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Re: [Xen-devel] [PATCH] xen-netfront: Fix handling packets on compound pages with skb_linearize

On 01.12.2014 14:59, Zoltan Kiss wrote:
> On 01/12/14 13:36, David Vrabel wrote:
>> On 01/12/14 08:55, Stefan Bader wrote:
>>> On 11.08.2014 19:32, Zoltan Kiss wrote:
>>>> There is a long known problem with the netfront/netback interface: if the 
>>>> guest
>>>> tries to send a packet which constitues more than MAX_SKB_FRAGS + 1 ring 
>>>> slots,
>>>> it gets dropped. The reason is that netback maps these slots to a frag in 
>>>> the
>>>> frags array, which is limited by size. Having so many slots can occur since
>>>> compound pages were introduced, as the ring protocol slice them up into
>>>> individual (non-compound) page aligned slots. The theoretical worst case
>>>> scenario looks like this (note, skbs are limited to 64 Kb here):
>>>> linear buffer: at most PAGE_SIZE - 17 * 2 bytes, overlapping page boundary,
>>>> using 2 slots
>>>> first 15 frags: 1 + PAGE_SIZE + 1 bytes long, first and last bytes are at 
>>>> the
>>>> end and the beginning of a page, therefore they use 3 * 15 = 45 slots
>>>> last 2 frags: 1 + 1 bytes, overlapping page boundary, 2 * 2 = 4 slots
>>>> Although I don't think this 51 slots skb can really happen, we need a 
>>>> solution
>>>> which can deal with every scenario. In real life there is only a few slots
>>>> overdue, but usually it causes the TCP stream to be blocked, as the retry 
>>>> will
>>>> most likely have the same buffer layout.
>>>> This patch solves this problem by linearizing the packet. This is not the
>>>> fastest way, and it can fail much easier as it tries to allocate a big 
>>>> linear
>>>> area for the whole packet, but probably easier by an order of magnitude 
>>>> than
>>>> anything else. Probably this code path is not touched very frequently 
>>>> anyway.
>>>> Signed-off-by: Zoltan Kiss <zoltan.kiss@xxxxxxxxxx>
>>>> Cc: Wei Liu <wei.liu2@xxxxxxxxxx>
>>>> Cc: Ian Campbell <Ian.Campbell@xxxxxxxxxx>
>>>> Cc: Paul Durrant <paul.durrant@xxxxxxxxxx>
>>>> Cc: netdev@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>>> Cc: linux-kernel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>>> Cc: xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>> This does not seem to be marked explicitly as stable. Has someone already 
>>> asked
>>> David Miller to put it on his stable queue? IMO it qualifies quite well and 
>>> the
>>> actual change should be simple to pick/backport.
>> I think it's a candidate, yes.
>> Can you expand on the user visible impact of the bug this patch fixes?
>> I think it results in certain types of traffic not working (because the
>> domU always generates skb's with the problematic frag layout), but I
>> can't remember the details.
> Yes, this line in the comment talks about it: "In real life there is only a 
> few
> slots overdue, but usually it causes the TCP stream to be blocked, as the 
> retry
> will most likely have the same buffer layout."
> Maybe we can add what kind of traffic triggered this so far, AFAIK NFS was one
> of them, and Stefan had an another use case. But my memories are blur about 
> this.

We had some report about some web-app hitting packet losses. I suspect that also
was streaming something. For a easy trigger we found redis-benchmark (part of
the redis keyserver) with a larger (iirc 1kB) payload would trigger the
fragmentation/exceeding pages to happen. Though I think it did not fail but
showed a performance drop instead (from memory which also suffers from loosing

> Zoli

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