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Date:   Mon, 2 Jul 2018 16:11:09 +0900
From:   Toshiaki Makita <>
To:     Jason Wang <>,
        "Michael S. Tsirkin" <>
        Tonghao Zhang <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH vhost] vhost_net: Fix too many vring kick on busypoll

On 2018/07/02 15:17, Jason Wang wrote:
> On 2018年07月02日 12:37, Toshiaki Makita wrote:
>> On 2018/07/02 11:54, Jason Wang wrote:
>>> On 2018年07月02日 10:45, Toshiaki Makita wrote:
>>>> Hi Jason,
>>>> On 2018/06/29 18:30, Jason Wang wrote:
>>>>> On 2018年06月29日 16:09, Toshiaki Makita wrote:
>>>> ...
>>>>>> To fix this, poll the work instead of enabling notification when
>>>>>> busypoll is interrupted by something. IMHO signal_pending() and
>>>>>> vhost_has_work() are kind of interruptions rather than signals to
>>>>>> completely cancel the busypoll, so let's run busypoll after the
>>>>>> necessary work is done. In order to avoid too long busyloop due to
>>>>>> interruption, save the endtime in vq field and use it when reentering
>>>>>> the work function.
>>>>> I think we don't care long busyloop unless e.g tx can starve rx?
>>>> I just want to keep it user-controllable. Unless memorizing it busypoll
>>>> can run unexpectedly long.
>>> I think the total amount of time for busy polling is bounded. If I was
>>> wrong, it should be a bug somewhere.
>> Consider this kind of scenario:
>> 0. Set 100us busypoll for example.
>> 1. handle_tx() runs busypoll.
>> 2. Something like zerocopy queues tx_work within 100us.
>> 3. busypoll exits and call handle_tx() again.
>> 4. Repeat 1-3.
>> In this case handle_tx() does not process packets but busypoll
>> essentially runs beyond 100us without endtime memorized. This may be
>> just a theoretical problem, but I was worried that more code to poll tx
>> queue can be added in the future and it becomes realistic.
> Yes, but consider zerocopy tends to batch 16 used packets and we will
> finally finish all processing of packets. The above won't be endless, so
> it was probably tolerable.

Right. So endtime memorization is more like a future-proof thing.
Would you like to keep it or change something?

>>>>>> Performance numbers:
>>>>>> - Bulk transfer from guest to external physical server.
>>>>>>        [Guest]->vhost_net->tap--(XDP_REDIRECT)-->i40e --(wire)-->
>>>>>> [Server]
>>>>> Just to confirm in this case since zerocopy is enabled, we are in fact
>>>>> use the generic XDP datapath?
>>>> For some reason zerocopy was not applied for most packets, so in most
>>>> cases driver XDP was used. I was going to dig into it but not yet.
>>> Right, just to confirm this. This is expected.
>>> In tuntap, we do native XDP only for small and non zerocopy packets. See
>>> tun_can_build_skb(). The reason is XDP may adjust packet header which is
>>> not supported by zercopy. We can only use XDP generic for zerocopy in
>>> this case.
>> I think I understand when driver XDP can be used. What I'm not sure and
>> was going to narrow down is why zerocopy is mostly not applied.
> I see, any touch to the zerocopy packet (clone, header expansion or
> segmentation) that lead a userspace copy will increase the error counter
> in vhost_net. Then vhost_net_tx_select_zcopy() may choose not to use
> zerocopy. So it was probably something in your setup or a bug somewhere.

Thanks for the hint!

Toshiaki Makita

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