Re: [PATCH 2/4] SGI Altix cross partition functionality (1st revision)

From: Robin Holt <>
Date: 2004-09-05 21:45:13
On Sat, Sep 04, 2004 at 11:35:11AM -0500, Russ Anderson wrote:
> Christoph Hellwig wrote:
> > 
> > > I like keeping the lock protecting as little as possible.  This has been
> > > drilled into peoples heads here at SGI since the early Cray days.  We have
> > > always been told to keep locks protecting a single cohesive group of data.
> > 
> > Keep it as simple as possible and optimize where optimization is needed.
> > Needless complexity is the root of all evil.
> IMHO, Dean's code is simple and not complex.  There is a lock per channel.
> What's so complex about that?
> Dean's code> + for (ch_number = 0; ch_number < XPC_NCHANNELS; ch_number++) {
> Dean's code> +         sema_init(&xpc_registrations[ch_number].sema, 1);  /* mutex */
> Dean's code> + }
> What Dean is doing, and what the Cray and SGI people have learned over
> the last couple decades of hard work, is that it is simpler and less complex 
> to design in fine grain locks to avoid scaling problems.  We know that CPUs 
> will get faster, the number of CPUs will increase, as will the number of nodes 
> and amount of memory.  And as they increase, we know that big locks will get 
> hot and need to broken up.  So that is why you will find people that
> believe that it is simpler and less complex to design in fine grain locks,
> to avoid having to track down and fix scaling bugs.  

I would add that I think a lock that is protecting a channel is clearer to
understand than a lock per partition protecting all the channels in it.  When
I look at the partition structure and see a lock for the channels, I would,
at first glance, assume it is protecting addition or removal of the channels.

I remember someone once saying "Speaking clearly is saying what the other
person understands."  I think that applies here.

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Received on Sun Sep 5 07:48:54 2004

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