Re: [PATCH RESEND] slab: introduce the flag SLAB_MINIMIZE_WASTE

From: Vlastimil Babka
Date: Tue Apr 17 2018 - 12:18:20 EST

On 04/17/2018 04:45 PM, Christopher Lameter wrote:
> On Mon, 16 Apr 2018, Mikulas Patocka wrote:
>> This patch introduces a flag SLAB_MINIMIZE_WASTE for slab and slub. This
>> flag causes allocation of larger slab caches in order to minimize wasted
>> space.
>> This is needed because we want to use dm-bufio for deduplication index and
>> there are existing installations with non-power-of-two block sizes (such
>> as 640KB). The performance of the whole solution depends on efficient
>> memory use, so we must waste as little memory as possible.
> Hmmm. Can we come up with a generic solution instead?

Yes please.

> This may mean relaxing the enforcement of the allocation max order a bit
> so that we can get dense allocation through higher order allocs.
> But then higher order allocs are generally seen as problematic.

I think in this case they are better than wasting/fragmenting 384kB for
640kB object.

> Note that SLUB will fall back to smallest order already if a failure
> occurs so increasing slub_max_order may not be that much of an issue.
> Maybe drop the max order limit completely and use MAX_ORDER instead?

For packing, sure. For performance, please no (i.e. don't try to
allocate MAX_ORDER for each and every cache).

> That
> means that callers need to be able to tolerate failures.

Is it any different from now? I suppose there would still be
smallest-order fallback involved in sl*b itself? And if your allocation
is so large it can fail even with the fallback (i.e. >= costly order),
you need to tolerate failures anyway?

One corner case I see is if there is anyone who would rather use their
own fallback instead of the space-wasting smallest-order fallback.
Maybe we could map some GFP flag to indicate that.