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Date:	Sun, 9 May 2010 12:26:14 +0300
From:	"Michael S. Tsirkin" <mst@...hat.com>
To:	"Xin, Xiaohui" <xiaohui.xin@...el.com>
Cc:	"netdev@...r.kernel.org" <netdev@...r.kernel.org>,
	"kvm@...r.kernel.org" <kvm@...r.kernel.org>,
	"linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org" <linux-kernel@...r.kernel.org>,
	"mingo@...e.hu" <mingo@...e.hu>,
	"davem@...emloft.net" <davem@...emloft.net>,
	"jdike@...ux.intel.com" <jdike@...ux.intel.com>
Subject: Re: [RFC][PATCH v4 00/18] Provide a zero-copy method on KVM
	virtio-net.

On Sat, May 08, 2010 at 03:55:48PM +0800, Xin, Xiaohui wrote:
> Michael,
> Sorry, somehow I missed this mail. :-(
> 
> >> Here, we have ever considered 2 ways to utilize the page constructor
> >> API to dispense the user buffers.
> >> 
> >> One:	Modify __alloc_skb() function a bit, it can only allocate a 
> >> 	structure of sk_buff, and the data pointer is pointing to a 
> >> 	user buffer which is coming from a page constructor API.
> >> 	Then the shinfo of the skb is also from guest.
> >> 	When packet is received from hardware, the skb->data is filled
> >> 	directly by h/w. What we have done is in this way.
> >> 
> >> 	Pros:	We can avoid any copy here.
> >> 	Cons:	Guest virtio-net driver needs to allocate skb as almost
> >> 		the same method with the host NIC drivers, say the size
> >> 		of netdev_alloc_skb() and the same reserved space in the
> >> 		head of skb. Many NIC drivers are the same with guest and
> >> 		ok for this. But some lastest NIC drivers reserves special
> >> 		room in skb head. To deal with it, we suggest to provide
> >> 		a method in guest virtio-net driver to ask for parameter
> >> 		we interest from the NIC driver when we know which device 
> >> 		we have bind to do zero-copy. Then we ask guest to do so.
> >> 		Is that reasonable?
> 
> >Do you still do this?
> 
> Currently, we still use the first way. But we now ignore the room which 
> host skb_reserve() required when device is doing zero-copy. Now we don't 
> taint guest virtio-net driver with a new method by this way.
> 
> >> Two:	Modify driver to get user buffer allocated from a page constructor
> >> 	API(to substitute alloc_page()), the user buffer are used as payload
> >> 	buffers and filled by h/w directly when packet is received. Driver
> >> 	should associate the pages with skb (skb_shinfo(skb)->frags). For 
> >> 	the head buffer side, let host allocates skb, and h/w fills it. 
> >> 	After that, the data filled in host skb header will be copied into
> >> 	guest header buffer which is submitted together with the payload buffer.
> >> 
> >> 	Pros:	We could less care the way how guest or host allocates their
> >> 		buffers.
> >> 	Cons:	We still need a bit copy here for the skb header.
> >> 
> >> We are not sure which way is the better here. This is the first thing we want
> >> to get comments from the community. We wish the modification to the network
> >> part will be generic which not used by vhost-net backend only, but a user
> >> application may use it as well when the zero-copy device may provides async
> >> read/write operations later.
> 
> >I commented on this in the past. Do you still want comments?
> 
> Now we continue with the first way and try to push it. But any comments about the two methods are still welcome.
> 
> >That's nice. The thing to do is probably to enable GSO/TSO
> >and see what we get this way. Also, mergeable buffer support
> >was recently posted and I hope to merge it for 2.6.35.
> >You might want to take a look.
> 
> I'm looking at the mergeable buffer. I think GSO/GRO support with zero-copy also needs it.
> Currently, GSO/TSO is still not supported by vhost-net?

GSO/TSO are currently supported with tap and macvtap,
AF_PACKET socket backend still needs some work to
enable GSO.

> -- 
> MST
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