Re: [PATCH] nohz1: Documentation

From: Paul E. McKenney
Date: Thu Mar 21 2013 - 13:15:57 EST

On Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 04:08:08PM +0000, Christoph Lameter wrote:
> On Wed, 20 Mar 2013, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> > > > Another approach is to offload RCU callback processing to "rcuo" kthreads
> > > > using the CONFIG_RCU_NOCB_CPU=y. The specific CPUs to offload may be
> > > > selected via several methods:
> Why are there multiple rcuo threads? Would a single thread that may be
> able to run on multiple cpus not be sufficient?

In many cases, this would indeed be sufficient. However, if you have
enough CPUs posting RCU callbacks, then the single thread would become
a bottleneck, eventually resulting in an OOM. Per-CPU kthreads avoid
this possibility.

That said, if you know that your workload's RCU callbacks could be
serviced by a single CPU, you can bind all the rcuo kthreads to a
single CPU.

> > > "Even though the SCHED_FIFO task is the only task running, because the
> > > SCHED_OTHER tasks are queued on the CPU, it currently will not enter
> > > adaptive tick mode."
> >
> > Again, good point!
> Uggh. That will cause problems and did cause problems when I tried to use
> nohz.
> The OS always has some sched other tasks around that become runnable after
> a while (like for example the vm statistics update, or the notorious slab
> scanning). As long as SCHED_FIFO is active and there is no process in the
> same scheduling class then tick needs to be off. Also wish that this would
> work with SCHED_OTHER if there is only a single task with a certain renice
> value (-10?) and the rest is runnable at lower priorities. Maybe in that
> case stop the tick for a longer period and then give the lower priority
> tasks a chance to run but then switch off the tick again.

These sound to me like good future enhancements.

In the meantime, one approach is to bind all these SCHED_OTHER tasks
to designated housekeeping CPU(s) that don't run your main workload.

Thanx, Paul

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