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Re: [PATCH tip/core/rcu] Reduce overhead of cond_resched() checks for RCU

From:  "Paul E. McKenney" <>
To:  Dave Hansen <>
Subject:  Re: [PATCH tip/core/rcu] Reduce overhead of cond_resched() checks for RCU
Date:  Mon, 23 Jun 2014 17:15:19 -0700
Message-ID:  <>
Archive-link:  Article

On Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 04:30:12PM -0700, Dave Hansen wrote:
> On 06/23/2014 11:09 AM, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> > So let's see...  The open1 benchmark sits in a loop doing open()
> > and close(), and probably spends most of its time in the kernel.
> > It doesn't do much context switching.  I am guessing that you don't
> > have CONFIG_NO_HZ_FULL=y, or the boot/sysfs parameter would not have
> > much effect because then the first quiescent-state-forcing attempt would
> > likely finish the grace period.
> > 
> > So, given that short grace periods help other workloads (I have the
> > scars to prove it), and given that the patch fixes some real problems,
> I'm not arguing that short grace periods _can_ help some workloads, or
> that one is better than the other.  The patch in question changes
> existing behavior by shortening grace periods.  This change of existing
> behavior removes some of the benefits that my system gets out of RCU.  I
> suspect this affects a lot more systems, but my core cout makes it
> easier to see.

And adds some benefits for other systems.  Your tight loop on open() and
close() will be sensitive to some things, and tight loops on other syscalls
will be sensitive to others.

> Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the original patch's intent, but it seemed
> to me to be working around an overactive debug message.  While often a
> _useful_ debug message, it was firing falsely in the case being
> addressed in the patch.

You are indeed misunderstanding the original patch's intent.  It was
preventing OOMs.  The "overactive debug message" is just a warning that
OOMs are possible.

> > and given that the large number for rcutree.jiffies_till_sched_qs got
> > us within 3%, shouldn't we consider this issue closed?
> With the default value for the tunable, the regression is still solidly
> over 10%.  I think we can have a reasonable argument about it once the
> default delta is down to the small single digits.

Look, you are to be congratulated for identifying a micro-benchmark that
exposes such small changes in timing, but I am not at all interested
in that micro-benchmark becoming the kernel's straightjacket.  If you
have real workloads for which this micro-benchmark is a good predictor
of performance, we can talk about quite a few additional steps to take
to tune for those workloads.

> One more thing I just realized: this isn't a scalability problem, at
> least with rcutree.jiffies_till_sched_qs=12.  There's a pretty
> consistent delta in throughput throughout the entire range of threads
> from 1->160.  See the "processes" column in the data files:
> plain 3.15:
> >
> e552592e0383bc:
> >
> or visually:
> >

Just out of curiosity, how many CPUs does your system have?  80?
If 160, looks like something bad is happening at 80.

							Thanx, Paul

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