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Re: [Xen-devel] Re: NUMA and SMP

I am puzzled ,what is the page migration?
Thank you in advance

Emmanuel Ackaouy åé:
On the topic of NUMA:

I'd like to dispute the assumption that a NUMA-aware OS can actually
make good decisions about the initial placement of memory in a
reasonable hardware ccNUMA system.

How does the OS know on which node a particular chunk of memory
will be most accessed? The truth is that unless the application or
person running the application is herself NUMA-aware and can provide
placement hints or directives, the OS will seldom beat a round-robin /
interleave or random placement strategy.

To illustrate, consider an app which lays out a bunch of data in memory
in a single thread and then spawns worker threads to process it.

Is the OS to place memory close to the initial thread? How can it possibly
know how many threads will eventually process the data?

Even if the OS knew how many threads will eventually crunch the data,
it cannot possibly know at placement time if each thread will work on an
assigned data subset (and if so, which one) or if it will act as a pipeline
stage with all the data being passed from one thread to the next.

If you go beyond initial memory placement or start considering memory
migration, then it's even harder to win because you have to pay copy
and stall penalties during migrations. So you have to be real smart
about predicting the future to do better than your ~10-40% memory
bandwidth and latency hit associated with doing simple memory
interleaving on a modern hardware-ccNUMA system.

And it gets worse for you when your app is successfully taking advantage
of the memory cache hierarchy because its performance is less impacted
by raw memory latency and bandwidth.

Things also get more difficult on a time-sharing host with competing

There is a strong argument for making hypervisors and OSes NUMA
aware in the sense that:
1- They know about system topology
2- They can export this information up the stack to applications and users 3- They can take in directives from users and applications to partition the
host and place some threads and memory in specific partitions.
4- They use an interleaved (or random) initial memory placement strategy
by default.

The argument that the OS on its own -- without user or application
directives -- can make better placement decisions than round-robin or
random placement is -- in my opinion -- flawed.

I also am skeptical that the complexity associated with page migration
strategies would be worthwhile: If you got it wrong the first time, what
makes you think you'll do better this time?


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