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Re: [dm-devel] [Lsf-pc] [LSF/MM TOPIC] a few storage topics

On Sun 22-01-12 14:21:51, Boaz Harrosh wrote:
> On 01/19/2012 11:46 AM, Jan Kara wrote:
> >>
> >> OK That one is interesting. Because I'd imagine that the Kernel would not
> >> start write-out on a busily modified page.
> >   So currently writeback doesn't use the fact how busily is page modified.
> > After all whole mm has only two sorts of pages - active & inactive - which
> > reflects how often page is accessed but says nothing about how often is it
> > dirtied. So we don't have this information in the kernel and it would be
> > relatively (memory) expensive to keep it.
> > 
> Don't we? what about the information used by the IO elevators per-io-group.
> Is it not collected at redirty time. Is it only recorded by the time a bio
> is submitted? How does the io-elevator keeps small IO behind heavy writer
> latency bound? We could use the reverse of that to not IO the "too soon"
  IO elevator is at rather different level. It only starts tracking
something once we have struct request. So it knows nothing about
redirtying, or even pages as such. Also prioritization works only with the
requst granularity. Sure, big requests will take longer to complete but
maximum request size is relatively low (512k by default) so writing maximum
sized request isn't that much slower than writing 4k. So it works OK in

> >> Some heavy modifying then a single write. If it's not so then there is
> >> already great inefficiency, just now exposed, but was always there. The
> >> "page-migrate" mentioned here will not help.
> >   Yes, but I believe RT guy doesn't redirty the page that often. It is just
> > that if you have to meet certain latency criteria, you cannot afford a
> > single case where you have to wait. And if you redirty pages, you are bound
> > to hit PageWriteback case sooner or later.
> > 
> OK, thanks. I need this overview. What you mean is that since the writeback
> fires periodically then there must be times when the page or group of pages
> are just in the stage of changing and the writeback takes only half of the
> modification.
> So What if we let the dirty data always wait that writeback timeout, if
  What do you mean by writeback timeout?

> the pages are "to-new" and memory condition is fine, then postpone the
  And what do you mean by "to-new"?

> writeout to the next round. (Assuming we have that information from the
> first part)
  Sorry, I don't understand your idea...

> >> Could we not better our page write-out algorithms to avoid heavy
> >> contended pages?
> >   That's not so easy. Firstly, you'll have track and keep that information
> > somehow. Secondly, it is better to writeout a busily dirtied page than to
> > introduce a seek. 
> Sure I'd say we just go on the timestamp of the first page in the group.
> Because I'd imagine that the application has changed that group of pages
> ruffly at the same time.
  We don't have a timestamp on a page. What we have is a timestamp on an
inode. Ideally that would be a time when the oldest dirty page in the inode
was dirtied. Practically, we cannot really keep that information (e.g.
after writing just some dirty pages in an inode)  so it is rather crude
approximation of that.

> > Also definition of 'busy' differs for different purposes.
> > So to make this useful the logic won't be trivial. 
> I don't think so. 1st: io the oldest data. 2nd: Postpone the IO of
> "too new data". So any dirtying has some "aging time" before attack. The
> aging time is very much related to your writeback timer. (Which is
>  "the amount of memory buffer you want to keep" divide by your writeout-rate)
  Again I repeat - you don't want to introduce seek into your IO stream
only because that single page got dirtied too recently. For randomly
written files there's always some compromise between how linear IO you want
and how much you want to reflect page aging. Currently to go for 'totally
linear' which is easier to do and generally better for throughput.

> > Thirdly, the benefit is
> > questionable anyway (at least for most of realistic workloads) because
> > flusher thread doesn't write the pages all that often - when there are not
> > many pages, we write them out just once every couple of seconds, when we
> > have lots of dirty pages we cycle through all of them so one page is not
> > written that often.
> Exactly, so lets make sure dirty is always "couple of seconds" old. Don't let
> that timer sample data that is just been dirtied.
> Which brings me to another subject in the second case "when we have lots of
> dirty pages". I wish we could talk at LSF/MM about how to not do a dumb cycle
> on sb's inodes but do a time sort write-out. The writeout is always started
> from the lowest addressed page (inode->i_index) so take the time-of-dirty of
> that page as the sorting factor of the inode. And maybe keep a min-inode-dirty-time
> per SB to prioritize on SBs.
  Boaz, we already do track inodes by dirty time and do writeback in that
order. Go read that code in fs/fs-writeback.c.
> Because you see elevator-less FileSystems. Which are none-block-dev BDIs like
> NFS or exofs have a problem. An heavy writer can easily totally starve a slow
> IOer (read or write). I can easily demonstrate how an NFS heavy writer starves
> a KDE desktop to a crawl.
  Currently, we rely on IO scheduler to protect light writers / readers.
You are right that for non-block filesystems that is problematic because
for them it is not hard to starve light readers by heavy writers. But
that doesn't seem like a problem of writeback but rather as a problem of
NFS client or exofs? Especially in the reader-vs-writer case writeback
simply doesn't have enough information and isn't the right place to solve
your problems. And I agree it would be stupid to duplicate code in CFQ in
several places so maybe you could lift some parts of it and generalize them
enough so that they can be used by others. 

> We should be starting to think on IO fairness and interactivity at the
> VFS layer. So to not let every none-block-FS solve it's own problem all
> over again.

Jan Kara <jack suse cz>

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