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SubjectRe: [Linux-nvdimm] [RFC PATCH 0/7] evacuate struct page from the block layer
On Thu, 19 Mar 2015 17:54:15 +0200 Boaz Harrosh <> wrote:

> On 03/19/2015 03:43 PM, Matthew Wilcox wrote:
> <>
> >
> > Dan missed "Support O_DIRECT to a mapped DAX file". More generally, if we
> > want to be able to do any kind of I/O directly to persistent memory,
> > and I think we do, we need to do one of:
> >
> > 1. Construct struct pages for persistent memory
> > 1a. Permanently
> > 1b. While the pages are under I/O
> > 2. Teach the I/O layers to deal in PFNs instead of struct pages
> > 3. Replace struct page with some other structure that can represent both
> > DRAM and PMEM
> >
> > I'm personally a fan of #3, and I was looking at the scatterlist as
> > my preferred data structure. I now believe the scatterlist as it is
> > currently defined isn't sufficient, so we probably end up needing a new
> > data structure. I think Dan's preferred method of replacing struct
> > pages with PFNs is actually less instrusive, but doesn't give us as
> > much advantage (an entirely new data structure would let us move to an
> > extent based system at the same time, instead of sticking with an array
> > of pages). Clearly Boaz prefers 1a, which works well enough for the
> > 8GB NV-DIMMs, but not well enough for the 400GB NV-DIMMs.
> >
> > What's your preference? I guess option 0 is "force all I/O to go
> > through the page cache and then get copied", but that feels like a nasty
> > performance hit.
> Thanks Matthew, you have summarized it perfectly.
> I think #1b might have merit, as well.

It would be interesting to see what a 1b implementation looks like and
how it performs. We already allocate a bunch of temporary things to
support in-flight IO (bio, request) and allocating pageframes on the
same basis seems a fairly logical fit.

It is all a bit of a stopgap, designed to shoehorn
direct-io-to-dax-mapped-memory into the existing world. Longer term
I'd expect us to move to something more powerful, but it's unclear what
that will be at this time, so a stopgap isn't too bad?

This is all contingent upon the prevalence of machines which have vast
amounts of nv memory and relatively small amounts of regular memory.
How confident are we that this really is the future?

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