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Re: [Xen-devel] [RFC PATCH] page_alloc: use first half of higher order chunks when halving

On 03/26/14 10:56, Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk wrote:
On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 10:47:44AM -0700, Matthew Rushton wrote:
On 03/26/14 09:36, Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk wrote:
On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 08:59:04AM -0700, Matthew Rushton wrote:
On 03/26/14 08:15, Matt Wilson wrote:
On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 11:08:01AM -0400, Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk wrote:
Could you elaborate a bit more on the use-case please?
My understanding is that most drivers use a scatter gather list - in which
case it does not matter if the underlaying MFNs in the PFNs spare are
not contingous.

But I presume the issue you are hitting is with drivers doing dma_map_page
and the page is not 4KB but rather large (compound page). Is that the
problem you have observed?
Drivers are using very large size arguments to dma_alloc_coherent()
for things like RX and TX descriptor rings.
Large size like larger than 512kB? That would also cause problems
on baremetal then when swiotlb is activated I believe.
I was looking at network IO performance so the buffers would not
have been that large. I think large in this context is relative to
the 4k page size and the odds of the buffer spanning a page
boundary. For context I saw ~5-10% performance increase with guest
network throughput by avoiding bounce buffers and also saw dom0 tcp
streaming performance go from ~6Gb/s to over 9Gb/s on my test setup
with a 10Gb NIC.
OK, but that would not be the dma_alloc_coherent ones then? That sounds
more like the generic TCP mechanism allocated 64KB pages instead of 4KB
and used those.

Did you try looking at this hack that Ian proposed a long time ago
to verify that it is said problem?


Yes I had seen that and intially had the same reaction but the change was relatively recent and not relevant. I *think* all the coherent allocations are ok since the swiotlb makes them contiguous. The problem comes with the use of the streaming api. As one example with jumbo frames enabled a driver might use larger rx buffers which triggers the problem.

I think the right thing to do is to make the dma streaming api work better with larger buffers on dom0. That way it works across all drivers and device types regardless of how they were designed.

It's the dma streaming api I've noticed the problem with, so
dma_map_single(). Applicable swiotlb code would be
xen_swiotlb_map_page() and range_straddles_page_boundary(). So yes
for larger buffers it can cause bouncing.

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