Re: [Lsf-pc] [LSF/MM TOPIC] a few storage topics

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On Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 03:06:13PM -0500, Chris Mason wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 12:37:48PM -0600, James Bottomley wrote:
> > On Wed, 2012-01-25 at 13:28 -0500, Loke, Chetan wrote:
> > > > So there are two separate problems mentioned here.  The first is to
> > > > ensure that readahead (RA) pages are treated as more disposable than
> > > > accessed pages under memory pressure and then to derive a statistic for
> > > > futile RA (those pages that were read in but never accessed).
> > > > 
> > > > The first sounds really like its an LRU thing rather than adding yet
> > > > another page flag.  We need a position in the LRU list for never
> > > > accessed ... that way they're first to be evicted as memory pressure
> > > > rises.
> > > > 
> > > > The second is you can derive this futile readahead statistic from the
> > > > LRU position of unaccessed pages ... you could keep this globally.
> > > > 
> > > > Now the problem: if you trash all unaccessed RA pages first, you end up
> > > > with the situation of say playing a movie under moderate memory
> > > > pressure that we do RA, then trash the RA page then have to re-read to display
> > > > to the user resulting in an undesirable uptick in read I/O.
> > > > 
> > > > Based on the above, it sounds like a better heuristic would be to evict
> > > > accessed clean pages at the top of the LRU list before unaccessed clean
> > > > pages because the expectation is that the unaccessed clean pages will
> > > > be accessed (that's after all, why we did the readahead).  As RA pages age
> > > 
> > > Well, the movie example is one case where evicting unaccessed page may not be the right thing to do. But what about a workload that perform a random one-shot search?
> > > The search was done and the RA'd blocks are of no use anymore. So it seems one solution would hurt another.
> > 
> > Well not really: RA is always wrong for random reads.  The whole purpose
> > of RA is assumption of sequential access patterns.
> 
> Just to jump back, Jeff's benchmark that started this (on xfs and ext4):
> 
> 	- buffered 1MB reads get down to the scheduler in 128KB chunks
> 
> The really hard part about readahead is that you don't know what
> userland wants.  In Jeff's test, he's telling the kernel he wants 1MB
> ios and our RA engine is doing 128KB ios.
> 
> We can talk about scaling up how big the RA windows get on their own,
> but if userland asks for 1MB, we don't have to worry about futile RA, we
> just have to make sure we don't oom the box trying to honor 1MB reads
> from 5000 different procs.

Right - if we know the read request is larger than the RA window,
then we should ignore the RA window and just service the request in
a single bio. Well, at least, in chunks as large as the underlying
device will allow us to build....

Cheers,

Dave.
-- 
Dave Chinner
david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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