Re: [RFC PATCH] mm, hotplug: get rid of auto_online_blocks

From: Vitaly Kuznetsov
Date: Mon Mar 13 2017 - 11:10:57 EST

Michal Hocko <mhocko@xxxxxxxxxx> writes:

> On Mon 13-03-17 14:42:37, Vitaly Kuznetsov wrote:
>> >
>> > What is the API those guests ask for the memory? And who is actually
>> > responsible to ask for that memory? Is it a kernel or userspace
>> > solution?
>> Whatever, this can even be a system administrator running
>> 'free'.
> I am pretty sure that 'free' will not give you additional memory but
> let's be serious here...
> If this is solely about monitoring from
> userspace and requesting more memory from the userspace then I would
> consider arguing about timely hotplug operation as void because there is
> absolutely no guarantee to do the request itself in a timely fashion.
>> Hyper-V driver sends si_mem_available() and
>> vm_memory_committed() metrics to the host every second and this can be
>> later queried by any tool (e.g. powershell script).
> And how exactly is this related to the acpi hotplug which you were
> arguing needs the timely handling as well?

What I meant to say is that there is no single 'right' way to get memory
usage from a VM, make a decision somewhere (in the hypervisor, on some
other host or even in someone's head) and issue a command to add more
memory. I don't know what particular tools people use with ESX/KVM VMs
but I think that multiple options are available.

>> >> With udev-style memory onlining they should be aware of page
>> >> tables and other in-kernel structures which require allocation so they
>> >> need to add memory slowly and gradually or they risk running into OOM
>> >> (at least getting some processes killed and these processes may be
>> >> important). With in-kernel memory hotplug everything happens
>> >> synchronously and no 'slowly and gradually' algorithm is required in
>> >> all tools which may trigger memory hotplug.
>> >
>> > What prevents those APIs being used reasonably and only asks so much
>> > memory as they can afford? I mean 1.5% available memory necessary for
>> > the hotplug is not all that much. Or more precisely what prevents to ask
>> > for this additional memory in a synchronous way?
>> The knowledge about the fact that we need to add memory slowly and
>> wait till it gets onlined is not obvious.
> yes it is and we cannot afford to give a better experience with the
> implementation that requires to have memory to online a memory.

Actually, we need memory to add memory, not to online it. And as I said
before, this is a real issue which requires addressing, it should always
be possible to add more memory (and to online already added memory if
these events are separated).

>> AFAIR when you hotplug memory
>> to Windows VMs there is no such thing as 'onlining', and no brain is
>> required, a simple script 'low memory -> add mory memory' always
>> works. Asking all these script writers to think twice before issuing a
>> memory add command memory sounds like too much (to me).
> Pardon me, but not requiring a brain while doing something on Windows
> VMs is not really an argument...

Why? Windows (or any other OS) is just an example that things can be
done in a different way, otherwise we'll end up with arguments like "it
was always like that in Linux so it's good".