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SubjectRe: [PATCH][RF C/T/D] Unmapped page cache control - via boot parameter
Am 16.03.2010 10:17, schrieb Avi Kivity:
> On 03/15/2010 10:23 PM, Chris Webb wrote:
>> Avi Kivity<avi@redhat.com> writes:
>>
>>
>>> On 03/15/2010 10:07 AM, Balbir Singh wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>> 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.
>>>
>> Hi Avi. One observation about your recommendation for cache=none:
>>
>> We run hosts of VMs accessing drives backed by logical volumes carved out
>> from md RAID1. Each host has 32GB RAM and eight cores, divided between (say)
>> twenty virtual machines, which pretty much fill the available memory on the
>> host. Our qemu-kvm is new enough that IDE and SCSI drives with writeback
>> caching turned on get advertised to the guest as having a write-cache, and
>> FLUSH gets translated to fsync() by qemu. (Consequently cache=writeback
>> isn't acting as cache=neverflush like it would have done a year ago. I know
>> that comparing performance for cache=none against that unsafe behaviour
>> would be somewhat unfair!)
>>
>> Wasteful duplication of page cache between guest and host notwithstanding,
>> turning on cache=writeback is a spectacular performance win for our guests.
>> For example, even IDE with cache=writeback easily beats virtio with
>> cache=none in most of the guest filesystem performance tests I've tried. The
>> anecdotal feedback from clients is also very strongly in favour of
>> cache=writeback.
>>
>
> Is this with qcow2, raw file, or direct volume access?
>
> I can understand it for qcow2, but for direct volume access this
> shouldn't happen. The guest schedules as many writes as it can,
> followed by a sync. The host (and disk) can then reschedule them
> whether they are in the writeback cache or in the block layer, and must
> sync in the same way once completed.
>
> Perhaps what we need is bdrv_aio_submit() which can take a number of
> requests. For direct volume access, this allows easier reordering
> (io_submit() should plug the queues before it starts processing and
> unplug them when done, though I don't see the code for this?). For
> qcow2, we can coalesce metadata updates for multiple requests into one
> RMW (for example, a sequential write split into multiple 64K-256K write
> requests).

We already do merge sequential writes back into one larger request. So
this is in fact a case that wouldn't benefit from such changes. It may
help for other cases. But even if it did, coalescing metadata writes in
qcow2 sounds like a good way to mess up, so I'd stay with doing it only
for the data itself.

Apart from that, wouldn't your points apply to writeback as well?

Kevin


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