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Date:	Thu, 21 May 2009 00:15:03 -0700 (PDT)
From:	David Miller <>
Subject: Re: [RFC] virtio: orphan skbs if we're relying on timer to free

From: Rusty Russell <>
Date: Thu, 21 May 2009 16:27:05 +0930

> On Tue, 19 May 2009 12:10:13 pm David Miller wrote:
>> What you're doing by orphan'ing is creating a situation where a single
>> UDP socket can loop doing sends and monopolize the TX queue of a
>> device.  The only control we have over a sender for fairness in
>> datagram protocols is that send buffer allocation.
> Urgh, that hadn't even occurred to me.  Good point.

Now this all is predicated on this actually mattering. :-)

You could argue that the scheduler as well as the size of the
TX queue should be limiting and enforcing fairness.

Someone really needs to test this.  Just skb_orphan() every packet
at the beginning of dev_hard_start_xmit(), then run some test
program with two clients looping out UDP packets to see if one
can monopolize the device and get a significantly larger amount
of TX resources than the other.  Repeat for 3, 4, 5, etc. clients.

> I haven't thought this through properly, but how about a hack where
> we don't orphan packets if the ring is over half full?

That would also work.  And for the NIU case this would be great
because I DO have a marker bit for triggering interrupts in the TX
descriptors.  There's just no "all empty" interrupt on TX (who
designs these things? :( ).

> Then I guess we could overload the watchdog as a more general
> timer-after-no- xmit?

Yes, but it means that teardown of a socket can be delayed up to
the amount of that timer.  Factor in all of this crazy
round_jiffies() stuff people do these days and it could cause
pauses for real use cases and drive users batty.

Probably the most profitable avenue is to see if this is a real issue
afterall (see above).  If we can get away with having the socket
buffer represent socket --> device space only, that's the most ideal
solution.  It will probably also improve performance a lot across the
board, especially on NUMA/SMP boxes as our TX complete events tend to
be in difference places than the SKB producer.
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