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Date:   Fri, 21 Aug 2020 09:53:03 -0700
From:   Jakub Kicinski <kuba@...nel.org>
To:     Ido Schimmel <idosch@...sch.org>
Cc:     David Ahern <dsahern@...il.com>,
        Florian Fainelli <f.fainelli@...il.com>,
        netdev@...r.kernel.org, davem@...emloft.net, jiri@...dia.com,
        amcohen@...dia.com, danieller@...dia.com, mlxsw@...dia.com,
        roopa@...dia.com, andrew@...n.ch, vivien.didelot@...il.com,
        tariqt@...dia.com, ayal@...dia.com, mkubecek@...e.cz,
        Ido Schimmel <idosch@...dia.com>
Subject: Re: [RFC PATCH net-next 0/6] devlink: Add device metric support

On Fri, 21 Aug 2020 13:30:21 +0300 Ido Schimmel wrote:
> On Thu, Aug 20, 2020 at 09:09:42AM -0700, Jakub Kicinski wrote:
> > On Thu, 20 Aug 2020 08:35:25 -0600 David Ahern wrote:  
> > > On 8/19/20 12:07 PM, Jakub Kicinski wrote:  
> > > > I don't have a great way forward in mind, sadly. All I can think of is
> > > > that we should try to create more well defined interfaces and steer
> > > > away from free-form ones.    
> > > 
> > > There is a lot of value in free-form too.  
> > 
> > On Tue, 18 Aug 2020 20:35:01 -0700 Jakub Kicinski wrote:  
> > > It's a question of interface, not the value of exposed data.  
> >   
> > > > Example, here if the stats are vxlan decap/encap/error - we should
> > > > expose that from the vxlan module. That way vxlan module defines one
> > > > set of stats for everyone.
> > > > 
> > > > In general unless we attach stats to the object they relate to, we will
> > > > end up building parallel structures for exposing statistics from the
> > > > drivers. I posted a set once which was implementing hierarchical stats,
> > > > but I've abandoned it for this reason.  
> > > > > [...]  
> > > > 
> > > > IDK. I just don't feel like this is going to fly, see how many names
> > > > people invented for the CRC error statistic in ethtool -S, even tho
> > > > there is a standard stat for that! And users are actually parsing the
> > > > output of ethtool -S to get CRC stats because (a) it became the go-to
> > > > place for NIC stats and (b) some drivers forget to report in the
> > > > standard place.
> > > > 
> > > > The cover letter says this set replaces the bad debugfs with a good,
> > > > standard API. It may look good and standard for _vendors_ because they
> > > > will know where to dump their counters, but it makes very little
> > > > difference for _users_. If I have to parse names for every vendor I use,
> > > > I can as well add a per-vendor debugfs path to my script.
> > > > 
> > > > The bar for implementation-specific driver stats has to be high.    
> > > 
> > > My take away from this is you do not like the names - the strings side
> > > of it.
> > > 
> > > Do you object to the netlink API? The netlink API via devlink?
> > > 
> > > 'perf' has json files to describe and document counters
> > > (tools/perf/pmu-events). Would something like that be acceptable as a
> > > form of in-tree documentation of counters? (vs Documentation/networking
> > > or URLs like
> > > https://community.mellanox.com/s/article/understanding-mlx5-ethtool-counters)  
> > 
> > Please refer to what I said twice now about the definition of the stats
> > exposed here belonging with the VxLAN code, not the driver.  
> 
> Please refer to the changelog:
> 
> "The Spectrum ASICs have a single hardware VTEP that is able to perform
> VXLAN encapsulation and decapsulation. The VTEP is logically mapped by
> mlxsw to the multiple VXLAN netdevs that are using it. Exposing the
> counters of this VTEP via the multiple VXLAN netdevs that are using it
> would be both inaccurate and confusing for users.
>     
> Instead, expose the counters of the VTEP via devlink-metric. Note that
> Spectrum-1 supports a different set of counters compared to newer ASICs
> in the Spectrum family."

I read your cover letter, I didn't say the metrics have to be reported
on particular netdevs.

> Hardware implementations will rarely fit 1:1 to the nice and discrete
> software implementations that they try to accelerate. The purpose of
> this API is exposing metrics specific to these hardware implementations.
> This results in better visibility which can be leveraged for faster
> debugging and more thorough testing.
> 
> The reason I came up with this interface is not the specific VXLAN
> metrics that bother you, but a new platform we are working on. It uses
> the ASIC as a cache that refers lookups to an external device in case of
> cache misses. It is completely transparent to user space (you get better
> scale), but the driver is very much aware of this stuff as it needs to
> insert objects (e.g., routes) in a way that will minimize cache misses.
> Just checking that ping works is hardly enough. We must be able to read
> the cache counters to ensure we do not see cache misses when we do not
> expect them.
> 
> As another example, consider the algorithmic TCAM implementation we have
> in Spectrum-2 for ACLs [1]. While a user simply adds / deletes filters,
> the driver needs to jump through multiple hops in order to program them
> in a way that will result in a better scale and reduced latency. We
> currently do not have an interface through which we can expose metrics
> related to this specific implementation.
> 
> [1] https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/commit/?id=756cd36626f773e9a72a39c1dd12da4deacfacdf
> 
> >   
> > > > Okay, fair. I just think that in datacenter deployments we are way
> > > > closer to the SDK model than people may want to admit.  
> > > 
> > > I do not agree with that; the SDK model means you *must* use vendor code
> > > to make something work. Your argument here is about labels for stats and
> > > an understanding of their meaning.  
> > 
> > Sure, no "must" for passing packets, but you "must" use vendor tooling
> > to operate a fleet.
> > 
> > Since everybody already has vendor tools what value does this API add?  
> 
> We don't have any "vendor tools" to get this information. Our team is
> doing everything it possibly can in order to move away from such an
> approach.

For clarity I wasn't speaking about your switches, sadly I have no
experience with those.

> > I still need per vendor logic. Let's try to build APIs which will
> > actually make user's life easier, which users will want to switch to.  
> 
> Developers are also users and they should be able to read whatever
> information they need from the device in order to help them do their
> work. You have a multitude of tools (e.g., kprobes, tracepoints) to get
> better visibility into the software data path. Commonality is not a
> reason to be blind as a bat when looking into the hardware data path.

How many times do I have to say that I'm not arguing against the value
of the data? 

If you open up this interface either someone will police it, or it will
become a dumpster.

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