Re: [PATCH 0/6] More graceful flusher thread memory reclaim wakeup

From: Jens Axboe
Date: Wed Sep 20 2017 - 15:32:35 EST

On 09/20/2017 01:29 PM, John Stoffel wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 01:53:01PM -0600, Jens Axboe wrote:
>> We've had some issues with writeback in presence of memory reclaim
>> at Facebook, and this patch set attempts to fix it up. The real
>> functional change is the last patch in the series, the first 5 are
>> prep and cleanup patches.
>> The basic idea is that we have callers that call
>> wakeup_flusher_threads() with nr_pages == 0. This means 'writeback
>> everything'. For memory reclaim situations, we can end up queuing
>> a TON of these kinds of writeback units. This can cause softlockups
>> and further memory issues, since we allocate huge amounts of
>> struct wb_writeback_work to handle this writeback. Handle this
>> situation more gracefully.
> This looks nice, but do you have any numbers to show how this improves
> things? I read the patches, but I'm not strong enough to comment on
> them at all. But I am interested in how this improves writeback under
> pressure, if at all.

Writeback should be about the same, it's mostly about preventing
softlockups and excessive memory usage, under conditions where we are
actively trying to reclaim/clean memory. It was bad enough to cause
softlockups for writeback work processing, while the pending writeback
work units grew to insane lengths.

Jens Axboe