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SubjectRe: cgroup blkio bug/feedback
Rsync iops limiting thing was that I've tried limiting when rsync-ing
from /dev/sdc (mounted as /ssd) to /home/ssd-copy (/home is /dev/md2).
During that usage I've encountred overloads and system unresponsivness
even greater than when not using limiting at all.

I've also tried to limit iops for every "normal" user (not deamon
running users) in the system for /home (/dev/md2). I've writen script
that initialy assings pids to cgroups and initializes cgrulesengd so
spawned apllications in the future will be in proper croups. I've
encountred system overloads (hard reboot required) every 5-20 hours.
That is also when I specifilcy did not limit tasks that were spawned
by webserver (which are fastcgi php tasks and some passenger tasks).

Anyway as for my other tests with blkio memory limits
(memory.limit_in_bytes) I also got huge system overloads when tasks
were killed. However this were probably due to websever spawning those
again and again imideatly (mainly phusion passenger tasks). I've tried
separating process-es that were spawned by webserver to other, not
limited, cgroup, but as I recall (I've done it about 1,5 month ago)
something were also causing overloads and constatant
kill/respawn/kill/respawn in my production webserver.

As for blkio blkio.weight this would be fine thing, however it causes
loadavg to spike like hell when limiting one process. System is still
very reponsive however what other idication of system overloads we
have other then loadavg? One can't use blkio.weight because of unreal
loadavg readings...

Best thing currently working about blkio is statisics (blkio.io_serviced).

Linux (and every other system in fact) is still lacking proper means
of controlling, debuging and delegating io traffic. This might not be
so much needed when ssd replace hard drives but for now those are
really dark times.

2011/10/13 Vivek Goyal <>:
> On Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 06:37:52AM +0200,  wrote:
>> I was using rsync to copy between two hard drives on same machine. I
>> tried limiting blkio.throttle.read_iops_device and
>> blkio.throttle.write_iops_device to about 15 on the destination drive.
>> I also tried values like 5, 10.
> Ok. So no network involved. Reads and Writes happening on local system
> on different block devices.
> So md raid (9:2) is your source device and destination of rsync is
> some other local block device with a different file system? And you
> have put limits only on destination drive and not on source device?
> Is md raid (9:2) your root disk too?
>> I've even if total overload, previously described, did not occur, I
>> now see (since I've stoped using limiting) that those limits caused
>> also "minor" spikes in loadavg and resposivness of whole system.
> Can you give more details how do you define responsiveness of whole
> syste.
>> Whole
>> idea of iops limiting is to avoid spikes.
> I think if you do some testing and debugging with me, then lets first
> solve the total deadlock case and then look into the responsiveness
> issue.
>> Anyway tests that are made was on kernel which is bit old
>> now. I don't know if there were improvments in cgroup blkio since
>> then.
> I can't think of any very significant changes going in that area since
> 2.6.38.
> Thanks
> Vivek
>> 2011/10/12 Vivek Goyal <>:
>> > On Mon, Oct 03, 2011 at 08:39:23PM +0200,  wrote:
>> >> I've been testing cgroup blkio controller in production eviroment for
>> >> many days now especialy blkio.throttle.write_iops_device and
>> >> blkio.throttle.read_iops_device. I'm using software raid so I have to
>> >> limit on devices like /dev/md2 which is 9:2 in my system. Limiting
>> >> works fine but every some time whole system overloads and only thing
>> >> to do is hard reboot. For two times this happened with cgroup that was
>> >> used to limit rsync-ing about 30GB of data.
>> >
>> > So in this case rsync is reading from local disk and sending it over
>> > network somewhere and you are limiting the read iops of rsync process?
>> >
>> > Or rsync is doing some local buffered writes also and you are trying
>> > to limit those buffered writes?
>> >
>> > Currently throttling works primarily in throttling reads or direct IO.
>> > Buffered writes are not supported. In current writeback code, some IO
>> > shows up at the device in the context of writing application so that
>> > IO will still be throttled. Any IO showing in the context of flusher
>> > thread will be attributed to root group and will not be throttled. Anyway,
>> > once IO less throttling patches from Wu Fengguang are merged, then
>> > all the writeback will be done using flusher threads and none in
>> > writer's context.
>> >
>> > So my first question is what is rsync doing and what kind of limits
>> > have you put.(read/write and what are absolute numbers).
>> >
>> >> Somewhere in the middle
>> >> loadavg starts to rise quicly, shell hangs at every kill command and
>> >> soft reboot does not work.
>> >
>> > Can you do alt-sysrq-t to get a dump on console regarding what various
>> > tasks are doing.
>> >
>> >> When I do echo "9:2 0" >
>> >> blkio.throttle.read_iops_device and echo "9:2 0" >
>> >> blkio.throttle.write_iops_device problem was immeadetly gone.
>> >
>> > I suspect that it is some kind of file system serialization behind
>> > some throttled IO on the device. For example, if your throttlingl
>> > limits are low, then it might happen that rsync writer got throttled
>> > at device and filesystem is waiting for that IO to finish (to release
>> > some lock or something else) and is not allowing any other IO to
>> > proceed.
>> >
>> > Which filesystem are you using? If your limits are not very low,
>> > and system does not recover, then other possibility is that there
>> > is a bug in throttle code and we kind stop dispatching IO from
>> > a cgroup. While load average is going up, can you monitor the
>> > cgroup file "blkio.throttle.io_serviced" and see if IO dispatch
>> > numbers are increasing or not with time.
>> >
>> > You can also take a blktrace of your md device (9:2). Remember to
>> > save traces on a separate disk and separate file system as if your
>> > existing filesystem is kind of stuck, then blktrace will not write
>> > anything to disk.
>> >
>> > You can try one more thing and that is try changing the limit. So if
>> > you have iops limit as X then try setting it to X+1 and if everything
>> > works fine, then it might be the case that throttling logic got stuck
>> > and changing limits gave it an extra kick and it started working again.
>> >
>> > Also, what do you mean by that disk access is still working. How did
>> > you verify that?
>> >
>> > Thanks
>> > Vivek
>> >
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