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SubjectRe: [PATCH 4/8] mm: migration: Allow migration to operate asynchronously and avoid synchronous compaction in the faster path
On Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 06:34:38PM +0000, Mel Gorman wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 07:21:06PM +0100, Andrea Arcangeli wrote:
> > On Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 04:22:45PM +0000, Mel Gorman wrote:
> > > @@ -484,6 +486,7 @@ static unsigned long compact_zone_order(struct zone *zone,
> > > .order = order,
> > > .migratetype = allocflags_to_migratetype(gfp_mask),
> > > .zone = zone,
> > > + .sync = false,
> > > };
> > > INIT_LIST_HEAD(&cc.freepages);
> > > INIT_LIST_HEAD(&cc.migratepages);
> >
> > I like this because I'm very afraid to avoid wait-I/O latencies
> > introduced into hugepage allocations that I prefer to fail quickly and
> > be handled later by khugepaged ;).
> >
> As you can see from the graphs in the leader, it makes a big difference to
> latency as well to avoid sync migration where possible.

Yep, amazing benchmarking work you did! Great job indeed.

I thought of this sync wait in migrate myself as being troublesome a
few days ago as I was reviewing the btrfs migration bug that I helped
track down this week (triggering only with THP because it exercises
compaction and in turn migration more often than upstream, it's rare
to get any order > 4 allocation with upstream that would exercise
compaction and trip on the btrfs fs corruption, it really had nothing
to do with THP as I expected).

> We could pass gfp flags in I guess and abuse __GFP_NO_KSWAPD (from the THP
> series obviously)?

That would work for me... :)

> Yes, it's the "slower" path where we've already reclaim pages and more
> willing to wait for the compaction to occur as the alternative is failing
> the allocation.

I've noticed, which is why I think it's equivalent to invoking the
second try_to_compact_pages with (fast_scan=false, sync=true) (and the
first of course with (fast_scan=true, sync=false)).
> I'll think about it more. I could just leave it at try_to_compact_pages
> doing the zonelist scan although it's not immediately occuring to me how I
> should decide between sync and async other than "async the first time and
> sync after that". The allocator does not have the same "reclaim priority"
> awareness that reclaim does.

I think the "migrate async & fast scan first, migrate sync and full
scan later" is a simpler heuristic we can do and I expect it to work
fine and equivalent (if not better).

I'm undecided if it worth to run the hugepage page fault with "async &
fast scan always" by abusing __GFP_NO_KSWAPD or by adding a
__GFP_COMPACT_FAST. Of course it would only make a difference mostly
if the hugepage allocation has to fail often (like 95% of ram in
hugepages with slab spread over 10% of ram) so that is a corner case
that not everybody experiences... Probably not worth it.

Increasing nr_to_reclaim to 1<<order only when the compaction_suitable
checks are not satisfied and compaction becomes a noop, may also be
worth investigating (as long as there are enough cond_resched() inside
those loops ;). But hey I'm not sure if it's really needed...

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