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Date:	Fri, 18 Jan 2008 00:19:06 -0800 (PST)
From:	Martin Knoblauch <>
To:	Mel Gorman <>
Cc:	Fengguang Wu <>,
	Mike Snitzer <>,
	Peter Zijlstra <>,,
	Ingo Molnar <>,,
	"" <>,
	Linus Torvalds <>,
Subject: Re: regression: 100% io-wait with 2.6.24-rcX

----- Original Message ----
> From: Mel Gorman <>
> To: Martin Knoblauch <>
> Cc: Fengguang Wu <>; Mike Snitzer <>; Peter Zijlstra <>;; Ingo Molnar <>;; "" <>; Linus Torvalds <>;
> Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2008 11:12:21 PM
> Subject: Re: regression: 100% io-wait with 2.6.24-rcX
> On (17/01/08 13:50), Martin Knoblauch didst pronounce:
> > > 
> > 
> > The effect  is  defintely  depending on  the  IO  hardware.
> > 
 performed the same tests
> > on a different box with an AACRAID controller and there things
> > look different.
> I take it different also means it does not show this odd performance
> behaviour and is similar whether the patch is applied or not?

Here are the numbers (MB/s) from the AACRAID box, after a fresh boot:

Test    2.6.24-rc6  2.6.24-rc6-81eabcbe0b991ddef5216f30ae91c4b226d54b6d
dd1             325       350             290
dd1-dir       180       160             160
dd2             2x90     2x113         2x110
dd2-dir       2x120   2x92            2x93
dd3            3x54      3x70           3x70
dd3-dir      3x83      3x64           3x64
mix3          55,2x30  400,2x25   310,2x25

 What we are seing here is that:

a) DIRECT IO takes a much bigger hit (2.6.19 vs. 2.6.24) on this IO system compared to the CCISS box
b) Reverting your patch hurts single stream
c) dual/triple stream are not affected by your patch and are improved over 2.6.19
d) the mix3 performance is improved compared to 2.6.19.
d1) reverting your patch hurts the local-disk part of mix3
e) the AACRAID setup is definitely faster than the CCISS.

 So, on this box your patch is definitely needed to get the pre-2.6.24 performance
when writing a single big file.

 Actually things on the CCISS box might be even more complicated. I forgot the fact
that on that box we have ext2/LVM/DM/Hardware, while on the AACRAID box we have
ext2/Hardware. Do you think that the LVM/MD are sensitive to the page order/coloring?

 Anyway: does your patch only address this performance issue, or are there also
data integrity concerns without it? I may consider reverting the patch for my
production environment. It really helps two thirds of my boxes big time, while it does
not hurt the other third that much :-)

> > 
> >  I can certainly stress the box before doing the tests. Please
> > define "many" for the kernel compiles :-)
> > 
> With 8GiB of RAM, try making 24 copies of the kernel and compiling them
> all simultaneously. Running that for for 20-30 minutes should be enough
 to randomise the freelists affecting what color of page is used for the
> dd  test.

 ouch :-) OK, I will try that.


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