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SubjectRe: [PATCH] vmscan: evict use-once pages first
Rik,

This patch appears to significantly improve application latency while a large
file copy runs. I'm not seeing behavior that implies continuous bad page
replacement.

I'm still seeing some general lag, which I attribute to general filesystem
slowness. For example, latencytop sees many events like these:

down xfs_buf_lock _xfs_buf_find xfs_buf_get_flags 1475.8 msec 5.9 %

xfs_buf_iowait xfs_buf_iostart xfs_buf_read_flags 1740.9 msec 2.6 %

Writing a page to disk 1042.9 msec 43.7 %

It also occasionally sees long page faults:

Page fault 2068.3 msec 21.3 %

I guess XFS (and the elevator) is just doing a poor job managing latency
(particularly poor since all the IO on /usr/bin is on the reader disk).
Notable:

Creating block layer request 451.4 msec 14.4 %

Thank you,
Elladan

On Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 07:29:07PM -0400, Rik van Riel wrote:
> When the file LRU lists are dominated by streaming IO pages,
> evict those pages first, before considering evicting other
> pages.
>
> This should be safe from deadlocks or performance problems
> because only three things can happen to an inactive file page:
> 1) referenced twice and promoted to the active list
> 2) evicted by the pageout code
> 3) under IO, after which it will get evicted or promoted
>
> The pages freed in this way can either be reused for streaming
> IO, or allocated for something else. If the pages are used for
> streaming IO, this pageout pattern continues. Otherwise, we will
> fall back to the normal pageout pattern.
>
> Signed-off-by: Rik van Riel <riel@redhat.com>
>
> ---
> Elladan, does this patch fix the issue you are seeing?
>
> Peter, Kosaki, Ted, does this patch look good to you?
>
> diff --git a/mm/vmscan.c b/mm/vmscan.c
> index eac9577..4c0304e 100644
> --- a/mm/vmscan.c
> +++ b/mm/vmscan.c
> @@ -1489,6 +1489,21 @@ static void shrink_zone(int priority, struct zone *zone,
> nr[l] = scan;
> }
>
> + /*
> + * When the system is doing streaming IO, memory pressure here
> + * ensures that active file pages get deactivated, until more
> + * than half of the file pages are on the inactive list.
> + *
> + * Once we get to that situation, protect the system's working
> + * set from being evicted by disabling active file page aging
> + * and swapping of swap backed pages. We still do background
> + * aging of anonymous pages.
> + */
> + if (nr[LRU_INACTIVE_FILE] > nr[LRU_ACTIVE_FILE]) {
> + nr[LRU_ACTIVE_FILE] = 0;
> + nr[LRU_INACTIVE_ANON] = 0;
> + }
> +
> while (nr[LRU_INACTIVE_ANON] || nr[LRU_ACTIVE_FILE] ||
> nr[LRU_INACTIVE_FILE]) {
> for_each_evictable_lru(l) {


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