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Date:	Sun, 3 Jan 2010 18:59:57 +0000
From:	Mel Gorman <mel@....ul.ie>
To:	KOSAKI Motohiro <kosaki.motohiro@...fujitsu.com>
Cc:	LKML <linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org>, linux-mm <linux-mm@...ck.org>,
	Andrew Morton <akpm@...ux-foundation.org>,
	Balbir Singh <balbir@...ux.vnet.ibm.com>,
	KAMEZAWA Hiroyuki <kamezawa.hiroyu@...fujitsu.com>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 1/4] vmstat: remove zone->lock from walk_zones_in_node

On Mon, Dec 28, 2009 at 04:47:22PM +0900, KOSAKI Motohiro wrote:
> The zone->lock is one of performance critical locks. Then, it shouldn't
> be hold for long time. Currently, we have four walk_zones_in_node()
> usage and almost use-case don't need to hold zone->lock.
> 
> Thus, this patch move locking responsibility from walk_zones_in_node
> to its sub function. Also this patch kill unnecessary zone->lock taking.
> 
> Cc: Mel Gorman <mel@....ul.ie>
> Signed-off-by: KOSAKI Motohiro <kosaki.motohiro@...fujitsu.com>
> ---
>  mm/vmstat.c |    8 +++++---
>  1 files changed, 5 insertions(+), 3 deletions(-)
> 
> diff --git a/mm/vmstat.c b/mm/vmstat.c
> index 6051fba..a5d45bc 100644
> --- a/mm/vmstat.c
> +++ b/mm/vmstat.c
> @@ -418,15 +418,12 @@ static void walk_zones_in_node(struct seq_file *m, pg_data_t *pgdat,
>  {
>  	struct zone *zone;
>  	struct zone *node_zones = pgdat->node_zones;
> -	unsigned long flags;
>  
>  	for (zone = node_zones; zone - node_zones < MAX_NR_ZONES; ++zone) {
>  		if (!populated_zone(zone))
>  			continue;
>  
> -		spin_lock_irqsave(&zone->lock, flags);
>  		print(m, pgdat, zone);
> -		spin_unlock_irqrestore(&zone->lock, flags);
>  	}
>  }
>  
> @@ -455,6 +452,7 @@ static void pagetypeinfo_showfree_print(struct seq_file *m,
>  					pg_data_t *pgdat, struct zone *zone)
>  {
>  	int order, mtype;
> +	unsigned long flags;
>  
>  	for (mtype = 0; mtype < MIGRATE_TYPES; mtype++) {
>  		seq_printf(m, "Node %4d, zone %8s, type %12s ",
> @@ -468,8 +466,11 @@ static void pagetypeinfo_showfree_print(struct seq_file *m,
>  
>  			area = &(zone->free_area[order]);
>  
> +			spin_lock_irqsave(&zone->lock, flags);
>  			list_for_each(curr, &area->free_list[mtype])
>  				freecount++;
> +			spin_unlock_irqrestore(&zone->lock, flags);
> +

It's not clear why you feel this information requires the lock and the
others do not.

For the most part, I agree that the accuracy of the information is
not critical. Assuming partial writes of the data are not a problem,
the information is not going to go so badly out of sync that it would be
noticable, even if the information is out of date within the zone.

However, inconsistent reads in zoneinfo really could be a problem. I am
concerned that under heavy allocation load that that "pages free" would
not match "nr_pages_free" for example. Other examples that adding all the
counters together may or may not equal the total number of pages in the zone.

Lets say for example there was a subtle bug related to __inc_zone_page_state()
that meant that counters were getting slightly out of sync but it was very
marginal and/or difficult to reproduce. With this patch applied, we could
not be absolutly sure the counters were correct because it could always have
raced with someone holding the zone->lock.

Minimally, I think zoneinfo should be taking the zone lock.

Secondly, has increased zone->lock contention due to reading /proc
really been shown to be a problem? The only situation that I can think
of is a badly-written monitor program that is copying all of /proc
instead of the files of interest. If a monitor program is doing
something like that, it's likely to be incurring performance problems in
a large number of different areas. If that is not the trigger case, what
is?

Thanks

>  			seq_printf(m, "%6lu ", freecount);
>  		}
>  		seq_putc(m, '\n');
> @@ -709,6 +710,7 @@ static void zoneinfo_show_print(struct seq_file *m, pg_data_t *pgdat,
>  							struct zone *zone)
>  {
>  	int i;
> +

Unnecessary whitespace change.

>  	seq_printf(m, "Node %d, zone %8s", pgdat->node_id, zone->name);
>  	seq_printf(m,
>  		   "\n  pages free     %lu"
> -- 
> 1.6.5.2
> 
> 
> 
> 

-- 
Mel Gorman
Part-time Phd Student                          Linux Technology Center
University of Limerick                         IBM Dublin Software Lab
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