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Date:	Sun, 24 Jan 2016 13:41:13 -0800
From:	John Fastabend <>
To:	Tom Herbert <>,
	Jesper Dangaard Brouer <>
CC:	David Miller <>,
	Eric Dumazet <>,
	Or Gerlitz <>,
	Eric Dumazet <>,
	Linux Kernel Network Developers <>,
	Alexander Duyck <>,
	Alexei Starovoitov <>,
	Daniel Borkmann <>,
	Marek Majkowski <>,
	Hannes Frederic Sowa <>,
	Florian Westphal <>,
	Paolo Abeni <>,
	John Fastabend <>,
	Amir Vadai <>,
	"Michael S. Tsirkin" <>
Subject: Re: Optimizing instruction-cache, more packets at each stage

On 16-01-24 12:09 PM, Tom Herbert wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 24, 2016 at 6:28 AM, Jesper Dangaard Brouer
> <> wrote:
>> On Thu, 21 Jan 2016 10:54:01 -0800 (PST)
>> David Miller <> wrote:
>>> From: Jesper Dangaard Brouer <>
>>> Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2016 12:27:30 +0100
>>>> eth_type_trans() does two things:
>>>> 1) determine skb->protocol
>>>> 2) setup skb->pkt_type = PACKET_{BROADCAST,MULTICAST,OTHERHOST}
>>>> Could the HW descriptor deliver the "proto", or perhaps just some bits
>>>> on the most common proto's?
>>>> The skb->pkt_type don't need many bits.  And I bet the HW already have
>>>> the information.  The BROADCAST and MULTICAST indication are easy.  The
>>>> PACKET_OTHERHOST, can be turned around, by instead set a PACKET_HOST
>>>> indication, if the eth->h_dest match the devices dev->dev_addr (else a
>>>> SW compare is required).
>>>> Is that doable in hardware?
>>> I feel like we've had this discussion before several years ago.
>>> I think having just the protocol value would be enough.
>>> skb->pkt_type we could deal with by using always an accessor and
>>> evaluating it lazily.  Nothing needs it until we hit ip_rcv() or
>>> similar.
>> First I thought, I liked the idea delaying the eval of skb->pkt_type.
>> BUT then I realized, what if we take this even further.  What if we
>> actually use this information, for something useful, at this very
>> early RX stage.
>> The information I'm interested in, from the HW descriptor, is if this
>> packet is NOT for local delivery.  If so, we can send the packet on a
>> "fast-forward" code path.
>> Think about bridging packets to a guest OS.  Because we know very
>> early at RX (from packet HW descriptor) we might even avoid allocating
>> a SKB.  We could just "forward" the packet-page to the guest OS.
>> Taking Eric's idea, of remote CPUs, we could even send these
>> packet-pages to a remote CPU (e.g. where the guest OS is running),
>> without having touched a single cache-line in the packet-data.  I
>> would still bundle them up first, to amortize the (100-133ns) cost of
>> transferring something to another CPU.
> You mean like RPS/RFS/aRFS/flow_director already does (except for the
> zero-touch part)?

You could also look at ATR in the ixgbe/i40e drivers which on xmit
uses a tuple to try and force the hardware to recv on the same queue
pair as the sending side. The idea being you can bind tx/rx queue
pairs to a core and send/recv on the same core which tends to be an
OK strategy although not always. It is sometimes better to tx and rx
on separate cores.

>> The data-cache trick, would be to instruct prefetcher only to start
>> prefetching to L3 or L2, when these packet are destined for a remote
>> CPU.  At-least Intel CPUs have prefetch operations that specify only
>> L2/L3 cache.
>> Maybe, we need a combined solution.  Lazy eval skb->pkt_type, for
>> local delivery, but set the information if avail from HW desc.  And
>> fast page-forward don't even need a SKB.
>> --
>> Best regards,
>>   Jesper Dangaard Brouer
>>   MSc.CS, Principal Kernel Engineer at Red Hat
>>   Author of
>>   LinkedIn:

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