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Date:   Fri, 8 Jan 2021 15:59:22 +0800
From:   Ming Lei <>
To:     Dave Chinner <>
Cc:     Christoph Hellwig <>, Jens Axboe <>,,,
        Alexander Viro <>,
        "Darrick J . Wong" <>,,
Subject: Re: [RFC PATCH] fs: block_dev: compute nr_vecs hint for improving
 writeback bvecs allocation

On Thu, Jan 07, 2021 at 09:21:11AM +1100, Dave Chinner wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 06, 2021 at 04:45:48PM +0800, Ming Lei wrote:
> > On Tue, Jan 05, 2021 at 07:39:38PM +0100, Christoph Hellwig wrote:
> > > At least for iomap I think this is the wrong approach.  Between the
> > > iomap and writeback_control we know the maximum size of the writeback
> > > request and can just use that.
> > 
> > I think writeback_control can tell us nothing about max pages in single
> > bio:
> By definition, the iomap tells us exactly how big the IO is going to
> be. i.e. an iomap spans a single contiguous range that we are going
> to issue IO on. Hence we can use that to size the bio exactly
> right for direct IO.

When I trace wpc->iomap.length in iomap_add_to_ioend() on the following fio
randwrite/write, the length is 1GB most of times, maybe because it is
one fresh XFS.

fio --size=1G --bsrange=4k-4k --runtime=30 --numjobs=2 --ioengine=psync --iodepth=32 \
	--directory=$DIR --group_reporting=1 --unlink=0 --direct=0 --fsync=0 --name=f1 \
	--stonewall --rw=$RW

Another reason is that pages in the range may be contiguous physically,
so lots of pages may share one single bvec.

> > - wbc->nr_to_write controls how many pages to writeback, this pages
> >   usually don't belong to same bio. Also this number is often much
> >   bigger than BIO_MAX_PAGES.
> > 
> > - wbc->range_start/range_end is similar too, which is often much more
> >   bigger than BIO_MAX_PAGES.
> > 
> > Also page/blocks_in_page can be mapped to different extent too, which is
> > only available when wpc->ops->map_blocks() is returned,
> We only allocate the bio -after- calling ->map_blocks() to obtain
> the iomap for the given writeback range request. Hence we
> already know how large the BIO could be before we allocate it.
> > which looks not
> > different with mpage_writepages(), in which bio is allocated with
> > BIO_MAX_PAGES vecs too.
> __mpage_writepage() only maps a page at a time, so it can't tell
> ahead of time how big the bio is going to need to be as it doesn't
> return/cache a contiguous extent range. So it's actually very
> different to the iomap writeback code, and effectively does require
> a BIO_MAX_PAGES vecs allocation all the time...
> > Or you mean we can use iomap->length for this purpose? But iomap->length
> > still is still too big in case of xfs.
> if we are doing small random writeback into large extents (i.e.
> iomap->length is large), then it is trivial to detect that we are
> doing random writes rather than sequential writes by checking if the
> current page is sequential to the last sector in the current bio.
> We already do this non-sequential IO checking to determine if a new
> bio needs to be allocated in iomap_can_add_to_ioend(), and we also
> know how large the current contiguous range mapped into the current
> bio chain is (ioend->io_size). Hence we've got everything we need to
> determine whether we should do a large or small bio vec allocation
> in the iomap writeback path...

page->index should tell us if the workload is random or sequential, however
still not easy to decide how many pages there will be in the next bio
when iomap->length is large.


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