Re: [PATCH net 1/4] net/udp_gso: Allow TX timestamp with UDP GSO

From: Fred Klassen
Date: Fri May 24 2019 - 18:04:30 EST

> On May 24, 2019, at 12:29 PM, Willem de Bruijn <willemdebruijn.kernel@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> It is the last moment that a timestamp can be generated for the last
> byte, I don't see how that is "neither the start nor the end of a GSO
> packetâ.

My misunderstanding. I thought TCP did last segment timestamping, not
last byte. In that case, your statements make sense.

>> It would be interesting if a practical case can be made for timestamping
>> the last segment. In my mind, I donât see how that would be valuable.
> It depends whether you are interested in measuring network latency or
> host transmit path latency.
> For the latter, knowing the time from the start of the sendmsg call to
> the moment the last byte hits the wire is most relevant. Or in absence
> of (well defined) hardware support, the last byte being queued to the
> device is the next best thing.
> It would make sense for this software implementation to follow
> established hardware behavior. But as far as I know, the exact time a
> hardware timestamp is taken is not consistent across devices, either.
> For fine grained timestamped data, perhaps GSO is simply not a good
> mechanism. That said, it still has to queue a timestamp if requested.

I see your point. Makes sense to me.

>> When using hardware timestamping, I think you will find that nearly all
>> adapters only allow one timestamp at a time. Therefore only one
>> packet in a burst would get timestamped.
> Can you elaborate? When the host queues N packets all with hardware
> timestamps requested, all N completions will have a timestamp? Or is
> that not guaranteed?

It is not guaranteed. The best example is in ixgbe_main.c and search for
âSKBTX_HW_TSTAMPâ. If there is a PTP TX timestamp in progress,
â__IXGBE_PTP_TX_IN_PROGRESSâ is set and no other timestamps
are possible. The flag is cleared after transmit softirq, and only then
can another TX timestamp be taken.

>> There are exceptions, for
>> example I am playing with a 100G Mellanox adapter that has
>> per-packet TX timestamping. However, I suspect that when I am
>> done testing, all I will see is timestamps that are representing wire
>> rate (e.g. 123nsec per 1500 byte packet).
>> Beyond testing the accuracy of a NICâs timestamping capabilities, I
>> see very little value in doing per-segment timestamping.
> Ack. Great detailed argument, thanks.

Thanks. Iâm a timestamping nerd and have learned lots with this