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SubjectRe: [PATCH 4/4] mm: page_alloc: Reduce cost of the fair zone allocation policy
On Mon, 30 Jun 2014 17:48:03 +0100 Mel Gorman <> wrote:

> The fair zone allocation policy round-robins allocations between zones
> within a node to avoid age inversion problems during reclaim. If the
> first allocation fails, the batch counts is reset and a second attempt
> made before entering the slow path.
> One assumption made with this scheme is that batches expire at roughly the
> same time and the resets each time are justified. This assumption does not
> hold when zones reach their low watermark as the batches will be consumed
> at uneven rates. Allocation failure due to watermark depletion result in
> additional zonelist scans for the reset and another watermark check before
> hitting the slowpath.
> This patch makes a number of changes that should reduce the overall cost
> o Abort the fair zone allocation policy once remote zones are encountered
> o Use a simplier scan when resetting NR_ALLOC_BATCH
> o Use a simple flag to identify depleted zones instead of accessing a
> potentially write-intensive cache line for counters
> On UMA machines, the effect on overall performance is marginal. The main
> impact is on system CPU usage which is small enough on UMA to begin with.
> This comparison shows the system CPu usage between vanilla, the previous
> patch and this patch.
> 3.16.0-rc2 3.16.0-rc2 3.16.0-rc2
> vanilla checklow-v4 fairzone-v4
> User 390.13 400.85 396.13
> System 404.41 393.60 389.61
> Elapsed 5412.45 5166.12 5163.49
> There is a small reduction and it appears consistent.
> On NUMA machines, the scanning overhead is higher as zones are scanned
> that are ineligible for use by zone allocation policy. This patch fixes
> the zone-order zonelist policy and reduces the numbers of zones scanned
> by the allocator leading to an overall reduction of CPU usage.
> 3.16.0-rc2 3.16.0-rc2 3.16.0-rc2
> vanilla checklow-v4 fairzone-v4
> User 744.05 763.26 778.53
> System 70148.60 49331.48 44905.73
> Elapsed 28094.08 27476.72 27378.98

That's a large change in system time. Does this all include kswapd

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