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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 00/31] Generating physically contiguous memory after page allocation
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On 2/19/19 9:19 PM, Zi Yan wrote:
> On 19 Feb 2019, at 19:18, Mike Kravetz wrote:
>> Another high level question. One of the benefits of this approach is
>> that exchanging pages does not require N free pages as you describe
>> above. This assumes that the vma which we are trying to make contiguous
>> is already populated. If it is not populated, then you also need to
>> have N free pages. Correct? If this is true, then is the expected use
>> case to first populate a vma, and then try to make contiguous? I would
>> assume that if it is not populated and a request to make contiguous is
>> given, we should try to allocate/populate the vma with contiguous pages
>> at that time?
>
> Yes, I assume the pages within the VMA are already populated but not contiguous
> yet.
>
> My approach considers memory contiguity as an on-demand resource. In some phases
> of an application, accelerators or RDMA controllers would process/transfer data
> in one
> or more VMAs, at which time contiguous memory can help reduce address translation
> overheads or lift certain constraints. And different VMAs could be processed at
> different program phases, thus it might be hard to get contiguous memory for all
> these VMAs at the allocation time using alloc_contig_pages(). My approach can
> help get contiguous memory later, when the demand comes.
>
> For some cases, you definitely can use alloc_contig_pages() to give users
> a contiguous area at page allocation time, if you know the user is going to use
> this
> area for accelerator data processing or as a RDMA buffer and the area size is
> fixed.
>
> In addition, we can also use khugepaged approach, having a daemon periodically
> scan VMAs and use alloc_contig_pages() to convert non-contiguous pages in a VMA
> to contiguous pages, but it would require N free pages during the conversion.
>
> In sum, my approach complements alloc_contig_pages() and provides more flexibility.
> It is not trying to replaces alloc_contig_pages().

Thank you for the explanation. That makes sense. I have mostly been
thinking about contiguous memory from an allocation perspective and did
not really consider other use cases.

--
Mike Kravetz

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