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SubjectRe: bdflush/rpciod high CPU utilization, profile does not make sense
On Thu, Apr 07, 2005 at 05:38:48PM +0200, Jakob Oestergaard wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 07, 2005 at 09:19:06AM +1000, Greg Banks wrote:
> ...
> > How large is the client's RAM?
>
> 2GB - (32 bit kernel because it's dual PIII, so I use highmem)

Ok, that's probably not enough to fully trigger some of the problems
I've seen on large-memory NFS clients.

> A few more details:
>
> With standard VM settings, the client will be laggy during the copy, but
> it will also have a load average around 10 (!) And really, the only
> thing I do with it is one single 'cp' operation. The CPU hogs are
> pdflush, rpciod/0 and rpciod/1.

NFS writes of single files much larger than client RAM still have
interesting issues.

> I tweaked the VM a bit, put the following in /etc/sysctl.conf:
> vm.dirty_writeback_centisecs=100
> vm.dirty_expire_centisecs=200
>
> The defaults are 500 and 3000 respectively...

Yes, you want more frequent and smaller writebacks. It may help to
reduce vm.dirty_ratio and possibly vm.dirty_background_ratio.

> This improved things a lot; the client is now "almost not very laggy",
> and load stays in the saner 1-2 range.
>
> Still, system CPU utilization is very high (still from rpciod and
> pdflush - more rpciod and less pdflush though),

This is probably the rpciod's and pdflush all trying to do things
at the same time and contending for the BKL.

> During the copy I typically see:
>
> nfs_write_data 681 952 480 8 1 : tunables 54 27 8 : slabdata 119 119 108
> nfs_page 15639 18300 64 61 1 : tunables 120 60 8 : slabdata 300 300 180

That's not so bad, it's only about 3% of the system's pages.

Greg.
--
Greg Banks, R&D Software Engineer, SGI Australian Software Group.
I don't speak for SGI.
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