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SubjectRe: Gigabit/SMP performance problem
Date
On Friday 03 January 2003 15:36, Martin J. Bligh wrote:
> > Dual Pentium 4 Xeon at 2.4 Ghz. I believe I am using irq load balancing
> > as shown below (seems to be applied to Red Hat's kernel). Here's
> > /proc/interrupts:
>
> Is in 2.4.20-ac2 at least. See if arch/i386/kernel/io_apic.c
> has a function called balance_irq.
>
> > CPU0 CPU1
> > 0: 179670 182501 IO-APIC-edge timer
> > 1: 386 388 IO-APIC-edge keyboard
> > 2: 0 0 XT-PIC cascade
> > 8: 1 0 IO-APIC-edge rtc
> > 12: 9 9 IO-APIC-edge PS/2 Mouse
> > 14: 1698 1511 IO-APIC-edge ide0
> > 24: 1300174 1298071 IO-APIC-level eth2
> > 25: 1935085 1935625 IO-APIC-level eth3
> > 28: 1162013 1162734 IO-APIC-level eth4
> > 29: 1971246 1967758 IO-APIC-level eth5
> > 48: 2753990 2753821 IO-APIC-level eth0
> > 49: 2047386 2043894 IO-APIC-level eth1
> > 72: 838987 841143 IO-APIC-level eth6
> > 73: 2767885 2768307 IO-APIC-level eth7
> > NMI: 0 0
> > LOC: 362009 362008
> > ERR: 0
> > MIS: 0
> >
> > I started traffic at different times on the various interfaces so the
> > number of interrupts per interface aren't uniform.
> >
> > I modified RxIntDelay, TxIntDelay, RxAbsIntDelay, TxAbsIntDelay,
> > FlowControl, RxDescriptors, TxDescriptors. Increasing the various
> > IntDelays seemed to improve performance slightly.

Monitor for dropped packets when increasing int delay. At least on the older
e1000 adapters, you would get dropped packets, etc, making the problem worse
in other areas.
>
> Makes sense, increasing the delays should reduce the interrupt load.
>
> > I'm using 3 Intel PRO/1000 MT Dual Port Server adapters as well as 2
> > onboard Intel PRO/1000 ports. The adapters use the 82546EB chips. I
> > believe that the onboard ports use the same although I'm not sure.
> >
> > Should I get rid of IRQ load balancing? And what do you mean
> > "Intel broke the P4's interrupt routing"?
>
> P3's distributed interrupts round-robin amongst cpus. P4's send
> everything to CPU 0. If you put irq_balance on, it'll spread
> them around, but any given interrupt is still only handled by
> one CPU (as far as I understand the code). If you hammer one
> adaptor, does that generate more interrupts than 1 cpu can handle?
> (turn irq balance off by sticking a return at the top of balance_irq,
> and hammer one link, see how much CPU power that burns).

Another problem you may have is that irq_balance is random, and sometimes more
than one interrupt is serviced by the same cpu at the same. Actually, let me
clarify. In your case if your netowrk load was "even" across the adapters,
ideally you would want cpu0 handling the first 4 adapters and cpu1 handling
the last 4 adapters. With irq_balance, this is usually not the case. There
will be times where one cpu is doing more work than the other, possibly
becomming a bottleneck.

Now, there was some code in SuSE's kernel (SuSE 8.0, 2.4.18) which did a round
robin static assingment of interrupt to cpu. In your case, all even
interrupt numbers would go to cpu0 and all odd interrupt numbers would go to
cpu1. Since you have exactly 4 adapters in even interrupts and 4 on odd
interrupts, that would work perfectly. Now, that doesn't mean there is some
other problem, like PCI bandwidth, but it's a start. Also, you might be able
to emulate this with irq affinity (/proc/irq/<num>/smp_affnity) but last time
I tried it on P4, it didn't work at all -No interrupts!

-Andrew
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