|From:||Christoph Lameter <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|To:||Andy Whitcroft <email@example.com>|
|Subject:||[RFC 00/26] Slab defragmentation V5|
|Date:||Fri, 31 Aug 2007 18:41:07 -0700|
Slab defragmentation is mainly an issue if Linux is used as a fileserver and large amounts of dentries, inodes and buffer heads accumulate. In some load situations the slabs become very sparsely populated so that a lot of memory is wasted by slabs that only contain one or a few objects. In extreme cases the performance of a machine will become sluggish since we are continually running reclaim. Slab defragmentation adds the capability to recover wasted memory. For lumpy reclaim slab defragmentation can be used to enhance the ability to recover larger contiguous areas of memory. Lumpy reclaim currently cannot do anything if a slab page is encountered. With slab defragmentation that slab page can be removed and a large contiguous page freed. It may be possible to have slab pages also part of ZONE_MOVABLE (Mel's defrag scheme in 2.6.23) or the MOVABLE areas (antifrag patches in mm). The trouble with this patchset is that it is difficult to validate. Activities are only performed when special load situations are encountered. Are there any tests that could give meaningful information about the effectiveness of these measures? I have run various tests here creating and deleting files and building kernels under low memory situations to trigger these reclaim mechanisms but how does one measure their effectiveness? The patchset is also available via git git pull git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/christoph/slab.git defrag We currently support the following types of reclaim: 1. dentry cache 2. inode cache (with a generic interface to allow easy setup of more filesystems than the currently supported ext2/3/4 reiserfs, XFS and proc) 3. buffer_head One typical mechanism that triggers slab defragmentation on my systems is the daily run of updatedb Updatedb scans all files on the system which causes a high inode and dentry use. After updatedb is complete we need to go back to the regular use patterns (typical on my machine: kernel compiles). Those need the memory now for different purposes. The inodes and dentries used for updatedb will gradually be aged by the dentry/inode reclaim algorithm which will free up the dentries and inode entries randomly through the slabs that were allocated. As a result the slabs will become sparsely populated. If they become empty then they can be freed but a lot of them will remain sparsely populated. That is where slab defrag comes in: It removes the slabs with just a few entries reclaiming more memory for other uses. V4->V5: - Support lumpy reclaim for slabs - Support reclaim via slab_shrink() - Add constructors to insure a consistent object state at all times. V3->V4: - Optimize scan for slabs that need defragmentation - Add /sys/slab/*/defrag_ratio to allow setting defrag limits per slab. - Add support for buffer heads. - Describe how the cleanup after the daily updatedb can be improved by slab defragmentation. V2->V3 - Support directory reclaim - Add infrastructure to trigger defragmentation after slab shrinking if we have slabs with a high degree of fragmentation. V1->V2 - Clean up control flow using a state variable. Simplify API. Back to 2 functions that now take arrays of objects. - Inode defrag support for a set of filesystems - Fix up dentry defrag support to work on negative dentries by adding a new dentry flag that indicates that a dentry is not in the process of being freed or allocated. -- - To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-fsdevel" in the body of a message to firstname.lastname@example.org More majordomo info at http://vger.kernel.org/majordomo-info.html
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