Re: [PATCH documentation 1/2] nohz1: Add documentation.
From: Paul E. McKenney
Date: Thu Apr 11 2013 - 13:09:47 EST
On Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 09:48:45AM -0700, Randy Dunlap wrote:
> On 04/11/2013 09:05 AM, Paul E. McKenney wrote:
> >From: "Paul E. McKenney" <paulmck@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> >Signed-off-by: Paul E. McKenney <paulmck@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> >Cc: Frederic Weisbecker <fweisbec@xxxxxxxxx>
> >Cc: Steven Rostedt <rostedt@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> >Cc: Borislav Petkov <bp@xxxxxxxxx>
> >Cc: Arjan van de Ven <arjan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> >Cc: Kevin Hilman <khilman@xxxxxxxxxx>
> >Cc: Christoph Lameter <cl@xxxxxxxxx>
> > Documentation/timers/NO_HZ.txt | 245 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> > 1 file changed, 245 insertions(+)
> > create mode 100644 Documentation/timers/NO_HZ.txt
> >diff --git a/Documentation/timers/NO_HZ.txt b/Documentation/timers/NO_HZ.txt
> >new file mode 100644
> >index 0000000..6b33f6b
> >--- /dev/null
> >+++ b/Documentation/timers/NO_HZ.txt
> >@@ -0,0 +1,245 @@
> >+ NO_HZ: Reducing Scheduling-Clock Ticks
> >+This document describes Kconfig options and boot parameters that can
> >+reduce the number of scheduling-clock interrupts, thereby improving energy
> >+efficiency and reducing OS jitter. Reducing OS jitter is important for
> >+some types of computationally intensive high-performance computing (HPC)
> >+applications and for real-time applications.
> >+There are two major aspects of scheduling-clock interrupt reduction:
> >+1. Idle CPUs.
> >+2. CPUs having only one runnable task.
> >+These two cases are described in the following sections.
> >+IDLE CPUs
> >+If a CPU is idle, there is little point in sending it a scheduling-clock
> >+interrupt. After all, the primary purpose of a scheduling-clock interrupt
> >+is to force a busy CPU to shift its attention among multiple duties,
> >+but an idle CPU by definition has no duties to shift its attention among.
> >+The CONFIG_NO_HZ=y Kconfig option causes the kernel to avoid sending
> >+scheduling-clock interrupts to idle CPUs, which is critically important
> >+both to battery-powered devices and to highly virtualized mainframes.
> >+A battery-powered device running a CONFIG_NO_HZ=n kernel would drain
> >+its battery very quickly, easily 2-3x as fast as would the same device
> >+running a CONFIG_NO_HZ=y kernel. A mainframe running 1,500 OS instances
> >+might find that half of its CPU time was consumed by scheduling-clock
> >+interrupts. In these situations, there is strong motivation to avoid
> >+sending scheduling-clock interrupts to idle CPUs. That said, dyntick-idle
> >+mode is not free:
> >+1. It increases the number of instructions executed on the path
> >+ to and from the idle loop.
> >+2. Many architectures will place dyntick-idle CPUs into deep sleep
> >+ states, which further degrades from-idle transition latencies.
> >+Therefore, systems with aggressive real-time response constraints
> >+often run CONFIG_NO_HZ=n kernels in order to avoid degrading from-idle
> >+transition latencies.
> >+An idle CPU that is not receiving scheduling-clock interrupts is said to
> >+be "dyntick-idle", "in dyntick-idle mode", "in nohz mode", or "running
> >+tickless". The remainder of this document will use "dyntick-idle mode".
> >+There is also a boot parameter "nohz=" that can be used to disable
> >+dyntick-idle mode in CONFIG_NO_HZ=y kernels by specifying "nohz=off".
> >+By default, CONFIG_NO_HZ=y kernels boot with "nohz=on", enabling
> >+dyntick-idle mode.
> >+CPUs WITH ONLY ONE RUNNABLE TASK
> >+If a CPU has only one runnable task, there is again little point in
> >+sending it a scheduling-clock interrupt because there is nowhere else
> >+for a CPU with but one runnable task to shift its attention to.
> >+The CONFIG_NO_HZ_EXTENDED=y Kconfig option causes the kernel to avoid
> >+sending scheduling-clock interrupts to CPUs with a single runnable task,
> >+and such CPUs are said to be "adaptive-ticks CPUs". This is important
> >+for applications with aggressive real-time response constraints because
> >+it allows them to improve their worst-case response times by the maximum
> >+duration of a scheduling-clock interrupt. It is also important for
> >+computationally intensive iterative workloads with short iterations: If
> >+any CPU is delayed during a given iteration, all the other CPUs will be
> >+forced to wait idle while the delayed CPU finished. Thus, the delay is
> I would say: finishes.
Good eyes, fixed!
> >+multiplied by one less than the number of CPUs. In these situations,
> >+there is again strong motivation to avoid sending scheduling-clock
> >+The "nohz_extended=" boot parameter specifies which CPUs are to be
> >+adaptive-ticks CPUs. For example, "nohz_extended=1,6-8" says that CPUs
> >+1, 6, 7, and 8 are to be adaptive-ticks CPUs. By default, no CPUs will
> >+be adaptive-ticks CPUs. Note that you are prohibited from marking all
> >+of the CPUs as adaptive-tick CPUs: At least one non-adaptive-tick CPU
> >+must remain online to handle timekeeping tasks in order to ensure that
> >+gettimeofday() returns sane values on adaptive-tick CPUs.
> >+Transitioning to kernel mode does not automatically force that CPU out
> >+of adaptive-ticks mode. The CPU will exit adaptive-ticks mode only if
> >+needed, for example, if that CPU enqueues an RCU callback.
> >+Just as with dyntick-idle mode, the benefits of adaptive-tick mode do
> >+not come for free:
> >+1. CONFIG_NO_HZ_EXTENDED depends on CONFIG_NO_HZ, so you cannot run
> >+ adaptive ticks without also running dyntick idle. This dependency
> >+ of CONFIG_NO_HZ_EXTENDED on CONFIG_NO_HZ extends down into the
> >+ implementation. Therefore, all of the costs of CONFIG_NO_HZ
> >+ are also incurred by CONFIG_NO_HZ_EXTENDED.
> >+2. The user/kernel transitions are slightly more expensive due
> >+ to the need to inform kernel subsystems (such as RCU) about
> >+ the change in mode.
> >+3. POSIX CPU timers on adaptive-tick CPUs may fire late (or even
> >+ not at all) because they currently rely on scheduling-tick
> >+ interrupts. This will likely be fixed in one of two ways: (1)
> >+ Prevent CPUs with POSIX CPU timers from entering adaptive-tick
> >+ mode, or (2) Use hrtimers or other adaptive-ticks-immune mechanism
> >+ to cause the POSIX CPU timer to fire properly.
> >+4. If there are more perf events pending than the hardware can
> >+ accommodate, they are normally round-robined so as to collect
> >+ all of them over time. Adaptive-tick mode may prevent this
> >+ round-robining from happening. This will likely be fixed by
> >+ preventing CPUs with large numbers of perf events pending from
> >+ entering adaptive-tick mode.
> >+5. Scheduler statistics for adaptive-idle CPUs may be computed
> >+ slightly differently than those for non-adaptive-idle CPUs.
> >+ This may in turn perturb load-balancing of real-time tasks.
> >+6. The LB_BIAS scheduler feature is disabled by adaptive ticks.
> >+Although improvements are expected over time, adaptive ticks is quite
> >+useful for many types of real-time and compute-intensive applications.
> >+However, the drawbacks listed above mean that adaptive ticks should not
> >+(yet) be enabled by default.
> >+RCU IMPLICATIONS
> >+There are situations in which idle CPUs cannot be permitted to
> >+enter either dyntick-idle mode or adaptive-tick mode, the most
> >+familiar being the case where that CPU has RCU callbacks pending.
> >+The CONFIG_RCU_FAST_NO_HZ=y Kconfig option may be used to cause such
> >+CPUs to enter dyntick-idle mode or adaptive-tick mode anyway, though a
> >+timer will awaken these CPUs every four jiffies in order to ensure that
> >+the RCU callbacks are processed in a timely fashion.
> >+Another approach is to offload RCU callback processing to "rcuo" kthreads
> >+using the CONFIG_RCU_NOCB_CPU=y. The specific CPUs to offload may be
> >+selected via several methods:
> >+1. One of three mutually exclusive Kconfig options specify a
> >+ build-time default for the CPUs to offload:
> >+ a. The RCU_NOCB_CPU_NONE=y Kconfig option results in
> >+ no CPUs being offloaded.
> >+ b. The RCU_NOCB_CPU_ZERO=y Kconfig option causes CPU 0 to
> >+ be offloaded.
> >+ c. The RCU_NOCB_CPU_ALL=y Kconfig option causes all CPUs
> >+ to be offloaded. Note that the callbacks will be
> >+ offloaded to "rcuo" kthreads, and that those kthreads
> >+ will in fact run on some CPU. However, this approach
> >+ gives fine-grained control on exactly which CPUs the
> >+ callbacks run on, the priority that they run at (including
> >+ the default of SCHED_OTHER), and it further allows
> >+ this control to be varied dynamically at runtime.
> >+2. The "rcu_nocbs=" kernel boot parameter, which takes a comma-separated
> >+ list of CPUs and CPU ranges, for example, "1,3-5" selects CPUs 1,
> >+ 3, 4, and 5. The specified CPUs will be offloaded in addition
> >+ to any CPUs specified as offloaded by RCU_NOCB_CPU_ZERO or
> >+ RCU_NOCB_CPU_ALL.
> >+The offloaded CPUs never have RCU callbacks queued, and therefore RCU
> >+never prevents offloaded CPUs from entering either dyntick-idle mode or
> >+adaptive-tick mode. That said, note that it is up to userspace to
> >+pin the "rcuo" kthreads to specific CPUs if desired. Otherwise, the
> >+scheduler will decide where to run them, which might or might not be
> >+where you want them to run.
> >+KNOWN ISSUES
> >+o Dyntick-idle slows transitions to and from idle slightly.
> >+ In practice, this has not been a problem except for the most
> >+ aggressive real-time workloads, which have the option of disabling
> >+ dyntick-idle mode, an option that most of them take. However,
> >+ some workloads will no doubt want to use adaptive ticks to
> >+ eliminate scheduling-clock-tick latencies. Here are some
> >+ options for these workloads:
> >+ a. Use PMQOS from userspace to inform the kernel of your
> >+ latency requirements (preferred).
> >+ b. On x86 systems, use the "idle=mwait" boot parameter.
> >+ c. On x86 systems, use the "intel_idle.max_cstate=" to limit
> >+ ` the maximum depth C-state depth.
> >+ d. On x86 systems, use the "idle=poll" boot parameter.
> >+ However, please note that use of this parameter can cause
> >+ your CPU to overheat, which may cause thermal throttling
> >+ to degrade your latencies -- and that this degradation can
> >+ be even worse than that of dyntick-idle. Furthermore,
> >+ this parameter effectively disables Turbo Mode on Intel
> >+ CPUs, which can significantly reduce maximum performance.
> >+o Adaptive-ticks slows user/kernel transitions slightly.
> >+ This is not expected to be a problem for computational-intensive
> >+ workloads, which have few such transitions. Careful benchmarking
> >+ will be required to determine whether or not other workloads
> >+ are significantly affected by this effect.
> >+o Adaptive-ticks does not do anything unless there is only one
> >+ runnable task for a given CPU, even though there are a number
> >+ of other situations where the scheduling-clock tick is not
> >+ needed. To give but one example, consider a CPU that has one
> >+ runnable high-priority SCHED_FIFO task and an arbitrary number
> >+ of low-priority SCHED_OTHER tasks. In this case, the CPU is
> >+ required to run the SCHED_FIFO task until either it blocks or
> >+ some other higher-priority task awakens on (or is assigned to)
> >+ this CPU, so there is no point in sending a scheduling-clock
> >+ interrupt to this CPU. However, the current implementation
> >+ prohibits CPU with a single runnable SCHED_FIFO task and multiple
> prohibits a CPU or prohibits CPUs
Good eyes, I took option A to agree with the "it" two lines below.
> >+ runnable SCHED_OTHER tasks from entering adaptive-ticks mode,
> >+ even though it would be correct to allow it to do so.
> >+ Better handling of these sorts of situations is future work.
> >+o A reboot is required to reconfigure both adaptive idle and RCU
> >+ callback offloading. Runtime reconfiguration could be provided
> >+ if needed, however, due to the complexity of reconfiguring RCU
> >+ at runtime, there would need to be an earthshakingly good reason.
> >+ Especially given the option of simply offloading RCU callbacks
> >+ from all CPUs.
> >+o Additional configuration is required to deal with other sources
> >+ of OS jitter, including interrupts and system-utility tasks
> >+ and processes. This configuration normally involves binding
> >+ interrupts and tasks to particular CPUs.
> >+o Some sources of OS jitter can currently be eliminated only by
> >+ constraining the workload. For example, the only way to eliminate
> >+ OS jitter due to global TLB shootdowns is to avoid the unmapping
> >+ operations (such as kernel module unload operations) that result
> >+ in these shootdowns. For another example, page faults and TLB
> >+ misses can be reduced (and in some cases eliminated) by using
> >+ huge pages and by constraining the amount of memory used by the
> >+ application.
> >+o Unless all CPUs are idle, at least one CPU must keep the
> >+ scheduling-clock interrupt going in order to support accurate
> >+ timekeeping.
> Nicely written.
Glad you like it! I have added your Reviewed-by.
> Reviewed-by: Randy Dunlap <rdunlap@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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