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SubjectRe: Re: [Xen-devel] [PATCH v9 2/4] xen/blkback: Squeeze page pools if a memory pressure is detected
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On Mon, 16 Dec 2019 10:37:55 +0100 "Roger Pau Monné" <roger.pau@citrix.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 03:35:44PM +0000, SeongJae Park wrote:
> > Each `blkif` has a free pages pool for the grant mapping. The size of
> > the pool starts from zero and is increased on demand while processing
> > the I/O requests. If current I/O requests handling is finished or 100
> > milliseconds has passed since last I/O requests handling, it checks and
> > shrinks the pool to not exceed the size limit, `max_buffer_pages`.
> >
> > Therefore, host administrators can cause memory pressure in blkback by
> > attaching a large number of block devices and inducing I/O. Such
> > problematic situations can be avoided by limiting the maximum number of
> > devices that can be attached, but finding the optimal limit is not so
> > easy. Improper set of the limit can results in memory pressure or a
> > resource underutilization. This commit avoids such problematic
> > situations by squeezing the pools (returns every free page in the pool
> > to the system) for a while (users can set this duration via a module
> > parameter) if memory pressure is detected.
> >
> > Discussions
> > ===========
> >
> > The `blkback`'s original shrinking mechanism returns only pages in the
> > pool which are not currently be used by `blkback` to the system. In
> > other words, the pages that are not mapped with granted pages. Because
> > this commit is changing only the shrink limit but still uses the same
> > freeing mechanism it does not touch pages which are currently mapping
> > grants.
> >
> > Once memory pressure is detected, this commit keeps the squeezing limit
> > for a user-specified time duration. The duration should be neither too
> > long nor too short. If it is too long, the squeezing incurring overhead
> > can reduce the I/O performance. If it is too short, `blkback` will not
> > free enough pages to reduce the memory pressure. This commit sets the
> > value as `10 milliseconds` by default because it is a short time in
> > terms of I/O while it is a long time in terms of memory operations.
> > Also, as the original shrinking mechanism works for at least every 100
> > milliseconds, this could be a somewhat reasonable choice. I also tested
> > other durations (refer to the below section for more details) and
> > confirmed that 10 milliseconds is the one that works best with the test.
> > That said, the proper duration depends on actual configurations and
> > workloads. That's why this commit allows users to set the duration as a
> > module parameter.
> >
> > Memory Pressure Test
> > ====================
> >
> > To show how this commit fixes the memory pressure situation well, I
> > configured a test environment on a xen-running virtualization system.
> > On the `blkfront` running guest instances, I attach a large number of
> > network-backed volume devices and induce I/O to those. Meanwhile, I
> > measure the number of pages that swapped in (pswpin) and out (pswpout)
> > on the `blkback` running guest. The test ran twice, once for the
> > `blkback` before this commit and once for that after this commit. As
> > shown below, this commit has dramatically reduced the memory pressure:
> >
> > pswpin pswpout
> > before 76,672 185,799
> > after 212 3,325
> >
> > Optimal Aggressive Shrinking Duration
> > -------------------------------------
> >
> > To find a best squeezing duration, I repeated the test with three
> > different durations (1ms, 10ms, and 100ms). The results are as below:
> >
> > duration pswpin pswpout
> > 1 852 6,424
> > 10 212 3,325
> > 100 203 3,340
> >
> > As expected, the memory pressure has decreased as the duration is
> > increased, but the reduction stopped from the `10ms`. Based on this
> > results, I chose the default duration as 10ms.
> >
> > Performance Overhead Test
> > =========================
> >
> > This commit could incur I/O performance degradation under severe memory
> > pressure because the squeezing will require more page allocations per
> > I/O. To show the overhead, I artificially made a worst-case squeezing
> > situation and measured the I/O performance of a `blkfront` running
> > guest.
> >
> > For the artificial squeezing, I set the `blkback.max_buffer_pages` using
> > the `/sys/module/xen_blkback/parameters/max_buffer_pages` file. In this
> > test, I set the value to `1024` and `0`. The `1024` is the default
> > value. Setting the value as `0` is same to a situation doing the
> > squeezing always (worst-case).
> >
> > For the I/O performance measurement, I run a simple `dd` command 5 times
> > as below and collect the 'MB/s' results.
> >
> > $ for i in {1..5}; do dd if=/dev/zero of=file \
> > bs=4k count=$((256*512)); sync; done
> >
> > If the underlying block device is slow enough, the squeezing overhead
> > could be hidden. For the reason, I do this test for both a slow block
> > device and a fast block device. I use a popular cloud block storage
> > service, ebs[1] as a slow device and the ramdisk block device[2] for the
> > fast device.
> >
> > The results are as below. 'max_pgs' represents the value of the
> > `blkback.max_buffer_pages` parameter.
> >
> > On the slow block device
> > ------------------------
> >
> > max_pgs Min Max Median Avg Stddev
> > 0 38.7 45.8 38.7 40.12 3.1752165
> > 1024 38.7 45.8 38.7 40.12 3.1752165
> > No difference proven at 95.0% confidence
> >
> > On the fast block device
> > ------------------------
> >
> > max_pgs Min Max Median Avg Stddev
> > 0 417 423 420 419.4 2.5099801
> > 1024 414 425 416 417.8 4.4384682
> > No difference proven at 95.0% confidence
> >
> > In short, even worst case squeezing on ramdisk based fast block device
> > makes no visible performance degradation. Please note that this is just
> > a very simple and minimal test. On systems using super-fast block
> > devices and a special I/O workload, the results might be different. If
> > you have any doubt, test on your machine with your workload to find the
> > optimal squeezing duration for you.
> >
> > [1] https://aws.amazon.com/ebs/
> > [2] https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/latest/admin-guide/blockdev/ramdisk.html

I forgot to update this section. It contains two evaluation results which has
no big difference and also describes one test in wrong way (it induced direct
IO to the ramdisk). For example, I would like to update this section as below:

Performance Overhead Test
=========================

This commit could incur I/O performance degradation under severe memory
pressure because the squeezing will require more page allocations per
I/O. To show the overhead, I artificially made a worst-case squeezing
situation and measured the I/O performance of a `blkfront` running
guest.

For the artificial squeezing, I set the `blkback.max_buffer_pages` using
the `/sys/module/xen_blkback/parameters/max_buffer_pages` file. In this
test, I set the value to `1024` and `0`. The `1024` is the default
value. Setting the value as `0` is same to a situation doing the
squeezing always (worst-case).

If the underlying block device is slow enough, the squeezing overhead could
be hidden. For the reason, I use a fast block device, namely the rbd[1]:

# xl block-attach guest phy:/dev/ram0 xvdb w

For the I/O performance measurement, I run a simple `dd` command 5 times
directly to the device as below and collect the 'MB/s' results.

$ for i in {1..5}; do dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/xvdb \
bs=4k count=$((256*512)); sync; done

The results are as below. 'max_pgs' represents the value of the
`blkback.max_buffer_pages` parameter.

max_pgs Min Max Median Avg Stddev
0 417 423 420 419.4 2.5099801
1024 414 425 416 417.8 4.4384682
No difference proven at 95.0% confidence

In short, even worst case squeezing on ramdisk based fast block device
makes no visible performance degradation. Please note that this is just a
very simple and minimal test. On systems using super-fast block devices
and a special I/O workload, the results might be different. If you have
any doubt, test on your machine with your workload to find the optimal
squeezing duration for you.

[1] https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/latest/admin-guide/blockdev/ramdisk.html

> >
> > Signed-off-by: SeongJae Park <sjpark@amazon.de>
>
> Reviewed-by: Roger Pau Monné <roger.pau@citrix.com>

Appreciate for your reviews. You made this patch much better!


Thanks,
SeongJae Park

>
> Thanks, Roger.
>

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