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Date:	Tue, 10 Nov 2009 08:31:14 -0500
From:	Vivek Goyal <>
To:	Corrado Zoccolo <>
Subject: Re: [RFC] Workload type Vs Groups (Was: Re: [PATCH 02/20] blkio:
	Change CFQ to use CFS like queue time stamps)

On Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 12:29:30PM +0100, Corrado Zoccolo wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 12:12 AM, Vivek Goyal <> wrote:
> >
> > I thought it was reverse. For sync-noidle workoads (typically seeky), we
> > do lot less IO and size of IO is not the right measure otherwise most of
> > the disk time we will be giving to this sync-noidle queue/group and
> > sync-idle queues will be heavily punished in other groups.
> This happens only if you try to measure both sequential and seeky with
> the same metric.

Ok, we seem to be discussing many things. I will try to pull it back on
core points.

To me there are only two key questions.

- Whether workload type should be on topmost layer or groups should be on
  topmost layer.

- How to define fairness in case of NCQ SSD where idling hurts and we
  don't choose to idle.

For the first issue, if we keep workoad type on top, then we weaken the
isolation between groups. We provide isolation between only same kind of
workload type and not across the workloads types.

So if a group is running only sequential readers and other group is runnig
random seeky reaeder, then share of second group is not determined by the
group weight but the number of queues in first group.

Hence as we increase number of queues in first group, share of second
group keep on coming down. This kind of implies that sequential reads
in first group are more important as comapred to random seeky reader in
second group. But in this case the relative importance of workload is
specifed by the user with the help of cgroups and weights and IO scheduler
should honor that.

So to me, groups on topmost layer makes more sense than having workload
type on topmost layer.

> >
> > time based fairness generally should work better on seeky media. As the
> > seek cost starts to come down, size of IO also starts making sense.
> >
> > In fact on SSD, we do queue switching so fast and don't idle on the queue,
> > doing time accounting and providing fairness in terms of time is hard, for
> > the groups which are not continuously backlogged.
> The mechanism in place still gives fairness in terms of I/Os for SSDs.
> One queue is not even nearly backlogged, then there is no point in
> enforcing fairness for it so that the backlogged one gets lower
> bandwidth, but the not backlogged one doesn't get higher (since it is
> limited by its think time).
> For me fairness for SSDs should happen only when the total BW required
> by all the queues is more than the one the disk can deliver, or the
> total number of active queues is more than NCQ depth. Otherwise, each
> queue will get exactly the bandwidth it wants, without affecting the
> others, so no idling should happen. In the mentioned cases, instead,
> no idling needs to be added, since the contention for resource will
> already introduce delays.

Ok, above is pertinent for the second issue of not idling on NCQ SSDs as
it hurts and brings down the overall throughput. I tend to agree here,
that idling on queues limited by think time does not make much sense on
NCQ SSD. In this case probably fairness will be defined by how many a
times a group got scheduled in for dispatch. If group has higher weight
then it should be able to dispatch more times (in proportionate ratio),
as compared to group lower weight group.

We should be able to achieve this without idling hence overall thoughtput
of the system should also be good. The only catch here is that it will be
hard to achieve this behavior if group is not continuously backlogged.

You seem to be suggesting that current CFQ formula for calculating slice
offset provides take care of that. Looking at the formula I can't
understand how does it enable dispatch from a queue in proportion to
weight or priority. I will do some experiments on my NCQ SSD and do
more discussion on this aspect later.


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