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SubjectRe: O_DIRECT performance impact on 2.4.18 (was: Re: [PATCH] 2.5.14IDE 56)
On Sat, May 11, 2002 at 01:23:11PM +1000, Lincoln Dale wrote:
> At 02:36 PM 10/05/2002 +0200, Andrea Arcangeli wrote:
> >> being fair to O_DIRECT and giving it 1mbyte disk-reads to work with and
> >> giving normal i/o 8kbyte reads to work with.
> ..
> >is any of the disks mounted?
>
> no.
> for the O_DIRECT tests i also didn't have the MD driver touching
> them. (ie. raidstop /dev/md[0-1]).
>
> >> O_DIRECT is still a ~30% performance hit versus just talking to the
> >> /dev/sdX device directly. profile traces at bottom.
> >>
> >> normal block-device disks sd[m-r] without O_DIRECT, 64K x 8k reads:
> >> [root@mel-stglab-host1 src]# readprofile -r;
> >> ./test_disk_performance blocks=64K bs=8k /dev/sd[m-r]
> >> Completed reading 12000 mbytes in 125.028612 seconds (95.98
> >> Mbytes/sec), 76usec mean
> >
> >can you post your test_disk_performance program
>
> i'll post the program later on this weekend. (its suffering from continual
> scope-creap and additional development. :) ).
>
> but basically, its similar to 'dd' except works on multiple devices
> simultaneously.
> operation consists of sequential-reads or sequential-writes.
>
> its main loop basically consists entirely of:
> /* loop thru blocks */
> for (blocknum=0; blocknum < blocks; blocknum++) {
> /* loop thru devices */
> for (devicenum=0; devicenum < num_devices; devicenum++) {
> before_time = time_tick();
> if (operation == 0) {
> /* read op */
> amt_read = read(fd[devicenum],
> aligned_buffer[devicenum], block_size);
> } else {
> /* write-op */
> amt_read = write(fd[devicenum],
> aligned_buffer[devicenum], block_size);
> }
> after_time = time_tick();
>
> [check amt_read == block_size, calculate time
> histograms]
> }
> }
>
> the open call consists of:
> for (i=0; i < num_devices; i++) {
> flags = (O_RDWR | O_LARGEFILE);
> if (nocopy) flags |= O_NOCOPY;
> if (direct) flags |= O_DIRECT;
> fd[i] = open(devices[i], flags);
> ...
>
> i've since 'expanded' its functionality a bit so that i can do tests where
> i'm rate-limiting different devices to different limits, variable
> read/write/seeks, etc etc.
>
> >so I in particular we
> >can see the semantics of blocks and bs? 64k*8k == 5k * 1M / 10.
>
> K == 1000
> k == 1024
> M == 1000*1000
> m == 1024*1024
> g == 1024*1024*1024
> G == 1000*1000*1000
>
> so the above is:
> blocks = 64K, bs=8k means 64000 x 8192-byte read()s = 524288000 bytes
> blocks = 5K, bs=1m means 5000 x 1048576-byte read()s = 5242880000 bytes

if the program is doing only what shown in the main loop, then you're
reading 10 times more data with O_DIRECT, that was my point in saying
64k*8k == 5k * 1M / 10, but I assume you took it into account (otherwise
it means O_DIRECT is just 5 times faster than buffered-I/O for you)

Also I would suggest to measure the time taken by the whole workload, not only
the time for read/write syscalls.

>
> >O_DIRECT has to do some more work to check for the coherency with the
> >pagecache and it has some more overhead with the address space
> >operations, but O_DIRECT by default uses the blocksize of the blkdev,
> >that is set to 1k by default (if you never mounted it) versus the
> >hardblocksize of 512bytes used by the raw device (assuming the sd[m-r]
> >aren't mounted).
>
> i wonder if the MD driver set it to 512 bytes if it has been touched.

it is set to 512 bytes.

> i'll reboot the box after each test to validate. (which, unfortunately, is
> about a 10 minute reboot cycle for 22 x SCSI disks and 16 FC disks).
>
> >This is most probably why O_DIRECT is faster than raw.c, otherwise they
> >would run almost at the same rate, the pagecache coherency fast paths
> >and the address space ops overhead of O_DIRECT shouldn't be noticeable.
>
> as the statistics show, O_DIRECT is about 5% superior to raw.c.

yep, as said that's because O_DIRECT uses the softblocksize (1k) large
b_size, while raw uses the hardblocksize that is 512bytes, so raw wastes 2
times more memory and cpu in handling those list of smaller bh. That is fair
comparison with the buffered-IO, also the buffered-IO uses 1k b_size.

>
> >> of course, these are all ~25% worse than if a mechanism of performing the
> >> i/o avoiding the copy_to_user() altogether:
> >> [root@mel-stglab-host1 src]# readprofile -r;
> >> ./test_disk_performance blocks=64K bs=8k nocopy /dev/sd[m-r]
> >> Completed reading 12000 mbytes in 97.846938 seconds (122.64
> >> Mbytes/sec), 59usec mean
> >
> >the nocopy hack is not an interesting test for O_DIRECT/rawio, it
> >doesn't walk pagetables, it doesn't allow the DMA to be done into
> >userspace memory. If you want the pagecache to be visible into userspace
> >(i.e. MAP_PRIVATE/MAP_SHARED) you must deal with pagetables somehow,
> >and if you want the read/write syscalls to DMA directly into userspace
> >memory (raw/O_DIRECT) you must still walk pagetables during those
>
> the nocopy hack is interesting from the point-of-view of seeing what the
> copy_to_user() overhead actually is.
> it is interesting to compare that to O_DIRECT.
>
> i agree that doing pagecache-visible-in-userspace is hard to get right and
> to do it fast.
> but i'm not proposing any such development.

Yes, I only wanted to make clear the no-copy hack will always be faster
then anything that ends putting the data in user memory (or providing
information where the data in userspace is) somehow.

> what i am thinking is "interesting" is for privileged programs which can
> mmap() /dev/mem and have some async-i/o scheme which returns back
> physical-address information about blocks.

You'd at least need to reserve only a contigous part of the physical
pages for that purposes, or you would run out of virtual address space on a
32bit arch, that just is a problem with fragmentation. Secondly you should use
such mmapped /dev/mem area as your backing store for the application cache or
it's again a copy-user. It seems very messy. I think writing a software TLB
for a certain special VMA allowing the resolution of a virtual address in the
VMA to a struct page with a very efficient lookup would be better if something
to skip the overhead of the pagetable management. And it doesn't need special
userspace hacks with horrible API.

> sure, it has a lot of potential-security-issues associated with it, and
> isn't useful for anything but really big-iron program, but so has other
> schemes that involve "lets put this userspace module in the kernel to avoid
> user<->kernel copies".
>
> >syscalls before starting the DMA. If you don't want to explicitly deal
> >with the pagetables then you need to copy_user (case 1). In most archs
> >where mem bandwith is very expensive avoiding the copy-user is a big
> >global win (other cpus won't collapse in smp etc..).
> >
> >Your nocopy hack benchmark has some relevance only for usages of the
> >data done by kernel. So if it is the kernel that reads the data directly
> >from pagecache (i.e. a kernel module), then your nocopy benchmark
> >matters. For example your nocopy benchmark also matters for sendfile
> >zerocopy, it will read at 122M/sec. But if it's userspace supposed to
> >receive the data (so not directly from pagecache on the kernel direct
> >mapping, but in userspace mapped memory) it cannot be 122M/sec, it has
> >to be less due the user address space management.
>
> i guess i simply see that there are a bunch of possible big-iron programs
> which:
> - read from [raw] disk
> - write results to network
> - don't actually look at the payload
>
> a few program like this that come to mind are:
> - Samba
> - (user-space) NFS
> - [HTTP] caching software
>
> >> comparative profile=2 traces:
> ...
> >Can you use -k4? this is the number of hits per function, but we should
> >take the size of the function into account too. Otherwise small
> >functions won't show up.
>
> will do.
>
> >Can you also give a spin to the same benchmark with 2.4.19pre8aa2? It
> >has the vary-io stuff from Badari and futher kiobuf optimization from
> >Chuck.
>
> will do so.
>
> >(vary-io will work only with aic and qlogic, enabling it is a one
> >liner if the driver is just ok with variable bh->b_size in the same I/O
> >request). right fix for avoiding the flood of small bh is bio in 2.5,
> >for 2.4 vary-io should be fine.
>
> i'm using the qlogic HBA driver from their web-site rather than the current
> driver in the kernel which doesn't function with the 2gbit/s HBAs.
> care to point out the line i should be looking for to change?

Sure just search the .h file for something like this:

#define QLOGICISP { \
detect: isp1020_detect, \
release: isp1020_release, \
info: isp1020_info, \
queuecommand: isp1020_queuecommand, \
abort: isp1020_abort, \
reset: isp1020_reset, \
bios_param: isp1020_biosparam, \
can_queue: QLOGICISP_REQ_QUEUE_LEN, \
this_id: -1, \
sg_tablesize: QLOGICISP_MAX_SG(QLOGICISP_REQ_QUEUE_LEN), \
cmd_per_lun: 1, \
present: 0, \
unchecked_isa_dma: 0, \
use_clustering: DISABLE_CLUSTERING, \
can_do_varyio: 1, \
}
and add can_do_varyio: 1 like in the above file for qlogicisp.h.

(btw, then the vary-io will allow more efficient I/O handling than the
buffered-IO, so it would get unfair with the so underpowered buffered-IO,
but still it would be interesting to see the effect of varyio in numbers)

You also mentioned the md device. If you do I/O to a raid0 array with 5 disks
attached to an MD device then your buffersize with O_DIRECT must be 5*512k at
least or you cannot send bit large scsi commands to each scsi disk and
performance would be very bad compared to reading 1M from each /dev/sd
separately.

One thing I would also recommend is to write a threaded version of the program,
that reads or writes to all the /dev/sd disks simultaneously, first w/ O_DIRECT
then w/o O_DIRECT. The reason is that currently you aren't using all the disks
at once with O_DIRECT due the lack of async-io, while for example
async-writeback w/o O_DIRECT allows a better scaling over the disks, not to
tell the fact you only benchmark the duration of the syscall sounds not
accurate if async I/O happens over userspace (userspace can get stalled by
completion interrupts etc.. and you're not measuring such overhead).

If you instead make a single raid0 array and you use a buffer size of nr_PV*512k
(or nr_PV*1M even better) then also O_DIRECT without threading should perform
similar to the buffered IO.

In my measurements the lack of async-io with O_DIRECT (with a single disk)
wasn't significant in the bandwith numbers, let's say a few percent slower than
the buffered-IO, but the CPU utilization and mem bandwith was so much optimized
that I thought it definitely pays off even now without a kernel side async-io
(note that I wasn't doing simultaneous I/O to multiple devices, futhmore the
bandwith of the membus was not shared with any other workload).

Since you "stripe" by hand in all disks you do a different workload than my
previous benchs and you definitely want to keep all the harddisk running at the
same time. I would also suggest to benchmark a single disk, to see if there is
still such a big performance difference (again: including the cost outside the
syscalls too).

Thanks for the interesting big-iron number-feedback :)

Andrea
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