2.4.7 kernel, the test runs much longer, and INVALID is never seen.
That large jump in response time on the 1500 IOPS run is also not seen with
2.4.7 kernel

The top screens from interesting parts of the test are included below. I'm
willing to try any patches (or measurement tools, within reason) anyone
wants to provide to solve this problem.

Erik Habbinga
Hewlett Packard

Top results:

Here's a top screen at the start of the test:

1:06pm up 2 min, 1 user, load average: 6.02, 1.92, 0.68
220 processes: 218 sleeping, 2 running, 0 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU0 states: 0.0% user, 49.0% system, 0.0% nice, 50.0% idle
CPU1 states: 0.1% user, 50.0% system, 0.0% nice, 48.0% idle
CPU2 states: 0.1% user, 58.0% system, 0.0% nice, 40.0% idle
CPU3 states: 0.0% user, 42.1% system, 0.0% nice, 57.0% idle
Mem: 3924304K av, 437124K used, 3487180K free, 0K shrd, 15948K
buff
Swap: 1043900K av, 0K used, 1043900K free 319056K
cached
PID USER PRI NI SIZE RSS SHARE STAT %CPU %MEM TIME COMMAND
552 root 17 0 1064 1064 760 R 11.5 0.0 0:00 top
9 root 14 0 0 0 0 DW 9.1 0.0 0:08 kupdated
305 root 12 0 0 0 0 SW 5.7 0.0 0:00 nfsd
76 root 11 0 636 636 544 D 4.9 0.0 0:04 syslogd
300 root 12 0 0 0 0 SW 4.9 0.0 0:00 nfsd
306 root 11 0 0 0 0 SW 3.3 0.0 0:00 nfsd
339 root 12 0 0 0 0 SW 3.3 0.0 0:00 nfsd
385 root 11 0 0 0 0 SW 3.3 0.0 0:00 nfsd
398 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.3 0.0 0:00 nfsd
399 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.3 0.0 0:00 nfsd
408 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.3 0.0 0:00 nfsd
294 root 11 0 0 0 0 SW 2.4 0.0 0:00 nfsd
310 root 11 0 0 0 0 SW 2.4 0.0 0:00 nfsd
315 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 2.4 0.0 0:00 nfsd
321 root 11 0 0 0 0 SW 2.4 0.0 0:00 nfsd

and here are some successive screens when swapd starts going wild. This is
during the 1500 IOPS test.

2:04pm up 1:00, 1 user, load average: 7.37, 8.25, 6.53
220 processes: 219 sleeping, 1 running, 0 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU0 states: 0.2% user, 18.4% system, 0.0% nice, 80.3% idle
CPU1 states: 0.0% user, 14.4% system, 0.0% nice, 85.0% idle
CPU2 states: 0.0% user, 16.0% system, 0.0% nice, 83.5% idle
CPU3 states: 0.0% user, 16.5% system, 0.0% nice, 83.0% idle
Mem: 3924304K av, 3917264K used, 7040K free, 0K shrd, 98464K
buff
Swap: 1043900K av, 0K used, 1043900K free 3255392K
cached
;10m
m PID USER PRI NI SIZE RSS SHARE STAT %CPU %MEM TIME COMMAND
9 root 14 0 0 0 0 SW 9.4 0.0 5:05 kupdated
7 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 6.9 0.0 1:46 kswapd
348 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 1.9 0.0 0:30 nfsd
341 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 1.7 0.0 0:30 nfsd
369 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 1.5 0.0 0:30 nfsd
552 root 16 0 1080 1080 768 R 1.5 0.0 1:34 top
333 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 1.3 0.0 0:29 nfsd
360 root 12 0 0 0 0 SW 1.3 0.0 0:30 nfsd
302 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 1.1 0.0 0:30 nfsd
344 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 1.1 0.0 0:30 nfsd
324 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 0.9 0.0 0:29 nfsd
330 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 0.9 0.0 0:29 nfsd
395 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 0.9 0.0 0:29 nfsd
305 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 0.7 0.0 0:29 nfsd
346 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 0.7 0.0 0:30 nfsd
2:04pm up 1:00, 1 user, load average: 7.02, 8.17, 6.51
220 processes: 219 sleeping, 1 running, 0 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU0 states: 0.3% user, 18.0% system, 0.0% nice, 81.1% idle
CPU1 states: 0.0% user, 13.4% system, 0.0% nice, 86.1% idle
CPU2 states: 0.0% user, 12.0% system, 0.0% nice, 87.4% idle
CPU3 states: 0.0% user, 12.3% system, 0.1% nice, 87.0% idle
Mem: 3924304K av, 3918572K used, 5732K free, 0K shrd, 98728K
buff
Swap: 1043900K av, 0K used, 1043900K free 3256352K
cached
;10m
m PID USER PRI NI SIZE RSS SHARE STAT %CPU %MEM TIME COMMAND
7 root 18 0 0 0 0 SW 6.4 0.0 1:46 kswapd
9 root 17 0 0 0 0 DW 3.3 0.0 5:05 kupdated
396 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 3.3 0.0 0:29 nfsd
552 root 14 0 1080 1080 768 R 2.9 0.0 1:34 top
321 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 1.9 0.0 0:30 nfsd
374 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 1.9 0.0 0:29 nfsd
342 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 1.5 0.0 0:29 nfsd
403 root 11 0 0 0 0 SW 1.5 0.0 0:28 nfsd
287 root 12 0 0 0 0 SW 0.9 0.0 0:30 nfsd
332 root 11 0 0 0 0 SW 0.9 0.0 0:28 nfsd
334 root 13 0 0 0 0 SW 0.9 0.0 0:29 nfsd
367 root 11 0 0 0 0 SW 0.9 0.0 0:29 nfsd
302 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 0.7 0.0 0:30 nfsd
343 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 0.7 0.0 0:29 nfsd
347 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 0.7 0.0 0:29 nfsd
2:04pm up 1:00, 1 user, load average: 7.10, 8.16, 6.52
220 processes: 215 sleeping, 5 running, 0 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU0 states: 0.0% user, 86.2% system, 0.1% nice, 13.3% idle
CPU1 states: 0.1% user, 86.2% system, 0.1% nice, 13.2% idle
CPU2 states: 0.1% user, 86.1% system, 0.0% nice, 13.4% idle
CPU3 states: 0.0% user, 85.3% system, 0.2% nice, 14.2% idle
Mem: 3924304K av, 3919380K used, 4924K free, 0K shrd, 98484K
buff
Swap: 1043900K av, 0K used, 1043900K free 3257296K
cached
;10m
m PID USER PRI NI SIZE RSS SHARE STAT %CPU %MEM TIME COMMAND
7 root 18 0 0 0 0 RW 48.6 0.0 1:50 kswapd
552 root 14 0 1080 1080 768 R 31.9 0.0 1:37 top
9 root 9 0 0 0 0 DW 21.8 0.0 5:07 kupdated
297 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.8 0.0 0:29 nfsd
248 root 15 10 6960 6956 4904 S N 3.0 0.1 0:15 hpCpuMond
369 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.0 0.0 0:30 nfsd
333 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.7 0.0 0:30 nfsd
382 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.7 0.0 0:30 nfsd
374 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.5 0.0 0:30 nfsd
372 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.4 0.0 0:30 nfsd
397 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.4 0.0 0:30 nfsd
368 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.3 0.0 0:30 nfsd
378 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.3 0.0 0:30 nfsd
366 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.1 0.0 0:30 nfsd
413 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.1 0.0 0:30 nfsd
2:04pm up 1:00, 1 user, load average: 7.33, 8.19, 6.54
220 processes: 215 sleeping, 5 running, 0 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU0 states: 0.0% user, 98.5% system, 0.2% nice, 1.0% idle
CPU1 states: 0.2% user, 99.2% system, 0.0% nice, 0.4% idle
CPU2 states: 0.1% user, 98.3% system, 0.3% nice, 1.0% idle
CPU3 states: 0.3% user, 98.3% system, 0.0% nice, 1.1% idle
Mem: 3924304K av, 3921476K used, 2828K free, 0K shrd, 97580K
buff
Swap: 1043900K av, 0K used, 1043900K free 3260192K
cached
;10m
m PID USER PRI NI SIZE RSS SHARE STAT %CPU %MEM TIME COMMAND
7 root 19 0 0 0 0 RW 93.3 0.0 1:58 kswapd
9 root 9 0 0 0 0 DW 37.9 0.0 5:10 kupdated
552 root 17 0 1080 1080 768 R 36.0 0.0 1:40 top
375 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 4.0 0.0 0:30 nfsd
381 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.2 0.0 0:31 nfsd
414 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.1 0.0 0:31 nfsd
308 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.8 0.0 0:29 nfsd
396 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.8 0.0 0:29 nfsd
314 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.7 0.0 0:30 nfsd
289 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.5 0.0 0:30 nfsd
317 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.5 0.0 0:29 nfsd
325 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.5 0.0 0:31 nfsd
342 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.5 0.0 0:29 nfsd
350 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.5 0.0 0:30 nfsd
374 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.5 0.0 0:30 nfsd
2:04pm up 1:00, 1 user, load average: 7.35, 8.17, 6.55
220 processes: 215 sleeping, 5 running, 0 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU0 states: 0.1% user, 98.5% system, 0.1% nice, 1.1% idle
CPU1 states: 0.5% user, 98.6% system, 0.0% nice, 0.6% idle
CPU2 states: 0.7% user, 98.1% system, 0.0% nice, 1.0% idle
CPU3 states: 0.4% user, 98.7% system, 0.2% nice, 0.4% idle
Mem: 3924304K av, 3921740K used, 2564K free, 0K shrd, 96768K
buff
Swap: 1043900K av, 0K used, 1043900K free 3261220K
cached
;10m
m PID USER PRI NI SIZE RSS SHARE STAT %CPU %MEM TIME COMMAND
7 root 14 0 0 0 0 RW 99.9 0.0 2:07 kswapd
9 root 9 0 0 0 0 DW 41.4 0.0 5:14 kupdated
552 root 15 0 1080 1080 768 R 33.1 0.0 1:43 top
391 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.8 0.0 0:30 nfsd
379 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.5 0.0 0:30 nfsd
394 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.5 0.0 0:30 nfsd
389 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.4 0.0 0:31 nfsd
412 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.4 0.0 0:30 nfsd
305 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.1 0.0 0:30 nfsd
366 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.1 0.0 0:30 nfsd
290 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.9 0.0 0:30 nfsd
309 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.9 0.0 0:29 nfsd
321 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.9 0.0 0:30 nfsd
330 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.9 0.0 0:29 nfsd
343 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.9 0.0 0:29 nfsd
2:04pm up 1:00, 1 user, load average: 7.75, 8.23, 6.58
220 processes: 214 sleeping, 6 running, 0 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU0 states: 0.2% user, 99.1% system, 0.2% nice, 0.3% idle
CPU1 states: 0.2% user, 98.5% system, 0.5% nice, 0.4% idle
CPU2 states: 0.0% user, 99.0% system, 0.5% nice, 0.3% idle
CPU3 states: 0.1% user, 98.4% system, 0.7% nice, 0.4% idle
Mem: 3924304K av, 3921660K used, 2644K free, 0K shrd, 95804K
buff
Swap: 1043900K av, 0K used, 1043900K free 3262244K
cached
;10m
m PID USER PRI NI SIZE RSS SHARE STAT %CPU %MEM TIME COMMAND
7 root 16 0 0 0 0 RW 99.9 0.0 2:15 kswapd
552 root 17 0 1080 1080 768 R 37.7 0.0 1:46 top
9 root 11 0 0 0 0 DW 36.3 0.0 5:17 kupdated
297 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.3 0.0 0:29 nfsd
334 root 9 0 0 0 0 RW 3.3 0.0 0:29 nfsd
294 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.2 0.0 0:30 nfsd
299 root 9 0 0 0 0 DW 3.2 0.0 0:31 nfsd
405 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 3.2 0.0 0:30 nfsd
289 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.1 0.0 0:30 nfsd
308 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.1 0.0 0:30 nfsd
361 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.1 0.0 0:30 nfsd
399 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.1 0.0 0:31 nfsd
288 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.9 0.0 0:30 nfsd
313 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.8 0.0 0:29 nfsd
358 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.8 0.0 0:30 nfsd
2:04pm up 1:00, 1 user, load average: 8.01, 8.28, 6.61
220 processes: 216 sleeping, 4 running, 0 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU0 states: 0.1% user, 99.3% system, 0.1% nice, 0.4% idle
CPU1 states: 0.0% user, 99.0% system, 0.0% nice, 0.9% idle
CPU2 states: 0.1% user, 99.2% system, 0.0% nice, 0.6% idle
CPU3 states: 0.5% user, 98.6% system, 0.0% nice, 0.8% idle
Mem: 3924304K av, 3921648K used, 2656K free, 0K shrd, 94628K
buff
Swap: 1043900K av, 0K used, 1043900K free 3263404K
cached
;10m
m PID USER PRI NI SIZE RSS SHARE STAT %CPU %MEM TIME COMMAND
7 root 15 0 0 0 0 RW 89.5 0.0 2:24 kswapd
552 root 18 0 1080 1080 768 R 41.3 0.0 1:50 top
9 root 10 0 0 0 0 RW 28.2 0.0 5:19 kupdated
404 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.8 0.0 0:30 nfsd
369 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.6 0.0 0:31 nfsd
392 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.5 0.0 0:30 nfsd
398 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.2 0.0 0:30 nfsd
380 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.1 0.0 0:32 nfsd
391 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.1 0.0 0:31 nfsd
367 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.9 0.0 0:30 nfsd
326 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.8 0.0 0:31 nfsd
414 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.8 0.0 0:31 nfsd
286 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 2.6 0.0 0:29 nfsd
342 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.6 0.0 0:30 nfsd
413 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.6 0.0 0:30 nfsd
2:04pm up 1:00, 1 user, load average: 8.01, 8.27, 6.62
220 processes: 213 sleeping, 7 running, 0 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU0 states: 0.0% user, 99.3% system, 0.0% nice, 0.5% idle
CPU1 states: 0.0% user, 98.6% system, 0.0% nice, 1.1% idle
CPU2 states: 0.0% user, 99.4% system, 0.0% nice, 0.4% idle
CPU3 states: 1.7% user, 98.1% system, 0.2% nice, 0.6% idle
Mem: 3924304K av, 3921072K used, 3232K free, 0K shrd, 94140K
buff
Swap: 1043900K av, 0K used, 1043900K free 3263296K
cached
;10m
m PID USER PRI NI SIZE RSS SHARE STAT %CPU %MEM TIME COMMAND
7 root 15 0 0 0 0 RW 99.9 0.0 2:33 kswapd
9 root 14 0 0 0 0 RW 45.0 0.0 5:23 kupdated
552 root 16 0 1080 1080 768 R 36.9 0.0 1:53 top
360 root 9 0 0 0 0 DW 3.7 0.0 0:31 nfsd
288 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.5 0.0 0:30 nfsd
308 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.5 0.0 0:30 nfsd
317 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 3.5 0.0 0:30 nfsd
389 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.4 0.0 0:31 nfsd
359 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.3 0.0 0:31 nfsd
396 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.3 0.0 0:30 nfsd
410 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 3.0 0.0 0:30 nfsd
306 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.9 0.0 0:31 nfsd
309 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.9 0.0 0:30 nfsd
323 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.9 0.0 0:31 nfsd
365 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.9 0.0 0:31 nfsd

...and here's the final top screen

2:49pm up 1:45, 2 users, load average: 8.98, 8.73, 8.01
222 processes: 219 sleeping, 3 running, 0 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU0 states: 0.0% user, 48.4% system, 0.1% nice, 50.5% idle
CPU1 states: 0.2% user, 47.1% system, 0.0% nice, 52.1% idle
CPU2 states: 0.0% user, 49.1% system, 0.0% nice, 50.4% idle
CPU3 states: 0.0% user, 49.3% system, 0.1% nice, 50.1% idle
Mem: 3924304K av, 3676328K used, 247976K free, 0K shrd, 62212K
buff
Swap: 1043900K av, 21624K used, 1022276K free 3255064K
cached
PID USER PRI NI SIZE RSS SHARE STAT %CPU %MEM TIME COMMAND
9 root 18 0 0 0 0 DW 13.6 0.0 14:56 kupdated
321 root 13 0 0 0 0 SW 3.3 0.0 1:06 nfsd
552 root 13 0 976 920 664 R 2.7 0.0 6:53 top
320 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 2.5 0.0 1:08 nfsd
361 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 2.5 0.0 1:08 nfsd
377 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 2.5 0.0 1:08 nfsd
293 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 2.3 0.0 1:07 nfsd
362 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.3 0.0 1:08 nfsd
386 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 2.3 0.0 1:09 nfsd
395 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 2.3 0.0 1:08 nfsd
402 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 2.3 0.0 1:09 nfsd
305 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 2.1 0.0 1:06 nfsd
316 root 9 0 0 0 0 SW 2.1 0.0 1:07 nfsd
317 root 11 0 0 0 0 SW 2.1 0.0 1:08 nfsd
348 root 10 0 0 0 0 SW 2.1 0.0 1:07 nfsd


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