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page fault scalability (ext3, ext4, xfs)

To: linux-fsdevel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx, linux-ext4@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Jan Kara <jack@xxxxxxx>, LKML <linux-kernel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, Tim Chen <tim.c.chen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Andi Kleen <ak@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Andy Lutomirski <luto@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: page fault scalability (ext3, ext4, xfs)
From: Dave Hansen <dave.hansen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2013 10:10:07 -0700
Delivered-to: xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:17.0) Gecko/20130623 Thunderbird/17.0.7
We talked a little about this issue in this thread:


but I figured I'd follow up with a full comparison.  ext4 is about 20%
slower in handling write page faults than ext3.  xfs is about 30% slower
than ext3.  I'm running on an 8-socket / 80-core / 160-thread system.
Test case is this:


It's a little easier to look at the trends as you grow the number of


I recorded and diff'd some perf data (I've still got the raw data if
anyone wants it), and the main culprit of the ext4/xfs delta looks to be
spinlock contention (or at least bouncing) in xfs_log_commit_cil().
This looks to be a known problem:


Here's a brief snippet of the ext4->xfs 'perf diff'.  Note that things
like page_fault() go down in the profile because we are doing _fewer_ of
them, not because it got faster:

> # Baseline    Delta          Shared Object                                    
>       Symbol
> # ........  .......  .....................  
> ..............................................
> #
>     22.04%   -4.07%  [kernel.kallsyms]      [k] page_fault                    
>      2.93%  +12.49%  [kernel.kallsyms]      [k] _raw_spin_lock                
>      8.21%   -0.58%  page_fault3_processes  [.] testcase                      
>      4.87%   -0.34%  [kernel.kallsyms]      [k] __set_page_dirty_buffers      
>      4.07%   -0.58%  [kernel.kallsyms]      [k] mem_cgroup_update_page_stat   
>      4.10%   -0.61%  [kernel.kallsyms]      [k] __block_write_begin           
>      3.69%   -0.57%  [kernel.kallsyms]      [k] find_get_page                 

It's a bit of a bummer that things are so much less scalable on the
newer filesystems.  I expected xfs to do a _lot_ better than it did.

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