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SubjectRe: [2.4.17/18pre] VM and swap - it's really unusable
Andrew Morton kindly pointed out that my crack pipe is dangerously empty
and I didn't specify what patch I was talking about. In my defense, I
was up all last night tracking down the ext3 bug that Andrew fixed right
under me. ;)

I replied to the wrong message, which I've pasted below. This is wrt
Martin's VM patch per the previous discussion.

Apologies,
--
Ken.
brownfld@irridia.com


On Fri, Jan 11, 2002 at 02:41:17PM -0600, Ken Brownfield wrote:
| After more testing, my original observations seem to be holding up,
| except that under heavy VM load (e.g., "make -j bzImage") the machine's
| overall performance seems far lower. For instance, without the patch
| the -j build finishes in ~10 minutes (2x933P3/256MB) but with the patch
| I haven't had the patience to let it finish after more than an hour.
|
| This is perhaps because the vmscan patch is too aggressively shrinking
| the caches, or causing thrashing in another area? I'm also noticing
| that the amount of swap used is nearly an order of magnitude higher,
| which doesn't make sense at first glance... Also, there are extended
| periods where idle CPU is 50-80%.
|
| Maybe the patch or at least its intent can be merged with Andrea's work
| if applicable?
|
| Thanks,
| --
| Ken.
| brownfld@irridia.com

What I SHOULD have replied to:

| Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2002 09:19:57 -0600
| From: Ken Brownfield <brownfld@irridia.com>
| To: Stephan von Krawczynski <skraw@ithnet.com>,
| "M.H.VanLeeuwen" <vanl@megsinet.net>, akpm@zip.com.au
| Cc: linux-kernel@vger.kernel.org
| Subject: Update Re: [2.4.17/18pre] VM and swap - it's really unusable
| User-Agent: Mutt/1.2.5.1i
| In-Reply-To: <20020105160833.0800a182.skraw@ithnet.com>; from skraw@ithnet.com o
| n Sat, Jan 05, 2002 at 04:08:33PM +0100
| Precedence: bulk
| X-Mailing-List: linux-kernel@vger.kernel.org
|
| I stayed at work all night banging out tests on a few of our machines
| here. I took 2.4.18-pre2 and 2.4.18-pre2 with the vmscan patch from
| "M.H.VanLeeuwen" <vanl@megsinet.net>.
|
| My sustained test consisted of this type of load:
|
| ls -lR / > /dev/null &
| /usr/bin/slocate -u -f "nfs,smbfs,ncpfs,proc,devpts" -e "/tmp,/var/tmp,/
| usr/tmp,/afs,/net" &
| dd if=/dev/sda3 of=/sda3 bs=1024k &
| # Hit TUX on this machine repeatedly; html page with 1000 images
| # Wait for memory to be mostly used by buff/page cache
| ./a.out &
| # repeat finished commands -- keep all commands running
| # after a.out finishes, alow buff/page to refill before repeating
|
| The a.out in this case is a little program (attached, c.c) to allocate
| and write to an amount of memory equal to physical RAM. The example I
| chose below is from a 2xP3/600 with 1GB of RAM and 2GB swap.
|
| This was not a formal benchmark -- I think benchmarks have been
| presented before by other folks, and looking at benchmarks does not
| necessarily indicate the real-world problems that exist. My intent was
| to reproduce the issues I've been seeing, and then apply the MH (and
| only the MH) patch and observe.
|
| 2.4.18-pre2
|
| Once slocate starts and gets close to filling RAM with buffer/page
| cache, kupdated and kswapd have periodic spikes of 50-100% CPU.
|
| When a.out starts, kswapd and kupdated begin to eat significant portions
| of CPU (20-100%) and I/O becomes more and more sluggish as a.out
| allocates.
|
| When a.out uses all free RAM and should begin eating cache, significant
| swapping begins and cache is not decreased significantly until the
| machine goes 100-200MB into swap.
|
| Here are two readprofile outputs, sorted by ticks and load.
|
| 229689 default_idle 4417.0962
| 4794 file_read_actor 18.4385
| 405 __rdtsc_delay 14.4643
| 3763 do_anonymous_page 14.0410
| 3796 statm_pgd_range 9.7835
| 1535 prune_icache 6.9773
| 153 __free_pages 4.7812
| 1420 create_bounce 4.1765
| 583 sym53c8xx_intr 3.9392
| 221 atomic_dec_and_lock 2.7625
| 5214 generic_file_write 2.5659
|
| 273464 total 0.1903
| 234168 default_idle 4503.2308
| 5298 generic_file_write 2.6073
| 4868 file_read_actor 18.7231
| 3799 statm_pgd_range 9.7912
| 3763 do_anonymous_page 14.0410
| 1535 prune_icache 6.9773
| 1526 shrink_cache 1.6234
| 1469 create_bounce 4.3206
| 643 rmqueue 1.1320
| 591 sym53c8xx_intr 3.9932
| 505 __make_request 0.2902
|
|
| 2.4.18-pre2 with MH
|
| With the MH patch applied, the issues I witnessed above did not seem to
| reproduce. Memory allocation under pressure seemed faster and smoother.
| kswapd never went above 5-15% CPU. When a.out allocated memory, it did
| not begin swapping until buffer/page cache had been nearly completely
| cannibalized.
|
| And when a.out caused swapping, it was controlled and behaved like you
| would expect the VM to bahave -- slowly swapping out unused pages
| instead of large swap write-outs without the patch.
|
| Martin, have you done throughput benchmarks with MH/rmap/aa, BTW?
|
| But both kernels still seem to be sluggish when it comes to doing small
| I/O operations (vi, ls, etc) during heavy swapping activity.
|
| Here are the readprofile results:
|
| 206243 default_idle 3966.2115
| 6486 file_read_actor 24.9462
| 409 __rdtsc_delay 14.6071
| 2798 do_anonymous_page 10.4403
| 185 __free_pages 5.7812
| 1846 statm_pgd_range 4.7577
| 469 sym53c8xx_intr 3.1689
| 176 atomic_dec_and_lock 2.2000
| 349 end_buffer_io_async 1.9830
| 492 refill_inactive 1.8358
| 94 system_call 1.8077
|
| 245776 total 0.1710
| 216238 default_idle 4158.4231
| 6486 file_read_actor 24.9462
| 2799 do_anonymous_page 10.4440
| 1855 statm_pgd_range 4.7809
| 1611 generic_file_write 0.7928
| 839 __make_request 0.4822
| 820 shrink_cache 0.7374
| 540 rmqueue 0.9507
| 534 create_bounce 1.5706
| 492 refill_inactive 1.8358
| 487 sym53c8xx_intr 3.2905
|
|
| There may be significant differences in the profile outputs for those
| with VM fu.
|
| Summary: MH swaps _after_ cache has been properly cannibalized, and
| swapping activity starts when expected and is properly throttled.
| kswapd and kupdated don't seem to go into berserk 100% CPU mode.
|
| At any rate, I now have the MH patch (and Andrew Morton's mini-ll and
| read-latency2 patches) in production, and I like what I see so far. I'd
| vote for them to go into 2.4.18, IMHO. Maybe the full low-latency patch
| if it's not truly 2.5 material.
|
| My next cook-off will be with -aa and rmap, although if the rather small
| MH patch fixes my last issues it may be worth putting all VM effort into
| a 2.5 VM cook-off. :) Hopefully the useful stuff in -aa can get pulled
| in at some point soon, though.
|
| Thanks much to Martin H. VanLeeuwen for his patch and Stephan von
| Krawczynski for his recommendations. I'll let MH cook for a while and
| I'll follow up later.
| --
| Ken.
| brownfld@irridia.com
|
| c.c:
|
| #include <stdio.h>
|
| #define MB_OF_RAM 1024
|
| int
| main()
| {
| long stuffsize = MB_OF_RAM * 1048576 ;
| char *stuff ;
|
| if ( stuff = (char *)malloc( stuffsize ) ) {
| long chunksize = 1048576 ;
| long c ;
|
| for ( c=0 ; c<chunksize ; c++ )
| *(stuff+c) = '\0' ;
| /* hack; last chunk discarded if stuffsize%chunksize != 0 */
| for ( ; (c+chunksize)<stuffsize ; c+=chunksize )
| memcpy( stuff+c, stuff, chunksize );
|
| sleep( 120 );
| }
| else
| printf("OOPS\n");
|
| exit( 0 );
| }
|
|
| On Sat, Jan 05, 2002 at 04:08:33PM +0100, Stephan von Krawczynski wrote:
| [...]
| | I am pretty impressed by Martins test case where merely all VM patches fail
| | with the exception of his own :-) The thing is, this test is not of nature
| | "very special" but more like "system driven to limit by normal processes". And
| | this is the real interesting part about it.
| [...]
|
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