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SubjectRe: [PATCH v2 3/3] mm: memcontrol: recursive memory.low protection
On Thu, Jan 30, 2020 at 06:00:20PM +0100, Michal Hocko wrote:
> On Thu 19-12-19 15:07:18, Johannes Weiner wrote:
> > Right now, the effective protection of any given cgroup is capped by
> > its own explicit memory.low setting, regardless of what the parent
> > says. The reasons for this are mostly historical and ease of
> > implementation: to make delegation of memory.low safe, effective
> > protection is the min() of all memory.low up the tree.
> >
> > Unfortunately, this limitation makes it impossible to protect an
> > entire subtree from another without forcing the user to make explicit
> > protection allocations all the way to the leaf cgroups - something
> > that is highly undesirable in real life scenarios.
> >
> > Consider memory in a data center host. At the cgroup top level, we
> > have a distinction between system management software and the actual
> > workload the system is executing. Both branches are further subdivided
> > into individual services, job components etc.
> >
> > We want to protect the workload as a whole from the system management
> > software, but that doesn't mean we want to protect and prioritize
> > individual workload wrt each other. Their memory demand can vary over
> > time, and we'd want the VM to simply cache the hottest data within the
> > workload subtree. Yet, the current memory.low limitations force us to
> > allocate a fixed amount of protection to each workload component in
> > order to get protection from system management software in
> > general. This results in very inefficient resource distribution.
>
> I do agree that configuring the reclaim protection is not an easy task.
> Especially in a deeper reclaim hierarchy. systemd tends to create a deep
> and commonly shared subtrees. So having a protected workload really
> requires to be put directly into a new first level cgroup in practice
> AFAICT. That is a simpler example though. Just imagine you want to
> protect a certain user slice.

Can you elaborate a bit on this? I don't quite understand the two
usecases you are contrasting here.

> You seem to be facing a different problem though IIUC. You know how much
> memory you want to protect and you do not have to care about the cgroup
> hierarchy up but you do not know/care how to distribute that protection
> among workloads running under that protection. I agree that this is a
> reasonable usecase.

I'm not sure I'm parsing this right, but the use case is this:

When I'm running a multi-component workload on a host without any
cgrouping, the individual components compete over the host's memory
based on rate of allocation, how often they reference their memory and
so forth. It's a need-based distribution of pages, and the weight can
change as demand changes throughout the life of the workload.

If I now stick several of such workloads into a containerized
environment, I want to use memory.low to assign each workload as a
whole a chunk of memory it can use - I don't want to assign fixed-size
subchunks to each individual component of each workload! I want the
same free competition *within* the workload while setting clear rules
for competition *between* the different workloads.

[ What I can do today to achieve this is disable the memory controller
for the subgroups. When I do this, all pages of the workload are on
one single LRU that is protected by one single memory.low.

But obviously I lose any detailed accounting as well.

This patch allows me to have the same recursive protection semantics
while retaining accounting. ]

> Those both problems however show that we have a more general
> configurability problem for both leaf and intermediate nodes. They are
> both a result of strong requirements imposed by delegation as you have
> noted above. I am thinking didn't we just go too rigid here?

The requirement for delegation is that child groups cannot claim more
than the parent affords. Is that the restriction you are referring to?

> Delegation points are certainly a security boundary and they should
> be treated like that but do we really need a strong containment when
> the reclaim protection is under admin full control? Does the admin
> really have to reconfigure a large part of the hierarchy to protect a
> particular subtree?
>
> I do not have a great answer on how to implement this unfortunately. The
> best I could come up with was to add a "$inherited_protection" magic
> value to distinguish from an explicit >=0 protection. What's the
> difference? $inherited_protection would be a default and it would always
> refer to the closest explicit protection up the hierarchy (with 0 as a
> default if there is none defined).
> A
> / \
> B C (low=10G)
> / \
> D E (low = 5G)
>
> A, B don't get any protection (low=0). C gets protection (10G) and
> distributes the pressure to D, E when in excess. D inherits (low=10G)
> and E overrides the protection to 5G.
>
> That would help both usecases AFAICS while the delegation should be
> still possible (configure the delegation point with an explicit
> value). I have very likely not thought that through completely. Does
> that sound like a completely insane idea?
>
> Or do you think that the two usecases are simply impossible to handle
> at the same time?

Doesn't my patch accomplish this?

Any cgroup or group of cgroups still cannot claim more than the
ancestral protection for the subtree. If a cgroup says 10G, the sum of
all children's protection will never exceed that. This ensures
delegation is safe.

But once an ancestor does declare protection, that value automatically
applies recursively to the entire subtree. The subtree can *chose* to
assign fixed shares of that to its cgroups. But it doesn't have to.

While designing this, I also thought about a new magic token for the
memory.low to distinguish "inherit" from 0 (or other values smaller
than what the parent affords). But the only thing it buys you is that
you allow children to *opt out* of protection the parent prescribes.
And I'm not sure that's a valid usecase: If the parent specifies that
a subtree shall receive a protection of 10G compared to other subtrees
at that level, does it really make sense for children to opt out and
reduce the subtree's protection?

IMO, no. A cgroup should be able to influence competition among its
children, it should not be able to change the rules of competition
among its ancestors.

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