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SubjectRe: [PATCH 13/32] Documentation, x86: Documentation for Intel resource allocation user interface
On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 02:47:30PM +0200, Thomas Gleixner wrote:
> On Tue, 12 Jul 2016, Fenghua Yu wrote:
> > +3. Hierarchy in rscctrl
> > +=======================
> What means rscctrl?
> You were not able to find a more cryptic acronym?

rscctrl == resource control

Intel marketing would (probably) like us to use:

/sys/fs/Intel(R) Resource Director Technology(TM)/

Happy to take suggestions for something in between those
extremes :-)

> > +Any tasks scheduled on the cpus will use the schemas. User can set
> > +both "cpus" and "tasks" to share the same schema in one directory. But when
> > +a CPU is bound to a schema, a task running on the CPU uses this schema and
> > +kernel will ignore scheam set up for the task in "tasks".
> This does not make any sense.
> When a task is bound to a schema then this should have preference over the
> schema which is associated to the CPU. The CPU association is meant for tasks
> which are not bound to a particular partition/schema.
> So the initial setup should be:
> - All CPUs are associated to the root resource partition
> - No thread is associated to a particular resource partition
> When a thread is added to a 'tasks' file of a partition then this partition
> takes preference. If it's removed, i.e. the association to a partition is
> undone, then the CPU association is used.
> I have no idea why you think that all threads should be in a tasks file by
> default. Associating CPUs in the first place makes a lot more sense as it
> represents the topology of the system nicely.

If we did it that way, it would be harder to change the default
resources. E.g. now we start with all processes in the root
rdtgroup. We can change the schema for the root group and restrict
them to, say, 60% of L3 cache on one (or all) sockets - giving us
40% of cache to give out to one or more groups.

So what we've implemented (and perhaps need to explain better here)
is that every thread always belongs to one (and only one) rdtgroup.
It will use the resources described in that group whereever it runs,
except in the case where we have designated some cpus as special snowflakes.
When a cpu is assigned to an rdtgroup the schema for the cpu has
precedence (i.e. we write the MSR with a CLOSID once, and then it
never changes).

Some of this is confusing because people will very likely also use
cpu affinity to control where their processes run. But affinity is
orthogonal to rdtgroup membership.

I think what we have allows you to so all the things we talked about.
But if we are missing a case, or if things can be simplified while
still retaining the same functionality then lets discuss that.
Otherwise we can revise the documentation to explain all this better.

> > +Initial value is all zeros which means there is no CPU bound to the schemas
> > +in the root directory and tasks use the schemas.
> As I said above this is backwards.

> > +If one resource is disabled, its line is not shown in schemas file.
> That means:
> Resources which are not described in a schemata file are disabled for
> that particular partition.
> Right?
> Now that raises the question how this is supposed to work. Let's assume that
> we have a partition 'foo' and thread X is in the tasks file of that
> partition. The schema of that partition contains only an L2 entry. What's the
> L3 association for thread X? Nothing at all?

Resources are either enabled or disabled globally. Each schema file
must provide details for every enabled resource. So if we are on a
processor that supports both L2 and L3, we will normally have schema
files that specify both. We could boot with the "disable_cat_l2"
kernel command line option and then every schema file would just
specify L3 (and the MSRs for L2 would all be set to all-ones so that
everyone had full access to the L2 on each core).

> > +User can create a sub-directory under the root directory by "mkdir" command.
> > +User can remove the sub-directory by "rmdir" command.
> User? Any user?

Well if someone did:
# chmod 777 /sys/fs/rscctrl
then any user could make directories. That would be inadvisable.
You could use 775 and let a trusted group have control so that you
didn't require root access to modify things.

Should we say "system administrator" rather than "user"?


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