Re: [RFC PATCH 00/14] nfsd/sunrpc: add support for a workqueue-based nfsd

From: Jeff Layton
Date: Wed Dec 03 2014 - 11:04:16 EST

On Wed, 3 Dec 2014 10:56:49 -0500
Tejun Heo <tj@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Hello, Neil, Jeff.
> On Tue, Dec 02, 2014 at 08:29:46PM -0500, Jeff Layton wrote:
> > That's a good point. I had originally thought that max_active on an
> > unbound workqueue would be the number of concurrent jobs that could run
> > across all the CPUs, but now that I look I'm not sure that's really
> > the case.
> @max_active is a per-pool number. By default, unbound wqs use
> per-node pools, so @max_active would be per-node. Currently,
> @max_active is mostly meant as a protection against run-away
> workqueues creating crazy number of workers, which has been enough for
> the existing wq users. *Maybe* it makes sense to make it actually
> mean maximum concurrency which would prolly involve aggregated per-cpu
> distribution mechanism so that we don't end up inc'ing and dec'ing the
> same counter from all CPUs on each work item execution.
> However, I do agree with Neil that making it user configurable is
> almost always painful. It's usually a question without a good answer
> and the same value may behave differently depending on a lot of
> implementation details and a better approach, probably, is to use
> @max_active as the last resort protection mechanism while providing
> automatic throttling of in-flight work items which is meaningful for
> the specific use cases.
> > I've heard random grumblings from various people in the past that
> > workqueues have significant latency, but this is the first time I've
> > really hit it in practice. If we can get this fixed, then that may be a
> > significant perf win for all workqueue users. For instance, rpciod in
> > the NFS client is all workqueue-based. Getting that latency down could
> > really help things.
> >
> > I'm currently trying to roll up a kernel module for benchmarking the
> > workqueue dispatching code in the hopes that we can use that to help
> > nail it down.
> Definitely, there were some reportings but nothing really got tracked
> down properly. It'd be awesome to actually find out where the latency
> is coming from.
> Thanks!

I think I might have figured this out (and before I go any farther
allow me to say <facepalm>), thanks to the workqueue tracepoints in the
code. What I noticed is that when things are fairly idle, the work is
picked up quickly, but once things get busy it takes a lot longer.

I think that the issue is in the design of the workqueue-based nfsd
code. In particular, I attached a work_struct to the svc_xprt which is
limiting the code to only process one RPC at a time for a xprt, from
beginning to end.

So, even if we requeue that work after the receive phase is done, the
workqueue won't pick it up again until the thing is processed and the
reply is sent.

What I think I need to do is to do the receive phase using the
work_struct attached to the xprt, and then do the rest of the
processing from the context of a different work_struct (possibly one
attached to the svc_rqst), which should free up the xprt's work_struct

I'm going to work on changing that today and see if it improves things.

Thanks for the help so far!
Jeff Layton <jlayton@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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