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Date:	Thu, 15 Jul 2010 06:47:43 +0300
From:	Ofer Heifetz <>
To:	Eric Dumazet <>
CC:	Changli Gao <>, Jens Axboe <>,
	"" <>
Subject: RE: Splice status


I managed to get splice use up to 64K which look to me as a samba limitation (smb.conf SO_RCVBUF limitation I think) but still do not get any performance improvement using splice, the write numbers for splice are in about the same as for regular read/write though refraining from copy_to_user and copy_from_user.


-----Original Message-----
From: Eric Dumazet [] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 5:12 PM
To: Ofer Heifetz
Cc: Changli Gao; Jens Axboe;
Subject: RE: Splice status

Le mardi 13 juillet 2010 à 14:41 +0300, Ofer Heifetz a écrit :
> Hi,
> I wanted to let you know that I have been testing Samba splice on Marvell 6282 SoC on 2.6.35_rc3 and noticed that it gave worst performance than not using it and also noticed that on re-writing file the iowait is high.
> iometer using 2G file (file is created before test)
> Splice  write cpu% iow%
> -----------------------
>  No     58    98    0
> Yes     14   100   48
> iozone using 2G file (file created during test)
> Splice  write cpu% iow%  re-write cpu% iow%  
> -------------------------------------------
>  No     35    85    4    58.2     70    0
> Yes     33    85    4    15.7    100   58
> Any clue why splice introduces a high iowait?
> I noticed samba uses up to 16K per splice syscall, changing the samba to try more did not help, so I guess it is a kernel limitation.

splice(socket -> pipe) provides partial buffers (depending on the MTU)

With typical MTU=1500 and tcp timestamps, each network frame contains
1448 bytes of payload, partially filling one page (of 4096 bytes)

When doing the splice(pipe -> file), kernel has to coalesce partial
data, but amount of written data per syscall() is small (about 20

Without splice(), the write() syscall provides more data, and vfs
overhead is smaller as buffer size is a power of two.

Samba uses a 128 KBytes TRANSFER_BUF_SIZE in its default_sys_recvfile()
implementation, it easily outperforms splice() implementation.

You could try extending pipe size (fcntl(fd, F_SETPIPE_SZ, 256)), maybe
it will be a bit better. (and ask 256*4096 bytes to splice())

I tried this and got about 256Kbytes per splice() call...

# perf report
# Events: 13K
# Overhead         Command      Shared Object  Symbol
# ........  ..............  .................  ......
     8.69%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] memcpy
     3.82%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] kunmap_atomic
     3.51%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] __block_prepare_write
     2.79%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] __skb_splice_bits
     2.58%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] ext3_mark_iloc_dirty
     2.45%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] do_get_write_access
     2.04%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] __find_get_block
     1.89%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] _raw_spin_lock
     1.83%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] journal_add_journal_head
     1.46%  splice-fromnet  [bnx2x]            [k] bnx2x_rx_int
     1.46%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] kfree
     1.42%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] journal_put_journal_head
     1.29%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] __ext3_get_inode_loc
     1.26%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] journal_dirty_metadata
     1.25%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] page_address
     1.20%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] journal_cancel_revoke
     1.15%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] tcp_read_sock
     1.09%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] unlock_buffer
     1.09%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] pipe_to_file
     1.05%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] radix_tree_lookup_element
     1.04%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] kmap_atomic_prot
     1.04%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] kmem_cache_free
     1.03%  splice-fromnet  [kernel.kallsyms]  [k] kmem_cache_alloc
     1.01%  splice-fromnet  [bnx2x]            [k] bnx2x_poll

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