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Date:	Thu, 21 Apr 2016 17:01:50 -0700
From:	Andrew Morton <akpm@...ux-foundation.org>
To:	Vinayak Menon <vinmenon@...eaurora.org>
Cc:	linux-mm@...ck.org, linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org,
	dan.j.williams@...el.com, mgorman@...e.de, vbabka@...e.cz,
	kirill.shutemov@...ux.intel.com, dave.hansen@...ux.intel.com,
	hughd@...gle.com
Subject: Re: [PATCH] mm: make fault_around_bytes configurable

On Mon, 18 Apr 2016 20:47:16 +0530 Vinayak Menon <vinmenon@...eaurora.org> wrote:

> Mapping pages around fault is found to cause performance degradation
> in certain use cases. The test performed here is launch of 10 apps
> one by one, doing something with the app each time, and then repeating
> the same sequence once more, on an ARM 64-bit Android device with 2GB
> of RAM. The time taken to launch the apps is found to be better when
> fault around feature is disabled by setting fault_around_bytes to page
> size (4096 in this case).

Well that's one workload, and a somewhat strange one.  What is the
effect on other workloads (of which there are a lot!).

> The tests were done on 3.18 kernel. 4 extra vmstat counters were added
> for debugging. pgpgoutclean accounts the clean pages reclaimed via
> __delete_from_page_cache. pageref_activate, pageref_activate_vm_exec,
> and pageref_keep accounts the mapped file pages activated and retained
> by page_check_references.
> 
> === Without swap ===
>                           3.18             3.18-fault_around_bytes=4096
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> workingset_refault        691100           664339
> workingset_activate       210379           179139
> pgpgin                    4676096          4492780
> pgpgout                   163967           96711
> pgpgoutclean              1090664          990659
> pgalloc_dma               3463111          3328299
> pgfree                    3502365          3363866
> pgactivate                568134           238570
> pgdeactivate              752260           392138
> pageref_activate          315078           121705
> pageref_activate_vm_exec  162940           55815
> pageref_keep              141354           51011
> pgmajfault                24863            23633
> pgrefill_dma              1116370          544042
> pgscan_kswapd_dma         1735186          1234622
> pgsteal_kswapd_dma        1121769          1005725
> pgscan_direct_dma         12966            1090
> pgsteal_direct_dma        6209             967
> slabs_scanned             1539849          977351
> pageoutrun                1260             1333
> allocstall                47               7
> 
> === With swap ===
>                           3.18             3.18-fault_around_bytes=4096
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> workingset_refault        597687           878109
> workingset_activate       167169           254037
> pgpgin                    4035424          5157348
> pgpgout                   162151           85231
> pgpgoutclean              928587           1225029
> pswpin                    46033            17100
> pswpout                   237952           127686
> pgalloc_dma               3305034          3542614
> pgfree                    3354989          3592132
> pgactivate                626468           355275
> pgdeactivate              990205           771902
> pageref_activate          294780           157106
> pageref_activate_vm_exec  141722           63469
> pageref_keep              121931           63028
> pgmajfault                67818            45643
> pgrefill_dma              1324023          977192
> pgscan_kswapd_dma         1825267          1720322
> pgsteal_kswapd_dma        1181882          1365500
> pgscan_direct_dma         41957            9622
> pgsteal_direct_dma        25136            6759
> slabs_scanned             689575           542705
> pageoutrun                1234             1538
> allocstall                110              26
> 
> Looks like with fault_around, there is more pressure on reclaim because
> of the presence of more mapped pages, resulting in more IO activity,
> more faults, more swapping, and allocstalls.

A few of those things did get a bit worse?

Do you have any data on actual wall-time changes?  How much faster do
things become with the patch?  If it is "0.1%" then I'd say "umm, no".

> Make fault_around_bytes configurable so that it can be tuned to avoid
> performance degradation.

It sounds like we need to be smarter about auto-tuning this thing. 
Maybe the refault code could be taught to provide the feedback path but
that sounds hard.

Still.  I do think it would be better to make this configurable at
runtime.  Move the existing debugfs tunable into /proc/sys/vm (and
document it!).  I do dislkie adding even more tunables but this one
does make sense.  People will want to run their workloads with various
values until they find the peak throughput, and requiring a kernel
rebuild for that is a huge pain.

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