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SubjectRE: [GIT PULL] mm: frontswap (for 3.2 window)
> From: Andrea Arcangeli [mailto:aarcange@redhat.com]
> Subject: Re: [GIT PULL] mm: frontswap (for 3.2 window)

Hi Andrea --

Sorry for the delayed response... and for continuing this
thread further, but I want to ensure I answer your
points.

First, did you see my reply to Rik that suggested a design
as to how KVM could do batching with no change to the
hooks or frontswap_ops API? (Basically a guest-side
cache and add a batching op to the KVM-tmem ABI.) I think
it resolves your last remaining concern (too many vmexits),
so am eager to see if you agree.

> Like somebody already pointed out (and I agree) it'd be nice to get
> the patches posted to the mailing list (with git send-emails/hg

Frontswap v10 https://lkml.org/lkml/2011/9/15/367 as last posted
to linux-mm has identical code to the git commits... in response
to Konrad and Kame, the commit-set was slightly reorganized and
extended from 6 commits to 8, but absolutely no code differences.
Since no code was changed between v10 and v11, I didn't repost v11
to linux-mm.

Note, every version of frontswap was posted to linux-mm and
cc'ed to Andrew, Hugh, Nick and Rik and I was very diligent
in responding to all comments... Wish I would have
cc'ed you all along as this has been a great discussion.

> email/quilt) and get them merged into -mm first.

Sorry, I'm still a newbie on this process, but just to clarify,
"into -mm" means Andrew merges the patches, right? Andrew
said in the first snippet of https://lkml.org/lkml/2011/11/1/317
that linux-next is fine, so I'm not sure whether to follow your
advice or not.

> Thanks. So this overall sounds fairly positive (or at least better
> than neutral) to me.

Excellent!

> On my side I hope it get improved over time to get the best out of
> it. I've not been hugely impressed so far because at this point in
> time it doesn't seem a vast improvement in runtime behavior compared
> to what zram could provide, like Rik said there's no iov/SG/vectored
> input to tmem_put (which I'd find more intuitive renamed to
> tmem_store), like Avi said ramster is synchronous and not good having
> to wait a long time. But if we can make these plugins stackable and we
> can put a storage backend at the end we could do
> storage+zcache+frontswap.

This thread has been so long, I don't even remember what I've
replied to who, so just to clarify on these several points,
in case you didn't see these elsewhere in the thread:

- Nitin Gupta, author of zram, thinks zcache is an improvement
over zram because it is more flexible/dynamic
- KVM can do batching fairly easily with no changes to the
hooks or frontswap_ops with the design I recently proposed
- RAMster is synchronous, but the requirement is _only_ on the
"local" put... once the data is "in tmem", asynchronous threads
can do other things with it (like RAMster moving the pages
to a tmem pool on a remote system)
- the plugins as they exist today (Xen, zcache) aren't stackable,
but the frontswap_ops registration already handles stacking,
so it is certainly a good future enhancement... RAMster
already does "stacking", but by incorporating a copy of
the zcache code. (I think that's just a code organization
issue that can be resolved if/when RAMster goes into staging.)

With these in mind, I hope you will now be even a "lot more
happy now" with frontswap and MUCH better than neutral. :-) :-)

Dan


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