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SubjectRe: [RFC 0/7] introduce memory hinting API for external process
On Sun, May 19, 2019 at 11:37 PM Anshuman Khandual
<anshuman.khandual@arm.com> wrote:
>
> Or Is the objective here is reduce the number of processes which get killed by
> lmkd by triggering swapping for the unused memory (user hinted) sooner so that
> they dont get picked by lmkd. Under utilization for zram hardware is a concern
> here as well ?

The objective is to avoid some instances of memory pressure by
proactively swapping pages that userspace knows to be cold before
those pages reach the end of the LRUs, which in turn can prevent some
apps from being killed by lmk/lmkd. As soon as Android userspace knows
that an application is not being used and is only resident to improve
performance if the user returns to that app, we can kick off
process_madvise on that process's pages (or some portion of those
pages) in a power-efficient way to reduce memory pressure long before
the system hits the free page watermark. This allows the system more
time to put pages into zram versus waiting for the watermark to
trigger kswapd, which decreases the likelihood that later memory
allocations will cause enough pressure to trigger a kill of one of
these apps.

> Swapping out memory into zram wont increase the latency for a hot start ? Or
> is it because as it will prevent a fresh cold start which anyway will be slower
> than a slow hot start. Just being curious.

First, not all swapped pages will be reloaded immediately once an app
is resumed. We've found that an app's working set post-process_madvise
is significantly smaller than what an app allocates when it first
launches (see the delta between pswpin and pswpout in Minchan's
results). Presumably because of this, faulting to fetch from zram does
not seem to introduce a noticeable hot start penalty, not does it
cause an increase in performance problems later in the app's
lifecycle. I've measured with and without process_madvise, and the
differences are within our noise bounds. Second, because we're not
preemptively evicting file pages and only making them more likely to
be evicted when there's already memory pressure, we avoid the case
where we process_madvise an app then immediately return to the app and
reload all file pages in the working set even though there was no
intervening memory pressure. Our initial version of this work evicted
file pages preemptively and did cause a noticeable slowdown (~15%) for
that case; this patch set avoids that slowdown. Finally, the benefit
from avoiding cold starts is huge. The performance improvement from
having a hot start instead of a cold start ranges from 3x for very
small apps to 50x+ for larger apps like high-fidelity games.

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