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Subject: RE: [virtio-dev] Re: [PATCH v2 repost 4/7] virtio-balloon: speed up inflate/deflate process

> > It's only small because it makes you rescan the free list.
> > So maybe you should do something else.
> > I looked at it a bit. Instead of scanning the free list, how about
> > scanning actual page structures? If page is unused, pass it to host.
> > Solves the problem of rescanning multiple times, does it not?
> FWIW, I think the new data structure needs some work.
> Before, we had a potentially very long list of 4k areas.  Now, we've just got a
> very large bitmap.  The bitmap might not even be very dense if we are
> ballooning relatively few things.
> Can I suggest an alternate scheme?  I think you actually need a hybrid
> scheme that has bitmaps but also allows more flexibility in the pfn ranges.
> The payload could be a number of records each containing 3 things:
> 	pfn, page order, length of bitmap (maybe in powers of 2)
> Each record is followed by the bitmap.  Or, if the bitmap length is 0,
> immediately followed by another record.  A bitmap length of 0 implies a
> bitmap with the least significant bit set.  Page order specifies how many
> pages each bit represents.
> This scheme could easily encode the new data structure you are proposing
> by just setting pfn=0, order=0, and a very long bitmap length.  But, it could
> handle sparse bitmaps much better *and* represent large pages much more
> efficiently.
> There's plenty of space to fit a whole record in 64 bits.

I like your idea and it's more flexible, and it's very useful if we want to optimize the
page allocating stage further. I believe the memory fragmentation will not be very
serious, so the performance won't be too bad in the worst case.


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