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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH v2 0/8] lru_lock scalability and SMP list functions
On 9/11/18 2:42 AM, Daniel Jordan wrote:
> Hi,
> This is a work-in-progress of what I presented at LSF/MM this year[0] to
> greatly reduce contention on lru_lock, allowing it to scale on large systems.
> This is completely different from the lru_lock series posted last January[1].
> I'm hoping for feedback on the overall design and general direction as I do
> more real-world performance testing and polish the code. Is this a workable
> approach?
> Thanks,
> Daniel
> ---
> Summary: lru_lock can be one of the hottest locks in the kernel on big
> systems. It guards too much state, so introduce new SMP-safe list functions to
> allow multiple threads to operate on the LRUs at once. The SMP list functions
> are provided in a standalone API that can be used in other parts of the kernel.
> When lru_lock and zone->lock are both fixed, the kernel can do up to 73.8% more
> page faults per second on a 44-core machine.
> ---
> On large systems, lru_lock can become heavily contended in memory-intensive
> workloads such as decision support, applications that manage their memory
> manually by allocating and freeing pages directly from the kernel, and
> workloads with short-lived processes that force many munmap and exit
> operations. lru_lock also inhibits scalability in many of the MM paths that
> could be parallelized, such as freeing pages during exit/munmap and inode
> eviction.

Interesting, I would have expected isolate_lru_pages() to be the main
culprit, as the comment says:

* For pagecache intensive workloads, this function is the hottest
* spot in the kernel (apart from copy_*_user functions).

It also says "Some of the functions that shrink the lists perform better
by taking out a batch of pages and working on them outside the LRU
lock." Makes me wonder why isolate_lru_pages() also doesn't cut the list
first instead of doing per-page list_move() (and perhaps also prefetch
batch of struct pages outside the lock first? Could be doable with some
care hopefully).

> The problem is that lru_lock is too big of a hammer. It guards all the LRUs in
> a pgdat's lruvec, needlessly serializing add-to-front, add-to-tail, and delete
> operations that are done on disjoint parts of an LRU, or even completely
> different LRUs.
> This RFC series, developed in collaboration with Yossi Lev and Dave Dice,
> offers a two-part solution to this problem.
> First, three new list functions are introduced to allow multiple threads to
> operate on the same linked list simultaneously under certain conditions, which
> are spelled out in more detail in code comments and changelogs. The functions
> are smp_list_del, smp_list_splice, and smp_list_add, and do the same things as
> their non-SMP-safe counterparts. These primitives may be used elsewhere in the
> kernel as the need arises; for example, in the page allocator free lists to
> scale zone->lock[2], or in file system LRUs[3].
> Second, lru_lock is converted from a spinlock to a rwlock. The idea is to
> repurpose rwlock as a two-mode lock, where callers take the lock in shared
> (i.e. read) mode for code using the SMP list functions, and exclusive (i.e.
> write) mode for existing code that expects exclusive access to the LRUs.
> Multiple threads are allowed in under the read lock, of course, and they use
> the SMP list functions to synchronize amongst themselves.
> The rwlock is scaffolding to facilitate the transition from big-hammer lru_lock
> as it exists today to just using the list locking primitives and getting rid of
> lru_lock entirely. Such an approach allows incremental conversion of lru_lock
> writers until everything uses the SMP list functions and takes the lock in
> shared mode, at which point lru_lock can just go away.

Yeah I guess that will need more care, e.g. I think smp_list_del() can
break any thread doing just a read-only traversal as it can end up with
an entry that's been deleted and its next/prev poisoned. It's a bit
counterintuitive that "read lock" is now enough for selected modify
operations, while read-only traversal would need a write lock.

> This RFC series is incomplete. More, and more realistic, performance
> numbers are needed; for now, I show only will-it-scale/page_fault1.
> Also, there are extensions I'd like to make to the locking scheme to
> handle certain lru_lock paths--in particular, those where multiple
> threads may delete the same node from an LRU. The SMP list functions
> now handle only removal of _adjacent_ nodes from an LRU. Finally, the
> diffstat should become more supportive after I remove some of the code
> duplication in patch 6 by converting the rest of the per-CPU pagevec
> code in mm/swap.c to use the SMP list functions.

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