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SubjectRe: Swappiness vs. mmap() and interactive response

> On Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 05:09:16PM +0800, Wu Fengguang wrote:
> > The semi-drop-behind is a great idea for the desktop - to put just
> > accessed pages to end of LRU. However I'm still afraid it vastly
> > changes the caching behavior and wont work well as expected in server
> > workloads - shall we verify this?
> >
> > Back to this big-cp-hurts-responsibility issue. Background write
> > requests can easily pass the io scheduler's obstacles and fill up
> > the disk queue. Now every read request will have to wait 10+ writes
> > - leading to 10x slow down of major page faults.
> >
> > I reach this conclusion based on recent CFQ code reviews. Will bring up
> > a queue depth limiting patch for more exercises..
> We can muck with the I/O scheduler, but another thing to consider is
> whether the VM should be more aggressively throttling writes in this
> case; it sounds like the big cp in this case may be dirtying pages so
> aggressively that it's driving other (more useful) pages out of the
> page cache --- if the target disk is slower than the source disk (for
> example, backing up a SATA primary disk to a USB-attached backup disk)
> no amount of drop-behind is going to help the situation.
> So that leaves three areas for exploration:
> * Write-throttling
> * Drop-behind
> * background writes pushing aside foreground reads
> Hmm, note that although the original bug reporter is running Ubuntu
> Jaunty, and hence 2.6.28, this problem is going to get *worse* with
> 2.6.30, since we have the ext3 data=ordered latency fixes which will
> write out the any journal activity, and worse, any synchornous commits
> (i.e., caused by fsync) will force out all of the dirty pages with
> WRITE_SYNC priority. So with a heavy load, I suspect this is going to
> be more of a VM issue, and especially figuring out how to tune more
> aggressive write-throttling may be key here.

firstly, I'd like to report my reproduce test result.

test environment: no lvm, copy ext3 to ext3 (not mv), no change swappiness,
CFQ is used, userland is Fedora10, mmotm(2.6.30-rc1 + mm patch),
CPU opteronx4, mem 4G

mouse move lag: not happend
window move lag: not happend
Mapped page decrease rapidly: not happend (I guess, these page stay in
active list on my system)
page fault large latency: happend (latencytop display >200ms)

Then, I don't doubt vm replacement logic now.
but I need more investigate.
I plan to try following thing today and tommorow.

- another io scheduler (thanks Ted, good view point)
- Rik's new patch

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