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SubjectRe: [PATCH 06/17] writeback: sync expired inodes first in background writeback
On Thu, May 12, 2011 at 09:57:12PM +0800, Wu Fengguang wrote:
> A background flush work may run for ever. So it's reasonable for it to
> mimic the kupdate behavior of syncing old/expired inodes first.
>
> At each queue_io() time, first try enqueuing only newly expired inodes.
> If there are zero expired inodes to work with, then relax the rule and
> enqueue all dirty inodes.
>
> It at least makes sense from the data integrity point of view.
>
> This may also reduce the number of dirty pages encountered by page
> reclaim, eg. the pageout() calls. Normally older inodes contain older
> dirty pages, which are more close to the end of the LRU lists. So
> syncing older inodes first helps reducing the dirty pages reached by the
> page reclaim code.
>
> More background: as Mel put it, "it makes sense to write old pages first
> to reduce the chances page reclaim is initiating IO."
>
> Rik also presented the situation with a graph:
>
> LRU head [*] dirty page
> [ * * * * * * * * * * *]
>
> Ideally, most dirty pages should lie close to the LRU tail instead of
> LRU head. That requires the flusher thread to sync old/expired inodes
> first (as there are obvious correlations between inode age and page
> age), and to give fair opportunities to newly expired inodes rather
> than sticking with some large eldest inodes (as larger inodes have
> weaker correlations in the inode<=>page ages).
>
> This patch helps the flusher to meet both the above requirements.
>
> Side effects: it might reduce the batch size and hence reduce
> inode_wb_list_lock hold time, but in turn make the cluster-by-partition
> logic in the same function less effective on reducing disk seeks.
>
> v2: keep policy changes inside wb_writeback() and keep the
> wbc.older_than_this visibility as suggested by Dave.
>
> CC: Dave Chinner <david@fromorbit.com>
> Acked-by: Jan Kara <jack@suse.cz>
> Acked-by: Rik van Riel<riel@redhat.com>
> Acked-by: Mel Gorman <mel@csn.ul.ie>
> Signed-off-by: Wu Fengguang <fengguang.wu@intel.com>
> ---
> fs/fs-writeback.c | 16 +++++++++++++++-
> 1 file changed, 15 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)
>
> --- linux-next.orig/fs/fs-writeback.c 2011-05-05 23:30:25.000000000 +0800
> +++ linux-next/fs/fs-writeback.c 2011-05-05 23:30:26.000000000 +0800
> @@ -718,7 +718,7 @@ static long wb_writeback(struct bdi_writ
> if (work->for_background && !over_bground_thresh())
> break;
>
> - if (work->for_kupdate) {
> + if (work->for_kupdate || work->for_background) {
> oldest_jif = jiffies -
> msecs_to_jiffies(dirty_expire_interval * 10);
> wbc.older_than_this = &oldest_jif;
> @@ -729,6 +729,7 @@ static long wb_writeback(struct bdi_writ
> wbc.pages_skipped = 0;
> wbc.inodes_cleaned = 0;
>
> +retry:
> trace_wbc_writeback_start(&wbc, wb->bdi);
> if (work->sb)
> __writeback_inodes_sb(work->sb, wb, &wbc);
> @@ -752,6 +753,19 @@ static long wb_writeback(struct bdi_writ
> if (wbc.inodes_cleaned)
> continue;
> /*
> + * background writeback will start with expired inodes, and
> + * if none is found, fallback to all inodes. This order helps
> + * reduce the number of dirty pages reaching the end of LRU
> + * lists and cause trouble to the page reclaim.
> + */
> + if (work->for_background &&
> + wbc.older_than_this &&
> + list_empty(&wb->b_io) &&
> + list_empty(&wb->b_more_io)) {
> + wbc.older_than_this = NULL;
> + goto retry;
> + }
> + /*
> * No more inodes for IO, bail
> */
> if (!wbc.more_io)

I have to say that I dislike this implicit nested looping structure
using a goto. It would seem better to me to make it explicit that we
can do multiple writeback calls by using a do/while loop here and
moving the logic of setting/resetting wbc.older_than_this to one
place inside the nested loop...

Cheers,

Dave.
--
Dave Chinner
david@fromorbit.com


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