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SubjectRe: [PATCH v1 3/3] virtio-balloon: Switch back to OOM handler for VIRTIO_BALLOON_F_DEFLATE_ON_OOM
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>> There was a report that this results in undesired side effects when
>> inflating the balloon to shrink the page cache. [1]
>> "When inflating the balloon against page cache (i.e. no free memory
>> remains) vmscan.c will both shrink page cache, but also invoke the
>> shrinkers -- including the balloon's shrinker. So the balloon
>> driver allocates memory which requires reclaim, vmscan gets this
>> memory by shrinking the balloon, and then the driver adds the
>> memory back to the balloon. Basically a busy no-op."
>>
>> The name "deflate on OOM" makes it pretty clear when deflation should
>> happen - after other approaches to reclaim memory failed, not while
>> reclaiming. This allows to minimize the footprint of a guest - memory
>> will only be taken out of the balloon when really needed.
>>
>> Especially, a drop_slab() will result in the whole balloon getting
>> deflated - undesired.
>
> Could you explain why some more? drop_caches shouldn't be really used in
> any production workloads and if somebody really wants all the cache to
> be dropped then why is balloon any different?
>

Deflation should happen when the guest is out of memory, not when
somebody thinks it's time to reclaim some memory. That's what the
feature promised from the beginning: Only give the guest more memory in
case it *really* needs more memory.

Deflate on oom, not deflate on reclaim/memory pressure. (that's what the
report was all about)

A priority for shrinkers might be a step into the right direction.

--
Thanks,

David / dhildenb

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