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Subject: Re: [virtio-comment] [PATCH V2 2/2] virtio: introduce STOP status bit

å 2021/7/13 äå6:00, Stefan Hajnoczi åé:
On Tue, Jul 13, 2021 at 11:27:03AM +0800, Jason Wang wrote:
å 2021/7/12 äå5:57, Stefan Hajnoczi åé:
On Mon, Jul 12, 2021 at 12:00:39PM +0800, Jason Wang wrote:
å 2021/7/11 äå4:36, Michael S. Tsirkin åé:
On Fri, Jul 09, 2021 at 07:23:33PM +0200, Eugenio Perez Martin wrote:
     If I understand correctly, this is all
driven from the driver inside the guest, so for this to work
the guest must be running and already have initialised the driver.

As I see it, the feature can be driven entirely by the VMM as long as
it intercept the relevant configuration space (PCI, MMIO, etc) from
guest's reads and writes, and present it as coherent and transparent
for the guest. Some use cases I can imagine with a physical device (or
vp_vpda device) with VIRTIO_F_STOP:

1) The VMM chooses not to pass the feature flag. The guest cannot stop
the device, so any write to this flag is an error/undefined.
2) The VMM passes the flag to the guest. The guest can stop the device.
2.1) The VMM stops the device to perform a live migration, and the
guest does not write to STOP in any moment of the LM. It resets the
destination device with the state, and then initializes the device.
2.2) The guest stops the device and, when STOP(32) is set, the source
VMM migrates the device status. The destination VMM realizes the bit,
so it sets the bit in the destination too after device initialization.
2.3) The device is not initialized by the guest so it doesn't matter
what bit has the HW, but the VM can be migrated.

Am I missing something?

It's doable like this. It's all a lot of hoops to jump through though.
It's also not easy for devices to implement.
It just requires a new status bit. Anything that makes you think it's hard
to implement?

E.g for networking device, it should be sufficient to use this bit + the
virtqueue state.

Why don't we design the feature in a way that is useable by VMMs
and implementable by devices in a simple way?
It use the common technology like register shadowing without any further

Or do you have any other ideas?

(I think we all know migration will be very hard if we simply pass through
those state registers).
If an admin virtqueue is used instead of the STOP Device Status field
bit then there's no need to re-read the Device Status field in a loop
until the device has stopped.

Probably not. Let me to clarify several points:

- This proposal has nothing to do with admin virtqueue. Actually, admin
virtqueue could be used for carrying any basic device facility like status
bit. E.g I'm going to post patches that use admin virtqueue as a "transport"
for device slicing at virtio level.
- Even if we had introduced admin virtqueue, we still need a per function
interface for this. This is a must for nested virtualization, we can't
always expect things like PF can be assigned to L1 guest.
- According to the proposal, there's no need for the device to complete all
the consumed buffers, device can choose to expose those inflight descriptors
in a device specific way and set the STOP bit. This means, if we have the
device specific in-flight descriptor reporting facility, the device can
almost set the STOP bit immediately.
- If we don't go with the basic device facility but using the admin
virtqueue specific method, we still need to clarify how it works with the
device status state machine, it will be some kind of sub-states which looks
much more complicated than the current proposal.

When migrating a guest with many VIRTIO devices a busy waiting approach
extends downtime if implemented sequentially (stopping one device at a

Well. You need some kinds of waiting for sure, the device/DMA needs sometime
to be stopped. The downtime is determined by a specific virtio
implementation which is hard to be restricted at the spec level. We can
clarify that the device must set the STOP bit in e.g 100ms.

   It can be implemented concurrently (setting the STOP bit on all
devices and then looping until all their Device Status fields have the
bit set), but this becomes more complex to implement.

I still don't get what kind of complexity did you worry here.

I'm a little worried about adding a new bit that requires busy

Busy wait is not something that is introduced in this patch: Driver Requirements: Common configuration structure layout

After writing 0 to device_status, the driver MUST wait for a read of
device_status to return 0 before reinitializing the device.

Since it was required for at least one transport. We need do something
similar to when introducing basic facility.
Adding the STOP but as a Device Status bit is a small and clean VIRTIO
spec change. I like that.

On the other hand, devices need time to stop and that time can be
unbounded. For example, software virtio-blk/scsi implementations since
cannot immediately cancel in-flight I/O requests on Linux hosts.

The natural interface for long-running operations is virtqueue requests.
That's why I mentioned the alternative of using an admin virtqueue
instead of a Device Status bit.

So I'm not against the admin virtqueue. As said before, admin virtqueue could be used for carrying the device status bit.

Send a command to set STOP status bit to admin virtqueue. Device will make the command buffer used after it has successfully stopped the device.

AFAIK, they are not mutually exclusive, since they are trying to solve different problems.

Device status - basic device facility

Admin virtqueue - transport/device specific way to implement (part of) the device facility

Although you mentioned that the stopped state needs to be reflected in
the Device Status field somehow, I'm not sure about that since the
driver typically doesn't need to know whether the device is being

The guest won't see the real device status bit. VMM will shadow the device status bit in this case.

E.g with the current vhost-vDPA, vDPA behave like a vhost device, guest is unaware of the migration.

STOP status bit is set by Qemu to real virtio hardware. But guest will only see the DRIVER_OK without STOP.

It's not hard to implement the nested on top, see the discussion initiated by Eugenio about how expose VIRTIO_F_STOP to guest for nested live migration.

  In fact, the VMM would need to hide this bit and it's safer to
keep it out-of-band instead of risking exposing it by accident.

See above, VMM may choose to hide or expose the capability. It's useful for migrating a nested guest.

If we design an interface that can be used in the nested environment, it's not an ideal interface.

In addition, stateful devices need to load/save non-trivial amounts of
data. They need DMA to do this efficiently, so an admin virtqueue is a
good fit again.

I don't get the point here. You still need to address the exact the similar issues for admin virtqueue: the unbound time in freezing the device, the interaction with the virtio device status state machine.

And with admin virtqueue, it's actually far more complicated e.g you need to define how to synchronize the concurrent access to the basic facilites.

  This isn't addressed in this patch series, but it's the
next step and I think it's worth planning for it.

I agree, but for admin virtqueue, it's better to use it as a full transport instead of just use it for carrying part of the device basic facilities. Actually, as I said, I had patches to do that. But the motivation is not for live migration but for device slicing. I will post RFC before the KVM Forum this year (since I'm going to talk device slicing at virtio level). It does not conflict with Max's proposal, since migration part is not there.

If all devices could stop very quickly and were stateless then I would
agree that the STOP bit is an ideal solution.

Note that in Max's proposal it also have something similar the "quiescence" and "freezed" state. It doesn't differ from STOP bit fundamentally. As Max suggested, we could introduce more status bit if necessary or even consider to unify Max's proposal with mine.

I think it will be
necessary to support devices that don't behave like that, so the admin
virtqueue approach seems worth exploring.

Yes and as mentioned in another thread. I think the best way is to define the device specific state first and then consider how to implement the interface.

Admin virtqueue is worth to explore but should not be the only method. Device/transport are freed to implement it in many ways based on the actual hardware.



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