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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH V2 01/22] x86/intel_rdt: Documentation for Cache Pseudo-Locking
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Hi Thomas,

On 2/19/2018 12:35 PM, Thomas Gleixner wrote:
> On Tue, 13 Feb 2018, Reinette Chatre wrote:
>> +Cache Pseudo-Locking
>> +--------------------
>> +CAT enables a user to specify the amount of cache space into which an
>> +application can fill. Cache pseudo-locking builds on the fact that a
>> +CPU can still read and write data pre-allocated outside its current
>> +allocated area on a cache hit. With cache pseudo-locking, data can be
>> +preloaded into a reserved portion of cache that no application can
>> +fill, and from that point on will only serve cache hits.
>
> This lacks explanation how that preloading works.

Following this text you quote there is a brief explanation starting with
"Pseudo-locking is accomplished in two stages:" - I'll add more details
to that area.

>
>> The cache
>> +pseudo-locked memory is made accessible to user space where an
>> +application can map it into its virtual address space and thus have
>> +a region of memory with reduced average read latency.
>> +
>> +Cache pseudo-locking increases the probability that data will remain
>> +in the cache via carefully configuring the CAT feature and controlling
>> +application behavior. There is no guarantee that data is placed in
>> +cache. Instructions like INVD, WBINVD, CLFLUSH, etc. can still evict
>> +“locked” data from cache. Power management C-states may shrink or
>> +power off cache. It is thus recommended to limit the processor maximum
>> +C-state, for example, by setting the processor.max_cstate kernel parameter.
>> +
>> +It is required that an application using a pseudo-locked region runs
>> +with affinity to the cores (or a subset of the cores) associated
>> +with the cache on which the pseudo-locked region resides. This is
>> +enforced by the implementation.
>
> Well, you only enforce in pseudo_lock_dev_mmap() that the caller is affine
> to the right CPUs. But that's not a guarantee that the task stays there.

It is required that the user space application self sets affinity to
cores associated with the cache. This is also highlighted in the example
application code (later in this patch) within the comments as well as
the example usage of sched_setaffinity(). The enforcement done in the
kernel code is done as a check that the user space application did so,
no the actual affinity management.

Reinette


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