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SubjectRe: [PATCH][RF C/T/D] Unmapped page cache control - via boot parameter
On 03/15/2010 11:17 AM, Balbir Singh wrote:
> * Avi Kivity<avi@redhat.com> [2010-03-15 10:27:45]:
>
>
>> On 03/15/2010 10:07 AM, Balbir Singh wrote:
>>
>>> * Avi Kivity<avi@redhat.com> [2010-03-15 09:48:05]:
>>>
>>>
>>>> On 03/15/2010 09:22 AM, Balbir Singh wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Selectively control Unmapped Page Cache (nospam version)
>>>>>
>>>>> From: Balbir Singh<balbir@linux.vnet.ibm.com>
>>>>>
>>>>> This patch implements unmapped page cache control via preferred
>>>>> page cache reclaim. The current patch hooks into kswapd and reclaims
>>>>> page cache if the user has requested for unmapped page control.
>>>>> This is useful in the following scenario
>>>>>
>>>>> - In a virtualized environment with cache!=none, we see
>>>>> double caching - (one in the host and one in the guest). As
>>>>> we try to scale guests, cache usage across the system grows.
>>>>> The goal of this patch is to reclaim page cache when Linux is running
>>>>> as a guest and get the host to hold the page cache and manage it.
>>>>> There might be temporary duplication, but in the long run, memory
>>>>> in the guests would be used for mapped pages.
>>>>>
>>>> Well, for a guest, host page cache is a lot slower than guest page cache.
>>>>
>>>>
>>> Yes, it is a virtio call away, but is the cost of paying twice in
>>> terms of memory acceptable?
>>>
>> Usually, it isn't, which is why I recommend cache=off.
>>
>>
> cache=off works for *direct I/O* supported filesystems and my concern is that
> one of the side-effects is that idle VM's can consume a lot of memory
> (assuming all the memory is available to them). As the number of VM's
> grow, they could cache a whole lot of memory. In my experiments I
> found that the total amount of memory cached far exceeded the mapped
> ratio by a large amount when we had idle VM's. The philosophy of this
> patch is to move the caching to the _host_ and let the host maintain
> the cache instead of the guest.
>

That's only beneficial if the cache is shared. Otherwise, you could use
the balloon to evict cache when memory is tight.

Shared cache is mostly a desktop thing where users run similar
workloads. For servers, it's much less likely. So a modified-guest
doesn't help a lot here.

>>> One of the reasons I created a boot
>>> parameter was to deal with selective enablement for cases where
>>> memory is the most important resource being managed.
>>>
>>> I do see a hit in performance with my results (please see the data
>>> below), but the savings are quite large. The other solution mentioned
>>> in the TODOs is to have the balloon driver invoke this path. The
>>> sysctl also allows the guest to tune the amount of unmapped page cache
>>> if needed.
>>>
>>> The knobs are for
>>>
>>> 1. Selective enablement
>>> 2. Selective control of the % of unmapped pages
>>>
>> An alternative path is to enable KSM for page cache. Then we have
>> direct read-only guest access to host page cache, without any guest
>> modifications required. That will be pretty difficult to achieve
>> though - will need a readonly bit in the page cache radix tree, and
>> teach all paths to honour it.
>>
>>
> Yes, it is, I've taken a quick look. I am not sure if de-duplication
> would be the best approach, may be dropping the page in the page cache
> might be a good first step. Data consistency would be much easier to
> maintain that way, as long as the guest is not writing frequently to
> that page, we don't need the page cache in the host.
>

Trimming the host page cache should happen automatically under
pressure. Since the page is cached by the guest, it won't be re-read,
so the host page is not frequently used and then dropped.

--
error compiling committee.c: too many arguments to function



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