Re: [patch] SLQB slab allocator

From: Hugh Dickins
Date: Thu Jan 22 2009 - 07:48:01 EST

On Thu, 22 Jan 2009, Pekka Enberg wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 8:10 PM, Hugh Dickins <hugh@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > I was initially _very_ impressed by how well it did on my venerable
> > tmpfs loop swapping loads, where I'd expected next to no effect; but
> > that turned out to be because on three machines I'd been using SLUB,
> > without remembering how default slub_max_order got raised from 1 to 3
> > in 2.6.26 (hmm, and Documentation/vm/slub.txt not updated).
> >
> > That's been making SLUB behave pretty badly (e.g. elapsed time 30%
> > more than SLAB) with swapping loads on most of my machines. Though
> > oddly one seems immune, and another takes four times as long: guess
> > it depends on how close to thrashing, but probably more to investigate
> > there. I think my original SLUB versus SLAB comparisons were done on
> > the immune one: as I remember, SLUB and SLAB were equivalent on those
> > loads when SLUB came in, but even with boot option slub_max_order=1,
> > SLUB is still slower than SLAB on such tests (e.g. 2% slower).
> > FWIW - swapping loads are not what anybody should tune for.
> What kind of machine are you seeing this on? It sounds like it could
> be a side-effect from commit 9b2cd506e5f2117f94c28a0040bf5da058105316
> ("slub: Calculate min_objects based on number of processors").

Thanks, yes, that could well account for the residual difference: the
machines in question have 2 or 4 cpus, so the old slub_min_objects=4
has effectively become slub_min_objects=12 or slub_min_objects=16.

I'm now trying with slub_max_order=1 slub_min_objects=4 on the boot
lines (though I'll need to curtail tests on a couple of machines),
and will report back later.

It's great that SLUB provides these knobs; not so great that it needs them.

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