Re: [PATCH 0/6] support "dataplane" mode for nohz_full

From: Steven Rostedt
Date: Mon May 11 2015 - 14:36:54 EST

On Mon, 11 May 2015 14:09:59 -0400
Chris Metcalf <cmetcalf@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Steven writes:
> > All kidding aside, I think this is the real answer. We don't need a new
> > NO_HZ, we need to make NO_HZ_FULL work. Right now it doesn't do exactly
> > what it was created to do. That should be fixed.
> The claim I'm making is that it's worthwhile to differentiate the two
> semantics. Plain NO_HZ_FULL just says "kernel makes a best effort to
> avoid periodic interrupts without incurring any serious overhead". My
> patch series allows an app to request "kernel makes an absolute
> commitment to avoid all interrupts regardless of cost when leaving
> kernel space". These are different enough ideas, and serve different
> enough application needs, that I think they should be kept distinct.
> Frederic actually summed this up very nicely in his recent email when
> he wrote "some people may expect hard isolation requirement (Real
> Time, deterministic latency) and others softer isolation (HPC, only
> interested in performance, can live with one rare random tick, so no
> need to loop before returning to userspace until we have the no-noise
> guarantee)."
> So we need a way for apps to ask for the "harder" mode and let
> the softer mode be the default.

Fair enough. But I would hope that this would improve on NO_HZ_FULL as

> What about naming? We may or may not want to have a Kconfig flag
> for this, and we may or may not have a separate mode for it, but
> we still will need some kind of name to talk about it with. (In
> particular there's the prctl name, if we take that approach, and
> potential boot command-line flags to consider naming for.)
> I'll quickly cover the suggestions that have been raised:
> - DATAPLANE. My suggestion, seemingly broadly disliked by folks
> who felt it wasn't apparent what it meant. Probably a fair point.
> - NO_INTERRUPTS (Andrew). Captures some of the sense, but was
> criticized pretty fairly by Ingo as being too negative, confusing
> with perf nomenclature, and too long :-)


> - PURE (Ingo). Proposed as an alternative to NO_HZ_FULL, but we could
> use it as a name for this new mode. However, I think it's not clear
> enough how FULL and PURE can/should relate to each other from the
> names alone.

I would find the two confusing as well.

> - BARE_METAL (me). Ingo observes it's confusing with respect to
> virtualization.

This is also confusing.

> - TASK_SOLO (Gilad). Not sure this conveys enough of the semantics.


> ideas :-)

At least the LEAVE_ME_ALONE conveys the semantics ;-)

> - ISOLATION (Frederic). I like this but it conflicts with other uses
> of "isolation" in the kernel: cgroup isolation, lru page isolation,
> iommu isolation, scheduler isolation (at least it's a superset of
> that one), etc. Also, we're not exactly isolating a task - often
> a "dataplane" app consists of a bunch of interacting threads in
> userspace, so not exactly isolated. So perhaps it's too confusing.
> - OVERFLOWING (Steven) - not sure I understood this one, honestly.

Actually, that was suggested by Paul McKenney.

> I suggested earlier a few other candidates that I don't love, but no
> One thing I'm leaning towards is to remove the intermediate state of
> DATAPLANE_ENABLE and say that there is really only one primary state,
> DATAPLANE_QUIESCE (or whatever we call it). The "dataplane but no
> quiesce" state probably isn't that useful, since it doesn't offer the
> hard guarantee that is the entire point of this patch series. So that
> opens the idea of using the name NO_HZ_QUIESCE or just QUIESCE as the
> word that describes the mode; of course this sort of conflicts with
> RCU quiesce (though it is a superset of that so maybe that's OK).
> One new idea I had is to use NO_HZ_HARD to reflect what Frederic was
> suggesting about "soft" and "hard" requirements for NO_HZ. So
> enabling NO_HZ_HARD would enable my suggested QUIESCE mode.
> One way to focus this discussion is on the user API naming. I had
> prctl(PR_SET_DATAPLANE), which was attractive in being a "positive"
> noun. A lot of the other suggestions fail this test in various way.
> Reasonable candidates seem to be:
> Another possibility:
> Or take Andrew's NO_INTERRUPTS and have:

For another possible answer, what about


A state with no disturbances.

-- Steve

> I slightly favor ISOLATION at this point despite the overlap with
> other kernel concepts.
> Let the bike-shedding continue! :-)

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