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SubjectRe: Have the 2.4 kernel memory management problems on large machines been fixed?
>> >> 	Persistent kmap sucks, and the global systemwide TLB flushes
>> >> scale as O(1/N^2) with the number of CPUs. Enlarging the kmap
>> >> area helps a little, but really we need to stop doing this to
>> >> ourselves. I will have a patch (hopefully within a week) to do
>> >> per-task kmap, based on the UKVA patch that Dave McCracken has
>> >> already implemented.
>> >
>> > O(1/N^2)? wouldn't that get progressively better as the number of cpu's
>
> 1/N^2 is less than O(1), no-way.

Sorry, typo - O(N^2). Cost of each systemwide flush is N times as much, and
we do them N times more often (fixed size kmap pool, due to fixed size KVA).
At a quick test, Keith found that increasing the size of the kmap pool from 1024
to 4096 (4Mb to 16Mb of KVA consumed) reduces the number of flushes by a
factor of 10 (due to the static overhead).

> Anyways this is only a matter of implementing the
> persistent-and-atomic-kmap, I'm pretty sure they're the right solution
> for this problem, then the whole pool in highmem.c will go away and even
> the pagecache will stop blocking on the kmaps.

Working on the first stage of it as we speak ...

> I look forward to see the patch (just the kmap-atomic-and-persistent,
> not the constnatly mapped pte that is more likely to be a regression
> than current linux way IMHO), so we can possibly cleanup and then
> integrate it in 2.5 :).

We have a breakoff of the UKVA infrastructure now (thanks to Dave McCracken),
and once we've kicked its tires a little, we'll pass it across for inspection.

> Other things like managing 63G of highmem with only 850M of direct
> mapping they're almost unsolvable in a generic manner, however
> configuration options and arch-ifdefs can be used here. If the
> computation always stays in kernel or always in usersapce then 4G KVA is
> a solution (as slow as 2.0, the first bigmem for 2.2 and PTX I guess).

I'm more worried about 32Gb than 64Gb for the moment, I don't know
of any machines anyone is actually selling that will take 64Gb - the
NUMA-Q will if we want to work on it, but 16Gb and 32Gb are the
real points right now.

> But even CONFG_2G may not be ok if you want 1.7G of
> shm constnatly mapped in all tasks.

Exactly. Sometimes I hate databases ;-)

> So at the end the closest to a
> generic solution may be to rewrite the whole kernel MM API to use pfn
> instead of page structures and to kmap the mem_map to get the struct
> page, so you don't shrink the user address space, you move the huge
> mem_map to highmem and the slowdown ""should"" be minor than the 4G KVA
> probably (not obvious though),

Page clustering may be an easier solution for now, and you're right this is only
a "bridge" to the new world ... that'd give us an effective 16Kb page size, with
probably much less pain than the kmap'ed mem_map, and might even *improve*
performance ;-) Taming the beast to something workable rather than killing it totally
is good enough ...

M.
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