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SubjectRe: [patch 00/41] cpu alloc / cpu ops v3: Optimize per cpu access
Eric Dumazet wrote:
> Mike Travis a écrit :
>> Andrew Morton wrote:
>>> On Thu, 29 May 2008 20:56:20 -0700 Christoph Lameter <> wrote:
>>>> In various places the kernel maintains arrays of pointers indexed by
>>>> processor numbers. These are used to locate objects that need to be used
>>>> when executing on a specirfic processor. Both the slab allocator
>>>> and the page allocator use these arrays and there the arrays are used in
>>>> performance critical code. The allocpercpu functionality is a simple
>>>> allocator to provide these arrays.
>>> All seems reasonable to me. The obvious question is "how do we size
>>> the arena". We either waste memory or, much worse, run out.
>>> And running out is a real possibility, I think. Most people will only
>>> mount a handful of XFS filesystems. But some customer will come along
>>> who wants to mount 5,000, and distributors will need to cater for that,
>>> but how can they?
>>> I wonder if we can arrange for the default to be overridden via a
>>> kernel boot option?
>>> Another obvious question is "how much of a problem will we have with
>>> internal fragmentation"? This might be a drop-dead showstopper.
> Christoph & Mike,
> Please forgive me if I beat a dead horse, but this percpu stuff
> should find its way.
> I wonder why you absolutely want to have only one chunk holding
> all percpu variables, static(vmlinux) & static(modules)
> & dynamically allocated.
> Its *not* possible to put an arbitrary limit to this global zone.
> You'll allways find somebody to break this limit. This is the point
> we must solve, before coding anything.
> Have you considered using a list of fixed size chunks, each chunk
> having its own bitmap ?
> We only want fix offsets between CPU locations. For a given variable,
> we MUST find addresses for all CPUS looking at the same offset table.
> (Then we can optimize things on x86, using %gs/%fs register, instead
> of a table lookup)
> We could chose chunk size at compile time, depending on various
> parameters (32/64 bit arches, or hugepage sizes on NUMA),
> and a minimum value (ABI guarantee)
> On x86_64 && NUMA we could use 2 Mbytes chunks, while
> on x86_32 or non NUMA we should probably use 64 Kbytes.
> At boot time, we setup the first chunk (chunk 0) and copy
> .data.percpu on this chunk, for each possible cpu, and we
> build the bitmap for future dynamic/module percpu allocations.
> So we still have the restriction that sizeofsection(.data.percpu)
> should fit in the chunk 0. Not a problem in practice.
> Then if we need to expand percpu zone for heavy duty machine,
> and chunk 0 is already filled, we can add as many 2 M/ 64K
> chunks we need.
> This would limit the dynamic percpu allocation to 64 kbytes for
> a given variable, so huge users should probably still use a
> different allocator (like oprofile alloc_cpu_buffers() function)
> But at least we dont anymore limit the total size of percpu area.
> I understand you want to offset percpu data to 0, but for
> static percpu data. (pda being included in, to share %gs)
> For dynamically allocated percpu variables (including modules
> ".data.percpu"), nothing forces you to have low offsets,
> relative to %gs/%fs register. Access to these variables
> will be register indirect based anyway (eg %gs:(%rax) )
> 1) NUMA case
> For a 64 bit NUMA arch, chunk size of 2Mbytes
> Allocates 2Mb for each possible processor (on its preferred memory
> node), and compute values to setup offset_of_cpu[NR_CPUS] array.
> Chunk 0
> CPU 0 : virtual address XXXXXX
> CPU 1 : virtual address XXXXXX + offset_of_cpu[1]
> ...
> CPU n : virtual address XXXXXX + offset_of_cpu[n]
> + a shared bitmap
> For next chunks, we could use vmalloc() zone to find
> nr_possible_cpus virtual addresses ranges where you can map
> a 2Mb page per possible cpu, as long as we respect the relative
> delta between each cpu block, that was computed when
> chunk 0 was setup.
> Chunk 1..n
> CPU 0 : virtual address YYYYYYYYYYYYYY
> CPU 1 : virtual address YYYYYYYYYYYYYY + offset_of_cpu[1]
> ...
> CPU n : virtual address YYYYYYYYYYYYYY + offset_of_cpu[n]
> + a shared bitmap (32Kbytes if 8 bytes granularity in allocator)
> For a variable located in chunk 0, its 'address' relative to current
> cpu %gs will be some number between [0 and 2^20-1]
> For a variable located in chunk 1, its 'address' relative to current
> cpu %gs will be some number between
> not necessarly [2^20 to 2^21 - 1]
> Chunk 0 would use normal memory (no vmap TLB cost), only next ones need vmalloc().
> So the extra TLB cost would only be taken for very special NUMA setups
> (only if using a lot of percpu allocations)
> Also, using a 2Mb page granularity probably wastes about 2Mb per cpu, but
> this is nothing for NUMA machines :)
> 2) SMP && !NUMA
> On non NUMA machines, we dont need vmalloc games, since we can allocate
> chunk space using contiguous memory, (size = nr_possible_cpus*64Kbytes)
> offset_of_cpu[N] = N * CHUNK_SIZE
> (On a 4 CPU x86_32 machine, allocate a 256 Kbyte bloc then divide it in
> 64 kb blocs)
> If this order-6 allocation fails, then fallback to vmalloc(), but most
> percpu allocations happens at boot time, when memory is not yet fragmented...
> 3) UP case : fallback to standard allocators. No need for bitmaps.
> NUMA special casing can be implemented later of course...
> Thanks for reading

Wow! Thanks for the detail! It's extremely useful (to me at least)
to see it spelled out.

Since Christoph is still on vacation I'll try to summarize where we're
at at the moment. (Besides being stuck on a boot up problem with the
%gs based percpu variables that is. ;-)

Yes, the problem is we need to use virtual addresses to expand the
percpu areas since each cpu needs the same fixed offset to the newly
allocated variables. This was in the prior (v2) version of cpu_alloc
so I'm looking at pulling that forward. And I also figured that the
size of the expansion allocations should be based on the system size
to minimize the effect on small systems (seems to be my life the
past 6 months... ;-)

I'm also looking at integrating more into the already present
infrastructure (thanks Rusty!) so there are less "diffs" (and less
new testing needed.) And of course, there's the complexities
of submitting patches to many architectures simultaneously.

Hopefully, I'll have something for review soon.

Thanks again,

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