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SubjectRe: [PATCH] use unfair spinlock when running on hypervisor.
On Thu, Jun 03, 2010 at 08:38:55PM +1000, Nick Piggin wrote:
> > Guest side:
> >
> > static inline void spin_lock(spinlock_t *lock)
> > {
> > raw_spin_lock(&lock->rlock);
> > + __get_cpu_var(gh_vcpu_ptr)->defer_preempt++;
> > }
> >
> > static inline void spin_unlock(spinlock_t *lock)
> > {
> > + __get_cpu_var(gh_vcpu_ptr)->defer_preempt--;
> > raw_spin_unlock(&lock->rlock);
> > }
> >
> > [similar changes to other spinlock variants]
>
> Great, this is a nice way to improve it.
>
> You might want to consider playing with first taking a ticket, and
> then if we fail to acquire the lock immediately, then increment
> defer_preempt before we start spinning.
>
> The downside of this would be if we waste all our slice on spinning
> and then preempted in the critical section. But with ticket locks
> you can easily see how many entries in the queue in front of you.
> So you could experiment with starting to defer preempt when we
> notice we are getting toward the head of the queue.

Mm - my goal is to avoid long spin times in the first place (because the
owning vcpu was descheduled at an unfortunate time i.e while it was holding a
lock). From that sense, I am targetting preemption-defer of lock *holder*
rather than of lock acquirer. So ideally whenever somebody tries to grab a lock,
it should be free most of the time, it can be held only if the owner is
currently running - which means we won't have to spin too long for the lock.

> Have you also looked at how s390 checks if the owning vcpu is running
> and if so it spins, if not yields to the hypervisor. Something like
> turning it into an adaptive lock. This could be applicable as well.

I don't think even s390 does adaptive spinlocks. Also afaik s390 zVM does gang
scheduling of vcpus, which reduces the severity of this problem very much -
essentially lock acquirer/holder are run simultaneously on different cpus all
the time. Gang scheduling is on my list of things to look at much later
(although I have been warned that its a scalablility nightmare!).

- vatsa


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