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SubjectRe: [patch for-5.3 0/4] revert immediate fallback to remote hugepages
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On 9/8/19 3:50 AM, David Rientjes wrote:
> On Sat, 7 Sep 2019, Linus Torvalds wrote:
>
>>> Andrea acknowledges the swap storm that he reported would be fixed with
>>> the last two patches in this series
>>
>> The problem is that even you aren't arguing that those patches should
>> go into 5.3.
>>
>
> For three reasons: (a) we lack a test result from Andrea,

That's argument against the rfc patches 3+4s, no? But not for including
the reverts of reverts of reverts (patches 1+2).

> (b) there's
> on-going discussion, particularly based on Vlastimil's feedback, and

I doubt this will be finished and tested with reasonable confidence even
for the 5.4 merge window.

> (c) the patches will be refreshed incorporating that feedback as well as
> Mike's suggestion to exempt __GFP_RETRY_MAYFAIL for hugetlb.

There might be other unexpected consequences (even if hugetlb wasn't
such an issue as I suspected, in the end).

>> So those fixes aren't going in, so "the swap storms would be fixed"
>> argument isn't actually an argument at all as far as 5.3 is concerned.
>>
>
> It indicates that progress has been made to address the actual bug without
> introducing long-lived access latency regressions for others, particularly
> those who use MADV_HUGEPAGE. In the worst case, some systems running
> 5.3-rc4 and 5.3-rc5 have the same amount of memory backed by hugepages but
> on 5.3-rc5 the vast majority of it is allocated remotely. This incurs a

It's been said before, but such sensitive code generally relies on
mempolicies or node reclaim mode, not THP __GFP_THISNODE implementation
details. Or if you know there's enough free memory and just needs to be
compacted, you could do it once via sysfs before starting up your workload.

> signficant performance regression regardless of platform; the only thing
> needed to induce this is a fragmented local node that would otherwise be
> compacted in 5.3-rc4 rather than quickly allocate remote on 5.3-rc5.
>
>> End result: we'd have the qemu-kvm instance performance problem in 5.3
>> that apparently causes distros to apply those patches that you want to
>> revert anyway.
>>
>> So reverting would just make distros not use 5.3 in that form.
>>
>
> I'm arguing to revert 5.3 back to the behavior that we have had for years
> and actually fix the bug that everybody else seems to be ignoring and then
> *backport* those fixes to 5.3 stable and every other stable tree that can
> use them. Introducing a new mempolicy for NUMA locality into 5.3.0 that

I think it's rather removing the problematic implicit mempolicy of
__GFP_THISNODE.

> will subsequently changed in future 5.3 stable kernels and differs from
> all kernels from the past few years is not in anybody's best interest if
> the actual problem can be fixed. It requires more feedback than a
> one-line "the swap storms would be fixed with this." That collaboration
> takes time and isn't something that should be rushed into 5.3-rc5.
>
> Yes, we can fix NUMA locality of hugepages when a workload like qemu is
> larger than a single socket; the vast majority of workloads in the
> datacenter are small than a socket and *cannot* incur the performance
> penalty if local memory is fragmented that 5.3-rc5 introduces.
>
> In other words, 5.3-rc5 is only fixing a highly specialized usecase where
> remote allocation is acceptable because the workload is larger than a
> socket *and* remote memory is not low on memory or fragmented. If you

Clearly we disagree here which is the highly specialized usecase that
might get slower remote memory access, and which is more common workload
that will suffer from swap storms. No point arguing it further, but
several distros made the choice by carrying Andrea's patches already.

> consider the opposite of that, workloads smaller than a socket or local
> compaction actually works, this has introduced a measurable regression for
> everybody else.
>
> I'm not sure why we are ignoring a painfully obvious bug in the page
> allocator because of a poor feedback loop between itself and memory
> compaction and rather papering over it by falling back to remote memory
> when NUMA actually does matter. If you release 5.3 without the first two
> patches in this series, I wouldn't expect any additional feedback or test
> results to fix this bug considering all we have gotten so far is "this
> would fix this swap storms" and not collaborating to fix the issue for
> everybody rather than only caring about their own workloads. At least my
> patches acknowledge and try to fix the issue the other is encountering.

I might have missed something, but you were asked for a reproducer of
your use case so others can develop patches with it in mind? Mel did
provide a simple example that shows the swap storms very easily.

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