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Re: [Xen-devel] alloc_heap_pages is low efficient with more CPUs

>>> On 16.10.12 at 10:03, Keir Fraser <keir.xen@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On 16/10/2012 08:51, "Jan Beulich" <JBeulich@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>>>> On 15.10.12 at 17:45, Keir Fraser <keir@xxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> On 15/10/2012 14:27, "tupeng212" <tupeng212@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>>> Please try the attached patch.
>>>> : Great!  you have done a good job, needless time decreases badly to 1s.
>>>> If anybody has no proposal, I suggest you to commit this patch.
>>> I have applied it to xen-unstable. It probably makes sense to put it in 4.1
>>> and 4.2 as well (cc'ed Jan, and attaching the backport for 4.1 again).
>> Will do, but do you have an explanation how this simple, memory
>> only operation (64 CPUs isn't that many) has this dramatic an
>> effect on performance. Are we bouncing cache lines this badly? If
>> so, which one(s)? I don't see what would be written frequently
>> from multiple CPUs here - tlbflush_filter() itself only reads global
>> variables, but never writes them.
> It's just the small factors multiplying up. A 40G domain is 10M page
> allocations, each of which does 64x per-cpu cpumask bitops and timestamp
> compares. That's going on for a billion (10^9) times round
> tlbflush_filter()s loop. Each iteration need only take a few CPU cycles for
> the effect to actually be noticeable. If the stuff being touched were not in
> the cache (which of course it is, since this path is so hot and not touching
> much memory) it would probably take an hour to create the domain!

Which means that your TODO remark in the change description
is more than a nice-to-have, since
- in the fallback case using 4k allocations your change doesn't
  win anything
- even larger domains would still suffer from this very problem
  (albeit in 4.2 we try 1G allocations first, so your change should
  have an even more visible effect there, as long as falling back
  to smaller chunks isn't needed)

One question of course is whether, for sufficiently large allocation
requests on sufficiently large systems, trying to avoid the TLB
flush is worth it at all, considering that determining where to skip
the flushes is costing so much more than the flushes themselves.


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