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From: Evgeniy Polyakov <>
To: Peter Zijlstra <>
Cc:,,, David Miller <>
Subject: Re: Possible ways of dealing with OOM conditions.
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2007 18:50:05 +0300	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <1169133052.6197.96.camel@twins>

On Thu, Jan 18, 2007 at 04:10:52PM +0100, Peter Zijlstra ( wrote:
> On Thu, 2007-01-18 at 16:58 +0300, Evgeniy Polyakov wrote:
> > Network is special in this regard, since it only has one allocation path
> > (actually it has one cache for skb, and usual kmalloc, but they are
> > called from only two functions).
> > 
> > So it would become 
> > ptr = network_alloc();
> > and network_alloc() would be usual kmalloc or call for own allocator in
> > case of deadlock.
> There is more to networking that skbs only, what about route cache,
> there is quite a lot of allocs in this fib_* stuff, IGMP etc...

skbs are the most extensively used path.
Actually the same is applied to route - dst_entries and rtable are
allocated through own wrappers.

> > > very high order pages, no?
> > >
> > > This means that you have to either allocate at boot time and cannot
> > > resize/add pools; which means you waste all that memory if the network
> > > load never comes near using the reserved amount.
> > > 
> > > Or, you get into all the same trouble the hugepages folks are trying so
> > > very hard to solve.
> > 
> > It is configurable - by default it takes pool of 32k pages for allocations for
> > jumbo-frames (e1000 requires such allocations for 9k frames
> > unfortunately), without jumbo-frame support it works with pool of 0-order
> > pages, which grows dynamically when needed.
> With 0-order pages, you can only fit 2 1500 byte packets in there, you
> could perhaps stick some small skb heads in there as well, but why
> bother, the waste isn't _that_ high.
> Esp if you would make a slab for 1500 mtu packets (5*1638 < 2*4096; and
> 1638 should be enough, right?)
> It would make sense to pack related objects into a page so you could
> free all together.

With power-of-two allocation SLAB wastes 500 bytes for each 1500 MTU
packet (roughly), it is actaly one ACK packet - and I hear it from
person who develops a system, which is aimed to guarantee ACK
allocation in OOM :)

SLAB overhead is _very_ expensive for network - what if jumbo frame is
used? It becomes incredible in that case, although modern NICs allows
scatter-gather, which is aimed to fix the problem.

Cache misses for small packet flow due to the fact, that the same data
is allocated and freed  and accessed on different CPUs will become an
issue soon, not right now, since two-four core CPUs are not yet to be
very popular and price for the cache miss is not _that_ high.

> > > > performs self-defragmentation of the memeory, 
> > > 
> > > Does it move memory about? 
> > 
> > It works in a page, not as pages - when neighbour regions are freed,
> > they are combined into single one with bigger size
> Yeah, that is not defragmentation, defragmentation is moving active
> regions about to create contiguous free space. What you do is free space
> coalescence.

That is wrong definition just because no one developed different system.
Defragmentation is a result of broken system.

Existing design _does_not_ allow to have the situation when whole page
belongs to the same cache after it was actively used, the same is
applied to the situation when several pages, which create contiguous
region, are used by different users, so people start develop VM tricks
to move pages around so they would be placed near in address space.

Do not fix the result, fix the reason.

> >  but network stack requires high-order allocations in extremely rare
> > cases of broken design (Intel folks, sorry, but your hardware sucks in
> > that regard - jumbo frame of 9k should not require 16k of mem plu
> > network overhead).
> Well, if you have such hardware its not rare at all, But yeah that
> sucks.

They do a good jop developing different approaches to workaround that
hardware 'feature', but this is still wrong situation.

> > NTA also does not align buffers to the power of two - extremely significant 
> > win of that approach can be found on project's homepage with graps of
> > failed allocations and state of the mem for different sizes of
> > allocaions. Power-of-two overhead of SLAB is extremely high.
> Sure you can pack the page a little better(*), but I thought the main
> advantage was a speed increase.
> (*) memory is generally cheaper than engineering efforts, esp on this
> scale. The only advantage in the manual packing is that (with the fancy
> hardware stream engine mentioned below) you could ensure they are
> grouped together (then again, the hardware stream engine would, together
> with a SG-DMA engine, take care of that).

Extensoin way of doing things.
That is wrong.

> > > All it does is try to avoid fragmentation by policy - a problem
> > > impossible to solve in general; but can achieve good results in view of
> > > practical limitations on program behaviour.
> > > 
> > > Does your policy work for the given workload? we'll see.
> > >
> > > Also, on what level, each level has both internal and external
> > > fragmentation. I can argue that having large immovable objects in memory
> > > adds to the fragmentation issues on the page-allocator level.
> > 
> > NTA works with pages, not with contiguous memory, it reduces
> > fragmentation inside pages, which can not be solved in SLAB, where
> > objects from the same page can live in different caches and thus _never_
> > can be combined. Thus, the only soultuin for SLAB is copy, which is not a
> > good one for big sizes and is just wrong for big pages.
> By allocating, and never returning the page to the page-allocator you've
> increased the fragmentation on the page-allocator level significantly.
> It will avoid a super page ever forming around that page.

Not at all - SLAB fragmentation is so high, that stealing pages from its
highly fragmented pool does not result in any lose or win for SPAB
users. And it is possible to allocate at boot time.

NTA cache grows in _very_ rare cases, and it can be preallocated at

> > It is not about page moving and VM tricks, which are generally described
> > as fragmentation avoidance technique, but about how fragmentation
> > problem is solved in one page.
> Short of defragmentation (move active regions about) fragmentation is an
> unsolved problem. For any heuristic there is a pattern that will defeat
> it. 
> Luckily program allocation behaviour is usually very regular (or
> decomposable in well behaved groups).

We are talking about different approaces here.
Per-page defragmentation by playing games with memory management is one
approach. Run-time defragmentation by groupping neighbour regions is
another one.

Main issue is the fact, that with second one, requirement for the first
one becomes MUCH smaller, since when application, no matter how strange
its allocation pattern is, frees object, it will be groupped with
neighbours. In SLAB that will almost never happen, so situation with
memory tricks.

> > > > is very SMP
> > > > friendly in that regard that it is per-cpu like slab and never free
> > > > objects on different CPUs, so they always stay in the same cache.
> > > 
> > > This makes it very hard to guarantee a reserve limit. (Not impossible,
> > > just more difficult)
> > 
> > The whole pool of pages becomes reserve, since no one (and mainly VFS)
> > can consume that reserve.
> Ah, but there you violate my requirement, any network allocation can
> claim the last bit of memory. The whole idea was that the reserve is
> explicitly managed.
> It not only needs protection from other users but also from itself.

Specifying some users as good and others as bad generally tends to very
bad behaviour. Your appwoach only covers some users, mine does not
differentiate between users, but prevents system from such situation at all.

> > > > Among other goodies it allows to have full sending/receiving zero-copy.
> > > 
> > > That won't ever work unless you have page aligned objects, otherwise you
> > > cannot map them into user-space. Which seems to be at odds with your
> > > tight packing/reduce internal fragmentation goals.
> > > 
> > > Zero-copy entails mapping the page the hardware writes the packet in
> > > into user-space, right?
> > > 
> > > Since its impossible to predict to whoem the next packet is addressed
> > > the packets must be written (by hardware) to different pages.
> > 
> > Yes, receiving zero-copy without appropriate hardware assist is
> > impossible, so either absence of such facility at all, or special overhead,
> > which forces object to lie in different pages. With hardware assist it
> > would be possible to select a flow in advance, so data would be packet
> > in the same page.
> I was not aware that hardware could order the packets in such a fashion.
> Yes, if it can do that it becomes doable.

Not hardware, but allocator, which can provide data with special
requirement like alignment and offset for given flow id.
Hardware just provides needed info and does DMA transfer into specified area.

You can find more on receiving zero-copy with _emulation_ of such
hardware (MMIO copy of the header) for example here:

where system perfomed data receiving of 1500 MTU sized frames directly
into VFS cache.

> > Sending zero-copy from userspace memory does not suffer with any such
> > problem.
> True, that is properly ordered. But for that I'm not sure how NTA (you
> really should change that name, there is no Tree anymore) helps here.

Because user has access to the memory which will be used directly by
hardware, it should not care about preallocation, although there are
problems with notification about completeness of operation, which can be
postponed in case of fancy egress filters used.

	Evgeniy Polyakov

  reply	other threads:[~2007-01-18 15:52 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 32+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2007-01-16  9:45 [PATCH 0/9] VM deadlock avoidance -v10 Peter Zijlstra
2007-01-16  9:45 ` [PATCH 1/9] mm: page allocation rank Peter Zijlstra
2007-01-16  9:45 ` [PATCH 2/9] mm: slab allocation fairness Peter Zijlstra
2007-01-16  9:46 ` [PATCH 3/9] mm: allow PF_MEMALLOC from softirq context Peter Zijlstra
2007-01-16  9:46 ` [PATCH 4/9] mm: serialize access to min_free_kbytes Peter Zijlstra
2007-01-16  9:46 ` [PATCH 5/9] mm: emergency pool Peter Zijlstra
2007-01-16  9:46 ` [PATCH 6/9] mm: __GFP_EMERGENCY Peter Zijlstra
2007-01-16  9:46 ` [PATCH 7/9] mm: allow mempool to fall back to memalloc reserves Peter Zijlstra
2007-01-16  9:46 ` [PATCH 8/9] slab: kmem_cache_objs_to_pages() Peter Zijlstra
2007-01-16  9:46 ` [PATCH 9/9] net: vm deadlock avoidance core Peter Zijlstra
2007-01-16 13:25   ` Evgeniy Polyakov
2007-01-16 13:47     ` Peter Zijlstra
2007-01-16 15:33       ` Evgeniy Polyakov
2007-01-16 16:08         ` Peter Zijlstra
2007-01-17  4:54           ` Evgeniy Polyakov
2007-01-17  9:07             ` Peter Zijlstra
2007-01-18 10:41               ` Evgeniy Polyakov
2007-01-18 12:18                 ` Peter Zijlstra
2007-01-18 13:58                   ` Possible ways of dealing with OOM conditions Evgeniy Polyakov
2007-01-18 15:10                     ` Peter Zijlstra
2007-01-18 15:50                       ` Evgeniy Polyakov [this message]
2007-01-18 17:31                         ` Peter Zijlstra
2007-01-18 18:34                           ` Evgeniy Polyakov
2007-01-19 12:53                             ` Peter Zijlstra
2007-01-19 22:56                               ` Evgeniy Polyakov
2007-01-20 22:36                                 ` Rik van Riel
2007-01-21  1:46                                   ` Evgeniy Polyakov
2007-01-21  2:14                                     ` Evgeniy Polyakov
2007-01-21 16:30                                     ` Rik van Riel
2007-01-19 17:54                           ` Christoph Lameter
2007-01-17  9:12 ` [PATCH 0/9] VM deadlock avoidance -v10 Pavel Machek
2007-01-17  9:20   ` Peter Zijlstra

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