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Date:	Sat, 4 Aug 2007 10:15:05 -0700 (PDT)
From:	david@...g.hm
To:	Ray Lee <ray-lk@...rabbit.org>
cc:	Ingo Molnar <mingo@...e.hu>,
	Linus Torvalds <torvalds@...ux-foundation.org>,
	Peter Zijlstra <a.p.zijlstra@...llo.nl>, linux-mm@...ck.org,
	linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org, miklos@...redi.hu,
	akpm@...ux-foundation.org, neilb@...e.de, dgc@....com,
	tomoki.sekiyama.qu@...achi.com, nikita@...sterfs.com,
	trond.myklebust@....uio.no, yingchao.zhou@...il.com,
	richard@....demon.co.uk, netdev@...r.kernel.org
Subject: Re: [PATCH 00/23] per device dirty throttling -v8

On Sat, 4 Aug 2007, Ray Lee wrote:

> (adding netdev cc:)
>
> On 8/4/07, david@...g.hm <david@...g.hm> wrote:
>> On Sat, 4 Aug 2007, Ingo Molnar wrote:
>>
>>> * Ingo Molnar <mingo@...e.hu> wrote:
>>>
>>>> There are positive reports in the never-ending "my system crawls like
>>>> an XT when copying large files" bugzilla entry:
>>>>
>>>>  http://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=7372
>>>
>>> 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
>>>   2.6.21.6 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 2.6.20.3 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
> http://lkml.org/lkml/2007/5/21/84 . 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.

I will try them later today.

I forgot to mention that the filesystems are ext2 for the mirrored high 
speed disks and xfs for the 8TB array.

David Lang
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