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Subject: RE: [virtio-dev] Re: [Qemu-devel] [virtio-dev] [RFC 0/3] Extend vhost-user to support VFIO based accelerators

> -----Original Message-----
> From: virtio-dev@lists.oasis-open.org [mailto:virtio-dev@lists.oasis-open.org]
> On Behalf Of Jason Wang
> Sent: Monday, January 8, 2018 11:24 AM
> To: Liang, Cunming <cunming.liang@intel.com>; Bie, Tiwei
> <tiwei.bie@intel.com>
> Cc: Tan, Jianfeng <jianfeng.tan@intel.com>; virtio-dev@lists.oasis-open.org;
> mst@redhat.com; Daly, Dan <dan.daly@intel.com>; qemu-
> devel@nongnu.org; alex.williamson@redhat.com; Wang, Xiao W
> <xiao.w.wang@intel.com>; Maxime Coquelin
> <maxime.coquelin@redhat.com>; stefanha@redhat.com; Wang, Zhihong
> <zhihong.wang@intel.com>; pbonzini@redhat.com
> Subject: [virtio-dev] Re: [Qemu-devel] [virtio-dev] [RFC 0/3] Extend vhost-
> user to support VFIO based accelerators
> On 2018年01月05日 18:25, Liang, Cunming wrote:
> >
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: Jason Wang [mailto:jasowang@redhat.com]
> >> Sent: Friday, January 5, 2018 4:39 PM
> >> To: Liang, Cunming <cunming.liang@intel.com>; Bie, Tiwei
> >> <tiwei.bie@intel.com>
> >> Cc: Tan, Jianfeng <jianfeng.tan@intel.com>;
> >> virtio-dev@lists.oasis-open.org; mst@redhat.com;
> >> qemu-devel@nongnu.org; alex.williamson@redhat.com; Wang, Xiao W
> >> <xiao.w.wang@intel.com>; stefanha@redhat.com; Wang, Zhihong
> >> <zhihong.wang@intel.com>; pbonzini@redhat.com; Daly, Dan
> >> <dan.daly@intel.com>
> >> Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [virtio-dev] [RFC 0/3] Extend vhost-user to
> >> support VFIO based accelerators
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On 2018年01月05日 14:58, Liang, Cunming wrote:
> >>>> Thanks for the pointer. Looks rather interesting.
> >>>>
> >>>>> We're also working on it (including defining a standard device for
> >>>>> vhost data path acceleration based on mdev to hide vendor specific
> >>>>> details).
> >>>> This is exactly what I mean. Form my point of view, there's no need
> >>>> for any extension for vhost protocol, we just need to reuse qemu
> >>>> iothread to implement a userspace vhost dataplane and do the mdev
> >> inside that thread.
> >>> On functional perspective, it makes sense to have qemu native
> >>> support of
> >> those certain usage. However, qemu doesn't have to take
> >> responsibility for dataplane. There're already huge amounts of codes
> >> for different devices emulation, leveraging external dataplane
> >> library is an effective way to introduce more.
> >>
> >> This does not mean to drop external dataplane library. Actually, you
> >> can link dpdk to qemu directly.
> > It's not a bad idea, then the interface comes to be new API/ABI definition of
> external dataplane library instead of existing vhost protocol.
> These API/ABI should be qemu internal which should be much flexible than
> vhost-user.
> >   dpdk as a library is not a big deal to link with, customized application is.
> > In addition, it will ask for qemu to provide flexible process model then. Lots
> of application level features (e.g. hot upgrade/fix) becomes burden.
> Don't quite get this, I think we can solve this by migration. Even if a dpdk
> userspace backend can do this, it can only do upgrade and fix for network
> datapath. This is not a complete solution obviously.
> It's nice to discuss this but it was a little bit out of the topic.
> > I'm open to that option, keep eyes on any proposal there.
> >
> >>> The beauty of vhost_user is to open a door for variable userland
> >> workloads(e.g. vswitch). The dataplane connected with VM usually need
> >> to be close integrated with those userland workloads, a control place
> >> interface(vhost-user) is better than a datapath interface(e.g.
> >> provided by dataplace in qemu iothread).
> >>
> >> Do we really need vswitch for vDPA?
> > Accelerators come into the picture of vswitch, which usually provides in-
> chip EMC for early classification. It gives a fast path for those throughput
> sensitive(SLA) VNF to bypass the further table lookup. It co-exists other VNF
> whose SLA level is best effort but requires more functions(e.g. stateful
> conntrack, security check, even higher layer WAF support) support, DPDK
> based datapath still boost the throughput there. It's not used to be a single
> choice of dedicated or shared datapath, usually they're co-exist.
> So if I understand this correctly, the "vswtich" here is a hardware function
> (something like smart NICs or OVS offloaded). So the question still, is vhost-
> user a must in this case?

"vswitch" point to SW vswitch(e.g. OVS-DPDK). Accelerators stands for different offloading IPs on the device(e.g. smart NIC) which can be used from a userland driver.
EMC IP used to offload OVS fastpath, so as move traffic to VM directly. Either SRIOV device assignment or vDPA helps to build datapath pass-thru context which represented by a virtual interface on management perspective. For entire "vswitch", there still co-exist none pass-thru interface(SW backend) which uses vhost-user for virtual interface.
Both of them shall be able to replace each other. 

There's no other user space choice yet recently for network except vhost-user. The patch of vhost-user extension has lower impact for qemu.
If you read this patch, it's really about to reduce the doorbell and interrupt overhead. Basic vDPA works even without any qemu change. As vhost-user is well-recognized as the vhost interface for userland backend, it's reasonable to well-support the usage of userland backend w/ I/O accelerator.

Before moving forward, it's necessary to get some alignment on two basic things.
- Do you agree that providing userland backend via vhost-user is the right way to do with vswitch workload.
   Otherwise, we probably shall go back to revisit vhost-user itself rather than talking anything new happening on vhost-user.
- Do you agree vhost-user is a right way for qemu to allow multi-process?
   Please refer to https://www.linux-kvm.org/images/f/fc/KVM_FORUM_multi-process.pdf

> >
> >>>    On workloads point of view, it's not excited to be part of qemu process.
> >> Don't see why, qemu have dataplane for virtio-blk/scsi.
> > Qemu has vhost-user for scsi too. I'm not saying which one is bad, just
> point out sometime it's very workloads driven. Network is different with
> blk/scsi/crypto.
> What's the main difference from your point of view which makes
> vhost-user a must in this case?
Network devices, a NIC or a Smart NIC usually has vendor specific driver. DPDK takes devices by its user space drivers to run OVS. Virtual interface is all vhost-user based talking with qemu. For some virtual interface, it now tries to bypass the traffic. It's looking forward a consistent vhost-user interface there. Linking OVS-DPDK with qemu, TBH, it's far away from today's usage.

> >>> That comes up with the idea of vhost-user extension. Userland
> workloads
> >> decides to enable accelerators or not, qemu provides the common control
> >> plane infrastructure.
> >>
> >> It brings extra complexity: endless new types of messages and a huge
> brunch
> >> of bugs. And what's more important, the split model tends to be less
> efficient
> >> in some cases, e.g guest IOMMU integration. I'm pretty sure we will meet
> >> more in the future.
> > vIOMMU relevant message has been supported by vhost protocol. It's
> independent effort there.
> The point is vIOMMU integration is very inefficient in vhost-user for
> some cases. If you have lots of dynamic mappings, it can have only
> 5%-10% performance compared to vIOMMU disabled. A huge amount of
> translation request will be generated in this case. The main issue here
> is you can not offload datapath completely to vhost-user backends
> completely, IOMMU translations were still done in qemu. This is one of
> the defect of vhost-user when datapath need to access the device state.
It's vIOMMU's challenge of dynamic mapping, besides vhost-user, kernel vhost shall face the same situation. Static mapping w/ DPDK looks much better. It's not fair to blame vhost-user by vIOMMU overhead.

> > I don't see this patch introduce endless new types.
> Not this patch but we can imagine vhost-user protocol will become
> complex in the future.
> > My taking of your fundamental concern is about continues adding new
> features on vhost-user.
> > Feel free to correct me if I misunderstood your point.
> Unfortunately not, endless itself is not a problem but we'd better only
> try to extend it only when it was really needed. The main questions are:
> 1) whether or not we need to split things like what you suggested here?
> 2) if needed, is vhost-user the best method?
Sounds good. BTW, this patch(vhost-user extention) is a performance improvement patch for DPDK vDPA usage(Refer DPDK patches). Another RFC patch stay tuned for kernel space usage which will propose a qemu native vhost adaptor for in-kernel mediated device driver.

> >
> >>>>> And IMO it's also not a bad idea to extend vhost-user protocol to
> >>>>> support the accelerators if possible. And it could be more flexible
> >>>>> because it could support (for example) below things easily without
> >>>>> introducing any complex command line options or monitor commands
> to
> >>>>> QEMU:
> >>>> Maybe I was wrong but I don't think we care about the complexity of
> >>>> command line or monitor command in this case.
> >>>>
> >>>>> - the switching among different accelerators and software version
> >>>>>      can be done at runtime in vhost process;
> >>>>> - use different accelerators to accelerate different queue pairs
> >>>>>      or just accelerate some (instead of all) queue pairs;
> >>>> Well, technically, if we want, these could be implemented in qemu too.
> >>> You're right if just considering I/O. The ways to consume those I/O is
> >> another perspective.
> >>> Simply 1:1 associating guest virtio-net and accelerator w/ SW datapath
> >> fallback is not the whole picture.
> >>
> >> Pay attention:
> >>
> >> 1) What I mean is not a fallback here. You can still do a lot of tricks e.g
> >> offloading datapath to hardware or doorbell map.
> >> 2) Qemu supports (very old and inefficient) a split model of device
> emulation
> >> and network backend. This means we can switch between backends
> (though
> >> not implemented).
> > Accelerator won't be defined in the same device layout, it means there're
> different kinds of drivers.
> Well, you can still use different drivers if you link dpdk or whatever
> other dataplane library to qemu.
> > Qemu definitely won't like to have HW relevant driver there,
> Why not? We've already had userspace NVME driver.
There's huge amount of vendor specific driver for network. NVMe is much generalized than NIC.
The idea of linking an external dataplane sounds interesting, but it's not used in real world. Looking forward the progress.

> >   that's end up with another vhost-vfio in my slides.
> I don't get why we can't implement it purely through a userspace driver
> inside qemu.
TBH, we think about this before. There're a few reasons stopping us.
- qemu hasn't an abstraction layout of network device(HW NIC) for userspace drivers
- qemu launch process, linking dpdk w/ qemu is not problem. Gap is on ovs integration, effort/impact is not small
- for qemu native virtio SW backend, it lacks of efficient ways to talk with external process. The change efforts/impact is not small.
- qemu native userspace driver only used for qemu, userspace driver in DPDK can be used for others

> >   A mediated device can help to unify the device layout definition, and leave
> the driver part in its own place.
> The point is not about mediated device but why you must use vhost-user
> to do it.
> Thanks
> > This approach is quite good when application doesn't need to put userland
> SW datapath and accelerator datapath in the same picture as which I
> mentioned(vswitch cases).
> >
> >>>    It's variable usages on workload side to abstract the device (e.g. port
> re-
> >> presenter for vswitch) and etc. I don't think qemu is interested for all
> bunch
> >> of things there.
> >> Again, you can link any dataplane to qemu directly instead of using vhost-
> >> user if vhost-user tends to be less useful in some cases (vDPA is one of the
> >> case I think).
> > See my previous words.
> >
> >> Thanks
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