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SubjectRe: [PATCH V2] sched: Improve load balancing in the presence of idle CPUs
On Wed, 2015-04-01 at 14:03 +0100, Morten Rasmussen wrote:

Hi Morten,

> > Alright I see. But it is one additional wake up. And the wake up will be
> > within the cluster. We will not wake up any CPU in the neighboring
> > cluster unless there are tasks to be pulled. So, we can wake up a core
> > out of a deep idle state and never a cluster in the problem described.
> > In terms of energy efficiency, this is not so bad a scenario, is it?
> After Peter pointed out that it shouldn't happen across clusters due to
> group_classify()/sg_capacity_factor() it isn't as bad as I initially
> thought. It is still not an ideal solution I think. Wake-ups aren't nice
> for battery-powered devices. Waking up a cpu in an already active
> cluster may still imply powering up the core and bringing the L1 cache
> into a usable state, but it isn't as bad as waking up a cluster. I would
> prefer to avoid it if we can.

Right. I still think that the patch is justified if it addresses the 10
second latency issue, but if we could find a better solution, that would
be great :)

> Thinking more about it, don't we also risk doing a lot of iterations in
> nohz_idle_balance() leading to nothing (pure overhead) in certain corner
> cases? If find_new_ild() is the last cpu in the cluster and we have one
> task for each cpu in the cluster but one cpu is currently having two.
> Don't we end up trying all nohz-idle cpus before giving up and balancing
> the balancer cpu itself. On big machines, going through everyone could
> take a while I think. No?

Iterating through many CPUs could take a while, but since we only do
nohz_idle_balance() when the CPU is idle and exit if need_resched, then
we're only doing so if there is nothing else that needs to run.

Also, we're only attempting balancing when time_after_eq
rq->next_balance, so much of the time, we don't actually traverse all
the CPUs.

So this may not be too big of an issue.

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