Re: [GIT PULL] Re: REGRESSION: Performance regressions fromswitching anon_vma->lock to mutex

From: Paul E. McKenney
Date: Thu Jun 16 2011 - 13:17:01 EST

On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 09:03:35AM +0200, Ingo Molnar wrote:
> * Linus Torvalds <torvalds@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >
> >
> > Ingo Molnar <mingo@xxxxxxx> wrote:
> > >
> > > I have this fix queued up currently:
> > >
> > > 09223371deac: rcu: Use softirq to address performance regression
> >
> > I really don't think that is even close to enough.
> Yeah.
> > It still does all the callbacks in the threads, and according to
> > Peter, about half the rcu time in the threads remained..
> You are right - things that are a few percent on a 24 core machine
> will definitely go exponentially worse on larger boxen. We'll get rid
> of the kthreads entirely.

I did indeed at one time have access to larger test systems than I
do now, and I clearly need to fix that. :-/

> The funny thing about this workload is that context-switches are
> really a fastpath here and we are using anonymous IRQ-triggered
> softirqs embedded in random task contexts as a workaround for that.

The other thing that the IRQ-triggered softirqs do is to get the callbacks
invoked in cases where a CPU-bound user thread is never context switching.
Of course, one alternative might be to set_need_resched() to force entry
into the scheduler as needed.

> [ I think we'll have to revisit this issue and do it properly:
> quiescent state is mostly defined by context-switches here, so we
> could do the RCU callbacks from the task that turns a CPU
> quiescent, right in the scheduler context-switch path - perhaps
> with an option for SCHED_FIFO tasks to *not* do GC.

I considered this approach for TINY_RCU, but dropped it in favor of
reducing the interlocking between the scheduler and RCU callbacks.
Might be worth revisiting, though. If SCHED_FIFO task omit RCU callback
invocation, then there will need to be some override for CPUs with lots
of SCHED_FIFO load, probably similar to RCU's current blimit stuff.

> That could possibly be more cache-efficient than softirq execution,
> as we'll process a still-hot pool of callbacks instead of doing
> them only once per timer tick. It will also make the RCU GC
> behavior HZ independent. ]

Well, the callbacks will normally be cache-cold in any case due to the
grace-period delay, but on the other hand, both tick-independence and
the ability to shield a given CPU from RCU callback execution might be
quite useful. The tick currently does the following for RCU:

1. Informs RCU of user-mode execution (rcu_sched and rcu_bh
quiescent state).

2. Informs RCU of non-dyntick idle mode (again, rcu_sched and
rcu_bh quiescent state).

3. Kicks the current CPU's RCU core processing as needed in
response to actions from other CPUs.

Frederic's work avoiding ticks in long-running user-mode tasks
might take care of #1, and it should be possible to make use of
the current dyntick-idle APIs to deal with #2. Replacing #3
efficiently will take some thought.

> In any case the proxy kthread model clearly sucked, no argument about
> that.

Indeed, I lost track of the global nature of real-time scheduling. :-(

Whatever does the boosting will need to have process context and
can be subject to delays, so that pretty much needs to be a kthread.
But it will context-switch quite rarely, so should not be a problem.

Thanx, Paul
To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at