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SubjectRe: [PATCH 0/8] v5 De-couple sysfs memory directories from memory sections
On 08/12/2010 02:08 PM, Andrew Morton wrote:
> On Mon, 09 Aug 2010 12:53:00 -0500
> Nathan Fontenot <nfont@austin.ibm.com> wrote:
>
>> This set of patches de-couples the idea that there is a single
>> directory in sysfs for each memory section. The intent of the
>> patches is to reduce the number of sysfs directories created to
>> resolve a boot-time performance issue. On very large systems
>> boot time are getting very long (as seen on powerpc hardware)
>> due to the enormous number of sysfs directories being created.
>> On a system with 1 TB of memory we create ~63,000 directories.
>> For even larger systems boot times are being measured in hours.
>
> And those "hours" are mainly due to this problem, I assume.

Yes, those hours are spent creating the sysfs directories for each
of the memory sections.

>
>> This set of patches allows for each directory created in sysfs
>> to cover more than one memory section. The default behavior for
>> sysfs directory creation is the same, in that each directory
>> represents a single memory section. A new file 'end_phys_index'
>> in each directory contains the physical_id of the last memory
>> section covered by the directory so that users can easily
>> determine the memory section range of a directory.
>
> What you're proposing appears to be a non-back-compatible
> userspace-visible change. This is a big issue!
>
> It's not an unresolvable issue, as this is a must-fix problem. But you
> should tell us what your proposal is to prevent breakage of existing
> installations. A Kconfig option would be good, but a boot-time kernel
> command line option which selects the new format would be much better.

This shouldn't break existing installations, unless an architecture chooses
to do so. With my patch only the powerpc/pseries arch is updated such that
what is seen in userspace is different.

The default behavior is maintained for all architectures unless they define
their own version of memory_block_size_bytes(). The default definition of
this routine (defined as __weak in Patch 5/8) sets the memory block size
to the same size it currently is, and thus preserving the exisitng 1 sysfs
directory per memory section. The only change that will be seen is a new
propery for memory section, end_phys_addr, which will have the same value
as the existing 'phys_addr' property.

>
> However you didn't mention this issue at all, and it's the most
> important one.
>
>
>> Updates for version 5 of the patchset include the following:
>>
>> Patch 4/8 Add mutex for add/remove of memory blocks
>> - Define the mutex using DEFINE_MUTEX macro.
>>
>> Patch 8/8 Update memory-hotplug documentation
>> - Add information concerning memory holes in phys_index..end_phys_index.
>
> And you forgot to tell us how long those machines boot with the
> patchset applied, which is the entire point of the patchset!

Yes, I am working on getting more time on our large systems to get
performance numbers with this patch. I'll post them when I get them.

-Nathan


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