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SubjectRe: [RFC PATCH 0/10] Another Approach to Use PMEM as NUMA Node
On Wed, Mar 27, 2019 at 7:09 PM Yang Shi <> wrote:
> On 3/27/19 1:09 PM, Michal Hocko wrote:
> > On Wed 27-03-19 11:59:28, Yang Shi wrote:
> >>
> >> On 3/27/19 10:34 AM, Dan Williams wrote:
> >>> On Wed, Mar 27, 2019 at 2:01 AM Michal Hocko <> wrote:
> >>>> On Tue 26-03-19 19:58:56, Yang Shi wrote:
> > [...]
> >>>>> It is still NUMA, users still can see all the NUMA nodes.
> >>>> No, Linux NUMA implementation makes all numa nodes available by default
> >>>> and provides an API to opt-in for more fine tuning. What you are
> >>>> suggesting goes against that semantic and I am asking why. How is pmem
> >>>> NUMA node any different from any any other distant node in principle?
> >>> Agree. It's just another NUMA node and shouldn't be special cased.
> >>> Userspace policy can choose to avoid it, but typical node distance
> >>> preference should otherwise let the kernel fall back to it as
> >>> additional memory pressure relief for "near" memory.
> >> In ideal case, yes, I agree. However, in real life world the performance is
> >> a concern. It is well-known that PMEM (not considering NVDIMM-F or HBM) has
> >> higher latency and lower bandwidth. We observed much higher latency on PMEM
> >> than DRAM with multi threads.
> > One rule of thumb is: Do not design user visible interfaces based on the
> > contemporary technology and its up/down sides. This will almost always
> > fire back.
> Thanks. It does make sense to me.
> >
> > Btw. if you keep arguing about performance without any numbers. Can you
> > present something specific?
> Yes, I did have some numbers. We did simple memory sequential rw latency
> test with a designed-in-house test program on PMEM (bind to PMEM) and
> DRAM (bind to DRAM). When running with 20 threads the result is as below:
> Threads w/lat r/lat
> PMEM 20 537.15 68.06
> DRAM 20 14.19 6.47
> And, sysbench test with command: sysbench --time=600 memory
> --memory-block-size=8G --memory-total-size=1024T --memory-scope=global
> --memory-oper=read --memory-access-mode=rnd --rand-type=gaussian
> --rand-pareto-h=0.1 --threads=1 run
> The result is:
> lat/ms
> PMEM 103766.09
> DRAM 31946.30
> >
> >> In real production environment we don't know what kind of applications would
> >> end up on PMEM (DRAM may be full, allocation fall back to PMEM) then have
> >> unexpected performance degradation. I understand to have mempolicy to choose
> >> to avoid it. But, there might be hundreds or thousands of applications
> >> running on the machine, it sounds not that feasible to me to have each
> >> single application set mempolicy to avoid it.
> > we have cpuset cgroup controller to help here.
> >
> >> So, I think we still need a default allocation node mask. The default value
> >> may include all nodes or just DRAM nodes. But, they should be able to be
> >> override by user globally, not only per process basis.
> >>
> >> Due to the performance disparity, currently our usecases treat PMEM as
> >> second tier memory for demoting cold page or binding to not memory access
> >> sensitive applications (this is the reason for inventing a new mempolicy)
> >> although it is a NUMA node.
> > If the performance sucks that badly then do not use the pmem as NUMA,
> > really. There are certainly other ways to export the pmem storage. Use
> > it as a fast swap storage. Or try to work on a swap caching mechanism
> > that still allows much faster access than a slow swap storage. But do
> > not try to pretend to abuse the NUMA interface while you are breaking
> > some of its long term established semantics.
> Yes, we are looking into using it as a fast swap storage too and perhaps
> other usecases.
> Anyway, though nobody thought it makes sense to restrict default
> allocation nodes, it sounds over-engineered. I'm going to drop it.
> One question, when doing demote and promote we need define a path, for
> example, DRAM <-> PMEM (assume two tier memory). When determining what
> nodes are "DRAM" nodes, does it make sense to assume the nodes with both
> cpu and memory are DRAM nodes since PMEM nodes are typically cpuless nodes?

For ACPI platforms the HMAT is effectively going to enforce "cpu-less"
nodes for any memory range that has differentiated performance from
the conventional memory pool, or differentiated performance for a
specific initiator. So "memory-less == PMEM" is not a robust

The plan is to use the HMAT to populate the default fallback order,
but allow for an override if the HMAT information is missing or

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