Bulk CPU Hotplug (Was Re: [PATCH] Do not force shutdown/reboot toboot cpu.)

From: Srivatsa S. Bhat
Date: Thu Apr 11 2013 - 08:48:05 EST

On 04/11/2013 11:01 AM, Paul Mackerras wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 08:10:05AM -0700, Linus Torvalds wrote:
>> The optimal solution would be to just speed up the
>> disable_nonboot_cpus() code so much that it isn't an issue. That would
>> be good for suspending too, although I guess suspend isn't a big issue
>> if you have a thousand CPU's.
>> Has anybody checked whether we could do the cpu_down() on non-boot
>> CPU's in parallel? Right now we serialize the thing completely, with
> I thought Srivatsa S. Bhat had a patchset that did exactly that.
> Srivatsa?

Thanks for the CC, Paul! Adding some more people to CC.

Actually, my patchset was about removing stop_machine() from the CPU
offline path.

And here is the performance improvement I had measured in the version
prior to that:

I'm planning to revive this patchset after the 3.10 merge window closes,
because it depends on doing a tree-wide sweep, and I think its a little
late to do it in time for the upcoming 3.10 merge window itself.

Anyway, that's about removing stop_machine from CPU hotplug.

Coming to bulk CPU hotplug, yes, I had ideas similar to what Russ suggested.
But I believe we can do more than that.

As Russ pointed out, the notifiers are not thread-safe, so calling them
in parallel with different CPUs as arguments isn't going to work.

So, first, we can convert all the CPU hotplug notifiers to take a cpumask
instead of a single CPU. So assuming that there are 'n' notifiers in total,
the number of function calls would become n, instead of n*1024.
But that itself most likely won't give us much benefit over the for-loop
that Russ has done in his patch, because it'll simply do longer processing
in each of those 'n' notifiers, by iterating over the cpumask inside each

Now comes the interesting thing:

Consider a notifier chain that looks like this:
Priority 0: A->B->C->D

We can't invoke say notifier callback A simultaneously on 2 CPUs with 2
different hotcpus as argument. *However*, since A, B, C, D all (more or less)
belong to different subsystems, we can call A, B, C and D in parallel on
different CPUs. They won't even serialize amongst themselves because they
take locks (if any) of different subsystems. And since they are of same
priority, the ordering (A after B or B after A) doesn't matter as well.

So with this, if we combine the idea I wrote above about giving a cpumask
to each of these notifiers to work with, we end up in this:

CPU 0 CPU 1 CPU2 ....
A(cpumask) B(cpumask) C(cpumask) ....

So, for example, the CPU_DOWN_PREPARE notification can be processed in parallel
on multiple CPUs at a time, for a given cpumask! That should definitely
give us a good speed-up.

One more thing we have to note is that, there are 4 notifiers for taking a
CPU offline:


The first can be run in parallel as mentioned above. The second is run in
parallel in the stop_machine() phase as shown in Russ' patch. But the third
and fourth set of notifications all end up running only on CPU0, which will
again slow down things.

So I suggest taking down the 1024 CPUs in multiple phases, like a binary search.
First, take 512 CPUs down, then 256 CPUs, then 128 CPUs etc. So at every bulk
CPU hotplug, we have enough online CPUs to handle the notifier load, and that
helps speed things up. Moreover, a handful of calls to stop_machine() is OK
because, stop_machine() takes progressively lesser and lesser time because
lesser CPUs are online on each iteration (and hence it reduces the
synchronization overhead of the stop-machine phase).

The only downside to this whole idea of running the notifiers of a given
priority in parallel, is error handling - if a notifier fails, it would be
troublesome to rollback I guess. But if we forget that for a moment, we can
give this idea a try!

Srivatsa S. Bhat

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