Re: [RFC PATCH] mm: thp: implement THP reservations for anonymous memory

From: Anthony Yznaga
Date: Thu Jan 24 2019 - 21:30:44 EST

On 11/14/18 3:15 PM, anthony.yznaga@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> On 11/10/2018 08:44 AM, Andrea Arcangeli wrote:
>> On Sat, Nov 10, 2018 at 01:22:49PM +0000, Mel Gorman wrote:
>>> On Fri, Nov 09, 2018 at 02:51:50PM -0500, Andrea Arcangeli wrote:
>>>> And if you're in the camp that is concerned about the use of more RAM
>>>> or/and about the higher latency of COW faults, I'm afraid the
>>>> intermediate solution will be still slower than the already available
>>>> MADV_NOHUGEPAGE or enabled=madvise.
>>> Does that not prevent huge page usage? Maybe you can spell it out a bit
>> Yes it prevents huge page usage, but preventing the huge page usage is
>> also what is achieved with the reservation.
>>> better. What is the set of system calls an application should make to
>>> not use huge pages either for the address space or on a per-VMA basis
>>> and defer to kcompactd? I know that can be tuned globally but that's not
>>> quite the same thing given that multiple applications or containers can
>>> be running with different requirements.
>> Yes, in terms of inheritance that could be used to tune a container
>> we've only PR_SET_THP_DISABLE, and that will render MADV_HUGEPAGE
>> useless too, but then for microservices that should not be a
>> concern. How to make those sysfs tunables reentrant in namespaces is a
>> separate issue I think.
>> The difference is that with the reservation over time they can be
>> promoted, with MADV_NOHUGEPAGE they cannot become hugepages later, not
>> even khugepaged will scan that vma anymore.
>> The benefit of the reservation will showup in those regions that will
>> not become hugepages, so if you can predict beforehand that those
>> ranges don't benefit from THP, it's better if userland calls
>> madvise(MADV_NOHUGEPAGE) on the range and then there's no need to undo
>> the reservation later during memory pressure.
>> The reservation and promotion is a bit like auto-detecting when
>> MADV_NOHUGEPAGE should be set, so it boils down of how much of a
>> corner case that is.
>> I'm not so concerned about the RAM wasted because I don't think it's
>> very significant, after all the application can just do a smaller
>> malloc if it wants to reduce memory usage.
>> A massive amount of huge RAM waste is fairly rare and to the extreme
>> it could still be wasted even with 4k if the app uses only 1 bit from
>> every 4k page it allocates with malloc.
>> I'm more concerned about cases where THP is wasting CPU: like in redis
>> that is hurted by the 2M COWs. redis will map all pages and they will
>> be all promoted to THP also with the reservation logic applied, but
>> when the parent writes to the memory (after fork) it must trigger 4k
>> cows (not 2M cows) and in turn split the THP before the COW, or it
>> won't work as fast as with THP disabled. In addition we should try to
>> reuse the same IPI for the transhuge pmd split to cover the COW too.
>> If we add the reservation and that work makes zero difference for the
>> redis corner case, and redis must still use MADV_NOHUGEPAGE, it's not
>> great in my view. It looks like we're trying to optimize issues that
>> are less critical.
>> The redis+THP case should be possible to optimize later with uffd WP
>> model (once completed, Peter Xu is working on it), and uffd WP will
>> also remove fork() and it'll convert it to a clone(). The granularity
>> of the fault is decided by the userland that way so when uffd
>> wrprotects a 4k fragment of a THP, the THP will be split during the
>> uffd mprotect ioctl.
>>>> Now about the implementation: the whole point of the reservation
>>>> complexity is to skip the khugepaged copy, so it can collapse in
>>>> place. Is skipping the copy worth it? Isn't the big cost the IPI
>>>> anyway to avoid leaving two simultaneous TLB mappings of different
>>>> granularity?
>>> Not necessarily. With THP anon in the simple case, it might be just a
>>> single thread and kcompact so that's one IPI (kcompactd flushes local and
>>> one IPI to the CPU the thread was running on assuming it's not migrating
>>> excessively). It would scale up with the number of threads but I suspect
>>> the main cost is the actual copying, page table manipulation and the
>>> locking required.
>> Agreed, the IPI wouldn't be a concern for a single threaded app. I was
>> looking more at the worst case scenario. For a single threaded app the
>> locking should not be too bad either.
>>> As an aside, a universal benefit would be looking at reducing the time
>>> to allocate the necessary huge page as we know that can be excessive. It
>>> would be ortogonal to this series.
>> With what I suggested the allocation would happen as usual in
>> khugepaged at slow peace, without holding locks. So I don't see
>> obvious disadvantages in terms of THP allocation latency.
>>> Could you and Kirill outline what sort of workloads you would consider
>>> acceptable for evaluating this series? One would assume it covers at
>>> least the following, potentially with a number of workloads.
>> I would prefer to add intelligence to detect when COWs after fork
>> should be done at 2m or 4k granularity (in the latter case by
>> splitting the pmd before the actual COW while leaving the transhuge
>> pmd intact in the other mm), because that would save CPU (and it'd
>> automatically optimize redis). The snapshot process especially would
>> run faster as it will read with THP performance.
> And presumably to maintain the performance benefit in subsequent
> snapshots the original split PMD would need to be re-promoted
> prior to forking or promoted in the child during fork?
>> I'm more worried to ensure THP doesn't cause more CPU usage like it
>> happens to the above case in COWs, than to just try to save RAM when
>> the virtual ranges are only partially utilized by the app.
>>> 1. Evaluate the collapse and copying costs (probing the entire time
>>> spent in collapse_huge_page might do it)
>>> 2. Evaluate mmap_sem hold time during hugepage collapse
>>> 3. Estimate excessive RAM use due to unnecessary THP usage
>>> 4. Estimate the slowdown due to delayed THP usage
>>> 1 and 2 would indicate how much time is lost due to not using
>>> reservations. That potentially goes in the direction of simply making
>>> this faster -- fragmentation reduction (posted but unreviewed), faster
>>> compaction searches, better page isolation during compaction to
>>> avoid free pages being reused before an order-9 is free.
>>> 3 should be straight-forward but 4 would be the hardest to evaluate
>>> because it would have to be determimed if 4 is offset by improvements to
>>> 1-3. If 1-3 is improved enough, it might remove the motivation for the
>>> series entirely.
>>> In other words, if we agree on a workload in advance, it might bring
>>> this the right direction and not accidentally throw Anthony down a hole
>>> working on a series that never gets ack'd.
>>> I'm not necessarily the best person to answer because my natural inclination
>>> after the fragmentation series would be to keep using thpfiosacle
>>> (from the fragmentation avoidance series) and work on improving the THP
>>> allocation success rates and reduce latencies. I've tunnel vision on that
>>> for the moment.
>> Deciding the workloads is a good question indeed, but I would also be
>> curious to how many of those pages would not end up to be promoted
>> with this logic.
>> What's the number of pte_none that you require in each pmd to avoid
>> promotion? If it's just 1 then apps will run slower, if there's
>> partial utilization THP already helps. I've an hard time to think at
>> an ideal ratio, this is why max_ptes_none is 511 after all.
>> Can we start by counting the total number of pte_none() in all pmds
>> that can fit a THP according to vma->vm_start/end? The pagetable
>> dumper in debugfs may already provide the info we need by scanning all
>> mm and by printing the number of "none" pte that would generate
>> "wasted" memory (and marginally wasted CPU during copy/clear).
>> Then you can exactly tell how many pmds won't be promoted to transhuge
>> pmds with the patch applied in the real life workloads, even before
>> running any benchmark. It'd be good to be sure we're talking about a
>> significant number in real life workloads or there's not much to
>> optimize to begin with.
>> If the amount of RAM saved is significant in real life workloads and
>> in turn there's a chance of having a worthwhile tradeoff from the
>> reservation logic, then we can do the benchmarks because the behavior
>> will be different for the page fault, and it'll end up running slower
>> with the reservation logic.
> Thank you, Andrea and Mel, for the feedback. I really appreciate it.
> I'm going to proceed as suggested and evaluate the huge page
> collapse and copy costs and perform more analysis on the potential
> RAM savings.

Thanks again to everyone for the feedback. To follow up on this, I was
unable to find a workload that could justify these changes. If I had, I
suspect that Andrea's suggestion of a THP mode that simply avoided
allocating a hugepage on first fault would have sufficed.

I did find that khugepaged often spends the most time copying from base
pages to a huge page. Separate from the original intent of mitigating
bloat, I explored using reservations to reduce the time in khugepaged by
allocating them for partially-mmap'd PMD-aligned regions of anon memory
in anticipation of the unmapped portion eventually being mapped (think
the tail portion of a heap). The number of copies avoided was highly
dependent on workload and generally not very high, though, because
either a process was too short-lived for the reservation to be converted
by khugepaged or the process forked and a parent COW forced the
reservation to be released before conversion. Too much overhead for too
little gain. An application is better off using a THP-aware allocator.


> Anthony
>> Thanks,
>> Andrea