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Date:	Sat, 4 Aug 2007 09:01:13 -0700
From:	"Ray Lee" <>
To:	"" <>
Cc:	"Ingo Molnar" <>,
	"Linus Torvalds" <>,
	"Peter Zijlstra" <>,,,,,,,,,,,,
Subject: Re: [PATCH 00/23] per device dirty throttling -v8

(adding netdev cc:)

On 8/4/07, <> wrote:
> On Sat, 4 Aug 2007, Ingo Molnar wrote:
> > * Ingo Molnar <> wrote:
> >
> >> There are positive reports in the never-ending "my system crawls like
> >> an XT when copying large files" bugzilla entry:
> >>
> >>
> >
> > i forgot this entry:
> >
> > " We recently upgraded our office to gigabit Ethernet and got some big
> >   AMD64 / 3ware boxes for file and vmware servers... only to find them
> >   almost useless under any kind of real load. I've built some patched
> > kernels (using the bdi throttling patch you mentioned) to
> >   see if our various Debian Etch boxes run better. So far my testing
> >   shows a *great* improvement over the stock Debian 2.6.18 kernel on
> >   our configurations. "
> >
> > and bdi has been in -mm in the past i think, so we also know (to a
> > certain degree) that it does not hurt those workloads that are fine
> > either.
> >
> > [ my personal interest in this is the following regression: every time i
> >  start a large kernel build with DEBUG_INFO on a quad-core 4GB RAM box,
> >  i get up to 30 seconds complete pauses in Vim (and most other tasks),
> >  during plain editing of the source code. (which happens when Vim tries
> >  to write() to its swap/undo-file.) ]
> I have an issue that sounds like it's related.
> I've got a syslog server that's got two Opteron 246 cpu's, 16G ram, 2x140G
> 15k rpm drives (fusion MPT hardware mirroring), 16x500G 7200rpm SATA
> drives on 3ware 9500 cards (software raid6) running with hz set
> at default and preempt turned off.
> I have syslog doing buffered writes to the SCSI drives and every 5 min a
> cron job copies the data to the raid array.
> I've found that if I do anything significant on the large raid array that
> the system looses a significant amount of the UDP syslog traffic, even
> though there should be pleanty of ram and cpu (and the spindles involved
> in the writes are not being touched), even a grep can cause up to 40%
> losses in the syslog traffic. I've experimented with nice levels (nicing
> down the grep and nicing up the syslogd) without a noticable effect on the
> losses.
> I've been planning to try a new kernel with hz=1000 to see if that would
> help, and after that experiment with the various preempt settings, but it
> sounds like the per-device queues may actually be more relavent to the
> problem.
> what would you suggest I test, and in what order and combination?

At least on a surface level, your report has some similarities to . In that message, John Miller
mentions several things he tried without effect:

< - I increased the max allowed receive buffer through
< proc/sys/net/core/rmem_max and the application calls the right
< syscall. "netstat -su" does not show any "packet receive errors".
< - After getting "kernel: swapper: page allocation failure.
< order:0, mode:0x20", I increased /proc/sys/vm/min_free_kbytes
< - ixgb.txt in kernel network documentation suggests to increase
< net.core.netdev_max_backlog to 300000. This did not help.
< - I also had to increase net.core.optmem_max, because the default
< value was too small for 700 multicast groups.

As they're all pretty simple to test, it may be worthwhile to give
them a shot just to rule things out.

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