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SubjectRe: [PATCH] prune_icache_sb
On Tue, 28 Nov 2006 16:41:07 -0500
Wendy Cheng <> wrote:

> Andrew Morton wrote:
> > On Mon, 27 Nov 2006 18:52:58 -0500
> > Wendy Cheng <> wrote:
> >
> >
> >> Not sure about walking thru sb->s_inodes for several reasons....
> >>
> >> 1. First, the changes made are mostly for file server setup with large
> >> fs size - the entry count in sb->s_inodes may not be shorter then
> >> inode_unused list.
> >>
> >
> > umm, that's the best-case. We also care about worst-case. Think:
> > 1,000,000 inodes on inode_unused, of which a randomly-sprinkled 10,000 are
> > from the being-unmounted filesytem. The code as-proposed will do 100x more
> > work that it needs to do. All under a global spinlock.
> >
> By walking thru sb->s_inodes, we also need to take inode_lock and
> iprune_mutex (?), since we're purging the inodes from the system - or
> specifically, removing them from inode_unused list. There is really not
> much difference from the current prune_icache() logic.

There's quite a bit of difference. The change you're proposing will
perform poorly if it is used in the scenario which I describe above. It
will waste CPU cycles and will destroy the inode_unused LRU ordering (for
what that's worth, which isn't much).

Trust me, every single time we've had an inefficient search in core kernel,
someone has gone and done something which hits it and causes general
meltdown in their workload. So we've had to make significant changes to
remove the O(n) or higher search complexity.

And in this case we *already have* the date structures in place to make it

> What's been
> proposed here is simply *exporting* the prune_icache() kernel code to
> allow filesystems to trim (purge a small percentage of ) its
> (potentially will be) unused per-mount inodes for *latency* considerations.

It just happens to work in your setup. If you have a large machine with
two filesystems and you run rsync on both filesystems and run FTP agains
one of them, it might not work so well. Because the proposed
prune_icache_sb() might need to chew through 500,000 inodes from the wrong
superblock before reclaiming any of the inodes which you want to reclaim.
Or something like that.

> I made a mistake by using the "page dirty ratio" to explain the problem
> (sorry! I was not thinking well in previous write-up) that could mislead
> you to think this is a VM issue. This is not so much about
> low-on-free-pages (and/or memory fragmentation) issue (though
> fragmentation is normally part of the symptoms). What the (external)
> kernel module does is to tie its cluster-wide file lock with in-memory
> inode that is obtained during file look-up time. The lock is removed
> from the machine when
> 1. the lock is granted to other (cluster) machine; or
> 2. the in-memory inode is purged from the system.

It seems peculiar to be tying the lifetime of a DLM lock to the system's
memory size and current memory pressure?

> One of the clusters that has this latency issue is an IP/TV application
> where it "rsync" with main station server (with long geographical
> distance) every 15 minutes. It subsequently (and constantly) generates
> large amount of inode (and locks) hanging around. When other nodes,
> served as FTP servers, within the same cluster are serving the files,
> DLM has to wade through huge amount of locks entries to know whether the
> lock requests can be granted. That's where this latency issue gets
> popped out. Our profiling data shows when the cluster performance is
> dropped into un-acceptable ranges, DLM could hogs 40% of CPU cycle in
> lock searching logic. From VM point of view, the system does not have
> memory shortage so it doesn't have a need to kick off prune_icache() call.


> This issue could also be fixed in several different ways - maybe by a
> better DLM hash function,

It does sound like the lock lookup is broken.

I assume there's some reason for keeping these things floating about in
memory, so there must be a downside to artificially pruning them in
this manner? If so, a (much) faster lookup would seem to be the best fix.

> maybe by asking IT people to umount the
> filesystem where *all* per-mount inodes are unconditionally purged (but
> it defeats the purpose of caching inodes and, in our case, the locks)
> after each rsync, ...., etc. But I do think the proposed patch is the
> most sensible way to fix this issue and believe it will be one of these
> functions that if you export it, people will find a good use of it. It
> helps with memory fragmentation and/or shortage *before* it becomes a
> problem as well. I certainly understand and respect a maintainer's
> daunting job on how to take/reject a patch - let me know how you think
> so I can start to work on other solutions if required.

We shouldn't export this particular implementation to modules because it
has bad failure modes. There might be a case for exposing an
i_sb_list-based API or, perhaps better, a max-unused-inodes mount option.

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