Re: [PATCH 0/3] Fix malloc() stall in zone_reclaim() and bringbehaviour more in line with expectations V3

From: Mel Gorman
Date: Mon Jun 15 2009 - 11:25:54 EST

On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 11:01:41AM -0400, Christoph Lameter wrote:
> On Mon, 15 Jun 2009, Mel Gorman wrote:
> > > May I ask your worry?
> > >
> >
> > Simply that I believe the intention of PF_SWAPWRITE here was to allow
> > zone_reclaim() to aggressively reclaim memory if the reclaim_mode allowed
> > it as it was a statement that off-node accesses are really not desired.
> Right.
> > Ok. I am not fully convinced but I'll not block it either if believe it's
> > necessary. My current understanding is that this patch only makes a difference
> > if the server is IO congested in which case the system is struggling anyway
> > and an off-node access is going to be relatively small penalty overall.
> > Conceivably, having PF_SWAPWRITE set makes things worse in that situation
> > and the patch makes some sense.
> We could drop support for RECLAIM_SWAP if that simplifies things.

I don't think that is necessary. While I expect it's very rarely used, I
imagine a situation where it would be desirable on a system that had large
amounts of tmpfs pages but where it wasn't critical they remain in-memory.

Removing PF_SWAPWRITE would make it less aggressive and if you were
happy with that, then that would be good enough for me.

Mel Gorman
Part-time Phd Student Linux Technology Center
University of Limerick IBM Dublin Software Lab
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