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Re: [Xen-devel] [RFC PATCH] Start PV guest faster

>>> Frediano Ziglio <frediano.ziglio@xxxxxxxxxx> 05/29/14 7:24 PM >>>
>On Tue, 2014-05-20 at 10:30 +0100, Jan Beulich wrote:
>> >>> On 20.05.14 at 09:26, <frediano.ziglio@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> > It's a while I noticed that the time to start a large PV guest depends
>> > on the amount of memory. For VMs with 64 or more GB of ram the time can
>> > become quite significant (like 20 seconds). Digging around I found that
>> > a lot of time is spend populating RAM (from a single hypercall made by
>> > xenguest).
>> Did you check whether - like noticed elsewhere - this is due to
>> excessive hypercall preemption/restart? I.e. whether making
>> the preemption checks less fine grained helps?
>Yes, you are right!
>Sorry for late reply, I got some time only now. Doing some tests with a
>not so bug machine (3gb) and using strace to see amount of time spent
>| Xen preempt check | User allocation | Time all ioctls (sec) |
>| yes               | single pages    | 0.262                 |
>| no                | single pages    | 0.0612                |
>| yes               | bunk of pages   | 0.0325                |
>| no                | bunk of pages   | 0.0280                |
>So yes, preemption check (I disable entirely for the tests!) is the main
>factor. Of course disabling entirely is not the right solution. Are
>there some way to understand how often to do, some sort of

If you look at other instances, it's mostly heuristic at this point. I suppose
you'd want to make the preemption granularity slightly allocation order
dependent, e.g. preempt every 64 pages allocated (unless, of course, the
allocation order is even higher than that).

Generally a time based approach (say every millisecond) might be
reasonable too, but reading out the time on each iteration isn't without
cost, so I'd recommend against this.


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