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SubjectRe: [patch] sched-2.5.59-A2
> kernelbench is the kind of benchmark that is most sensitive to over-eager
> global balancing, and since the 2.5.59 ->nr_balanced logic produced the
> best results, it clearly shows it's not over-eager.

Careful ... what shows well on one machine may not on another - this depends
heavily on the NUMA ratio - for our machine the nr_balanced logic in 59 is
still over-agressive (20:1 NUMA ratio). For low-ratio machines it may work
fine. It actually works best for us when it's switched off altogether I
think (which is obviously not a good solution).

But there's more than one dimension to tune here - we can tune both the
frequency and the level of imbalance required. I had good results specifying
a minimum imbalance of > 4 between the current and busiest nodes before
balancing. Reason (2 nodes, 4 CPUs each): If I have 4 tasks on one node,
and 8 on another, that's still one or two per cpu in all cases whatever
I do (well, provided I'm not stupid enough to make anything idle). So
at that point, I just want lowest task thrash.

Moving tasks between nodes is really expensive, and shouldn't be done
lightly - the only thing the background busy rebalancer should be fixing
is significant long-term imbalances. It would be nice if we also chose
the task with the smallest RSS to migrate, I think that's a worthwhile
optimisation (we'll need to make sure we use realistic benchmarks with
a mix of different task sizes). Working out which ones have the smallest
"on-node RSS - off-node RSS" is another step after that ...

> hackbench is one that is quite sensitive to under-balancing.
> Ie. trying to maximize both will lead us to a good balance.

I'll try to do some hackbench runs on NUMA-Q as well.

Just to add something else to the mix, there's another important factor
as well as the NUMA ratio - the size of the interconnect cache vs the
size of the task migrated. The interconnect cache on the NUMA-Q is 32Mb,
our newer machine has a much lower NUMA ratio, but effectively a much
smaller cache as well. NUMA ratios are often expresssed in terms of
latency, but there's a bandwidth consideration too. Hyperthreading will
want something different again.

I think we definitely need to tune this on a per-arch basis. There's no
way that one-size-fits-all is going to fit a situation as complex as this
(though we can definitely learn from each other's analysis).

M.

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