Re: page fault scalability patch V11 [0/7]: overview

From: Nick Piggin <>
Date: 2004-11-20 13:40:40
William Lee Irwin III wrote:
> William Lee Irwin III wrote:
>>>Split counters easily resolve the issues with both these approaches
>>>(and apparently your co-workers are suggesting it too, and have
>>>performance results backing it).
> On Sat, Nov 20, 2004 at 01:18:22PM +1100, Nick Piggin wrote:
>>Split counters still require atomic operations though. This is what
>>Christoph's latest effort is directed at removing. And they'll still
>>bounce cachelines around. (I assume we've reached the conclusion
>>that per-cpu split counters per-mm won't fly?).
> Split != per-cpu, though it may be. Counterexamples are
> as simple as atomic_inc(&mm->rss[smp_processor_id()>>RSS_IDX_SHIFT]);

Oh yes, I just meant that the only way split counters will relieve
the atomic ops and bouncing is by having them per-cpu. But you knew
that :)

> Furthermore, see Robin Holt's results regarding the performance of the
> atomic operations and their relation to cacheline sharing.

Well yeah, but a. their patch isn't in 2.6 (or 2.4), and b. anon_rss
means another atomic op. While this doesn't immediately make it a
showstopper, it is gradually slowing down the single threaded page
fault path too, which is bad.

> And frankly, the argument that the space overhead of per-cpu counters
> is problematic is not compelling. Even at 1024 cpus it's smaller than
> an ia64 pagetable page, of which there are numerous instances attached
> to each mm.

1024 CPUs * 64 byte cachelines == 64K, no? Well I'm sure they probably
don't even care about 64K on their large machines, but...

On i386 this would be maybe 32 * 128 byte == 4K per task for distro
kernels. Not so good.
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Received on Fri Nov 19 23:41:34 2004

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