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Subject: RE: [virtio-dev] [PATCH v10 13/13] split-ring: in order feature

• From: Lars Ganrot <lga@napatech.com>
• To: "Michael S. Tsirkin" <mst@redhat.com>
• Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2018 07:18:52 +0000

> From: Michael S. Tsirkin <mst@redhat.com>
> Sent: 4. april 2018 18:08
> To: Lars Ganrot <lga@napatech.com>
> Cc: virtio@lists.oasis-open.org; virtio-dev@lists.oasis-open.org
> Subject: Re: [virtio-dev] [PATCH v10 13/13] split-ring: in order feature
>
> On Wed, Apr 04, 2018 at 03:03:16PM +0000, Lars Ganrot wrote:
> > > From: Michael S. Tsirkin <mst@redhat.com>
> > > Sent: 3. april 2018 13:48
> > > To: Lars Ganrot <lga@napatech.com>
> > > Cc: virtio@lists.oasis-open.org; virtio-dev@lists.oasis-open.org
> > > Subject: Re: [virtio-dev] [PATCH v10 13/13] split-ring: in order
> > > feature
> > >
> > > On Tue, Apr 03, 2018 at 07:19:47AM +0000, Lars Ganrot wrote:
> > > > > From: virtio-dev@lists.oasis-open.org
> > > > > <virtio-dev@lists.oasis-open.org> On Behalf Of Michael S.
> > > > > Tsirkin
> > > > > Sent: 29. marts 2018 21:13
> > > > >
> > > > > On Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 06:23:28PM +0000, Lars Ganrot wrote:
> > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > > From: Michael S. Tsirkin <mst@redhat.com>
> > > > > > > Sent: 29. marts 2018 16:42
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 04:12:10PM +0000, Lars Ganrot wrote:
> > > > > > > > Missed replying to the lists. Sorry.
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > From: Michael S. Tsirkin <mst@redhat.com>
> > > > > > > > > Sent: 28. marts 2018 16:39
> > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 08:23:38AM +0000, Lars Ganrot
> wrote:
> > > > > > > > > > Hi Michael et al
> > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > > Behalf Of Michael S. Tsirkin
> > > > > > > > > > > Sent: 9. marts 2018 22:24
> > > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > > For a split ring, require that drivers use
> > > > > > > > > > > descriptors in order
> > > too.
> > > > > > > > > > > This allows devices to skip reading the available ring.
> > > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > > Signed-off-by: Michael S. Tsirkin <mst@redhat.com>
> > > > > > > > > > > Reviewed-by: Cornelia Huck <cohuck@redhat.com>
> > > > > > > > > > > Reviewed-by: Stefan Hajnoczi <stefanha@redhat.com>
> > > > > > > > > > > ---
> > > > > > > > > > [snip]
> > > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > > +If VIRTIO_F_IN_ORDER has been negotiated, and when
> > > > > > > > > > > +making a descriptor with VRING_DESC_F_NEXT set in
> > > > > > > > > > > +\field{flags} at offset $x$ in the table available
> > > > > > > > > > > +to the device, driver MUST set \field{next} to $0$
> > > > > > > > > > > +for the last descriptor in the table (where $x = > > > > > > > > > > > +queue\_size - > > > > > > > > > > > +1$) and to $x + 1$ for the rest of the
> > > > > > > descriptors.
> > > > > > > > > > > +
> > > > > > > > > > >  \subsubsection{Indirect
> > > > > > > > > > > Descriptors}\label{sec:Basic Facilities of a Virtio
> > > > > > > > > > > Device / Virtqueues / The Virtqueue Descriptor Table
> > > > > > > > > > > / Indirect Descriptors}
> > > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > >  Some devices benefit by concurrently dispatching a
> > > > > > > > > > > large number @@
> > > > > > > > > > > -247,6
> > > > > > > > > > > +257,10 @@ chained by \field{next}. An indirect
> > > > > > > > > > > +descriptor without a valid
> > > > > > > > > > > \field{next}  A single indirect descriptor  table
> > > > > > > > > > > can include both
> > > > > > > > > > > device- readable and device-writable descriptors.
> > > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > > +If VIRTIO_F_IN_ORDER has been negotiated, indirect
> > > > > > > > > > > +descriptors use sequential indices, in-order: index
> > > > > > > > > > > +0 followed by index 1 followed by index 2, etc.
> > > > > > > > > > > +
> > > > > > > > > > >  \drivernormative{\paragraph}{Indirect
> > > > > > > > > > > Descriptors}{Basic Facilities of a Virtio Device /
> > > > > > > > > > > Virtqueues / The Virtqueue Descriptor Table /
> > > > > > > > > > > Indirect Descriptors} The driver MUST NOT set the
> > > > > > > > > VIRTQ_DESC_F_INDIRECT flag unless the
> > > > > > > > > > >  VIRTIO_F_INDIRECT_DESC feature was negotiated.   The
> > > driver
> > > > > MUST
> > > > > > > > > NOT
> > > > > > > > > > > @@ -259,6 +273,10 @@ the device.
> > > > > > > > > > >  A driver MUST NOT set both VIRTQ_DESC_F_INDIRECT
> > > > > > > > > > > and VIRTQ_DESC_F_NEXT  in \field{flags}.
> > > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > > +If VIRTIO_F_IN_ORDER has been negotiated, indirect
> > > > > > > > > > > +descriptors MUST appear sequentially, with
> > > > > > > > > > > +\field{next} taking the value of
> > > > > > > > > > > +1 for the 1st descriptor, 2 for the 2nd one, etc.
> > > > > > > > > > > +
> > > > > > > > > > >  \devicenormative{\paragraph}{Indirect
> > > > > > > > > > > Descriptors}{Basic Facilities of a Virtio Device /
> > > > > > > > > > > Virtqueues / The Virtqueue Descriptor Table /
> > > > > > > > > > > Indirect Descriptors} The device MUST ignore the
> > > > > > > > > > > write-only flag
> > > > > > > > > > > (\field{flags}\&VIRTQ_DESC_F_WRITE) in the
> > > > > > > > > > > descriptor that refers to an indirect table.
> > > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > The use of VIRTIO_F_IN_ORDER for split-ring can
> > > > > > > > > > eliminate some accesses
> > > > > > > > > to the virtq_avail.ring and virtq_used.ring. However I'm
> > > > > > > > > wondering if the proposed descriptor ordering for
> > > > > > > > > multi-element buffers couldn't be tweaked to be more HW
> > > > > > > > > friendly.  Currently even with the VIRTIO_F_IN_ORDER
> > > > > > > > > negotiated, there is no way of knowing if, or how many
> > > > > > > > > chained descriptors follow the descriptor pointed to by
> > > > > > > > > the virtq_avail.idx. A chain has to be inspected one
> > > > > > > > > descriptor at a time until
> > > > > > > > > virtq_desc.flags[VIRTQ_DESC_F_NEXT]=0. This is awkward
> > > > > > > > > for HW offload, where you want to DMA all available
> > > > > > > > > descriptors in one shot, instead of iterating based on
> > > > > > > > > the contents of received DMA data. As currently defined,
> > > > > > > > > HW would have to find a compromise
> > > > > between likely chain length, and cost of additional DMA transfers.
> > > > > > > > > This leads to a performance penalty for all chained
> > > > > > > > > descriptors, and in case the length assumption is wrong
> > > > > > > > > the impact can be
> > > > > significant.
> > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > Now, what if the VIRTIO_F_IN_ORDER instead required
> > > > > > > > > > chained buffers to
> > > > > > > > > place the last element at the lowest index, and the
> > > > > > > > > head-element (to which virtq_avail.idx points) at the
> > > > > > > > > highest index? Then all the chained element descriptors
> > > > > > > > > would be included in a DMA of the descriptor table from
> > > > > > > > > the previous virtq_avail.idx+1 to the current
> > > > > > > virtq_avail.idx. The "backward"
> > > > > > > > > order of the chained descriptors shouldn't pose an issue
> > > > > > > > > as such (at least not in HW).
> > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > Best Regards,
> > > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > -Lars
> > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > virtq_avail.idx is still an index into the available ring.
> > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > I don't really see how you can use virtq_avail.idx to
> > > > > > > > > guess the placement of a descriptor.
> > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > I suspect the best way to optimize this is to include
> > > > > > > > > the relevant data with the VIRTIO_F_NOTIFICATION_DATA
> feature.
> > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > Argh, naturally.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > BTW, for split rings VIRTIO_F_NOTIFICATION_DATA just copies
> > > > > > > the index right now.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > Do you have an opinion on whether we should change that for
> > > > > > > in-
> > > order?
> > > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > element
> > > > > descriptor index, would be useful to accelerate interfaces that
> > > > > frequently use chaining (from a HW DMA perspective at least).
> > > > > >
> > > > > > > > For HW offload I'd want to avoid notifications for buffer
> > > > > > > > transfer from host
> > > > > > > to device, and hoped to just poll virtq_avail.idx directly.
> > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > A split virtqueue with VITRIO_F_IN_ORDER will maintain
> > > > > > > virtq_avail.idx==virtq_avail.ring[idx] as long as there is
> > > > > > > no chaining. It would be nice to allow negotiating away
> > > > > > > chaining, i.e add a VIRTIO_F_NO_CHAIN. If negotiated, the
> > > > > > > driver agrees not to use chaining, and as a result (of
> > > > > > > IN_ORDER and NO_CHAIN) both device and driver can ignore the
> virtq_avail.ring[].
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > My point was that device can just assume no chains, and then
> > > > > > > fall back on doing extra reads upon encountering a chain.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > Yes, you are correct that the HW can speculatively use
> > > > > >virtq_avail.idx as the direct index to the descriptor table,
> > > > > >and if it encounters a chain, revert to using the
> > > > > >virtq_avail.ring[] in the traditional way, and this would work without
> the feature-bit.
> > > > >
> > > > > Sorry that was not my idea.
> > > > >
> > > > > Device should not need to read the ring at all.
> > > > > It reads the descriptor table and counts the descriptors without
> > > > > the next
> > > bit.
> > > > > Once the count reaches the available index, it stops.
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > Agreed, that would work as well, with the benefit of keeping the
> > > > ring out of the loop.
> > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > > However the driver would not be able to optimize away the
> > > > > > writing of the virtq_avail.ring[] (=cache miss)
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > BTW writing is a separate question (there is no provision in the
> > > > > spec to skip
> > > > > writes) but device does not have to read the ring.
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > Yes, I understand the spec currently does not allow writes to be
> > > > skipped, but I'm wondering if that ought to be reconsidered for
> > > > optimization features such as IN_ORDER and NO_CHAIN?
> > >
> > > Why not just use the packed ring then?
> > >
> >
> > Device notification. While the packed ring solves some of the issues
> > in the split ring, it also comes at a cost. In my view the two
> > complement each other, however the required use of driver to device
> > notifications in the packed ring for all driver to device transfers
> > over PCIe (to handle the update granularity issue with Qwords as
> > pointed out by Ilya on 14:th
> > Jan) will limit performance (latency and throughput) in our experience.
> > We want to use device polling.
>
> You can poll the descriptor for sure.
>
> I think you refer to this:
>

Not quite, on Jan 14 2018 Ilya Lesokhin in his mail: " [virtio-dev] PCIe ordering
and new VIRTIO packed ring format", highlighted the subsequent section
regarding observed read granularity in the PCIe rev 2.0 (paragraph 2.4.2):

## As an example of update granularity, if a host CPU writes a QWORD to host
## memory, a Requester reading that QWORD from host memory may observe
## a portion of the QWORD updated and another portion of it containing
## the old value"

To which you on Jan 16 2018 responded:

## This is a very good point.  This consideration is one of the reasons I included
## last valid descriptor in the driver notification.  My guess would be that such
## hardware should  never use driver event suppression. As a result, driver will
## always send notifications after each batch of descriptors. Device can use
## that to figure out which descriptors to fetch. Luckily, with pass-through
## device memory can be mapped directly into the VM, so no the notification
## will not trigger a VM exit. It would be interesting to find out whether specific
## host systems give a stronger guarantee than what is required by the PCIE
## spec. If so we could add e.g. a feature bit to let the device know it's safe to
## read beyond the index supplied in the kick notification. Drivers would detect
## this and use it to reduce the overhead."

As I understand it, the notification is required for safe operation, unless the
host can be determined (how?) to uphold a stronger guarantee for update
granularity than the PCIe specification requires.

> As an example of update ordering, assume that the block of data is in host
> memory, and a host CPU writes first to location A and then to a different
> location B. A Requester reading that data block with a single read transaction
> is not guaranteed to observe those updates in order. In other words, the
> Requester may observe an updated value in location B and an old value in
> location A, regardless of the placement of locations A and B within the data
> block. Unless a Completer makes its own guarantees (outside this
> specification) with respect to update ordering, a Requester that relies on
> update ordering must observe the update to location B via one read
> transaction before initiating a subsequent read to location A to return its
> updated value.
>
> One question would be whether placing a memory barrier (such as sfence on
> x86) after writing out A will guarantee update ordering.
>
> Do you know anything about it?
>

My knowledge of PCIe is not deep enough, but the PCIe update granularity
should not be affected by barriers, since it relates to a single write.

>
>
> > Btw, won't the notification add one extra cache miss for all TX over
> > PCIe transport?
>
> It's a posted write, these are typically not cached.
>
> > > > By opting for such features, both driver and device acknowledge
> > > > their willingness to accept reduced flexibility for improved
> performance.
> > > > Why not then make sure they get the biggest bang for their buck? I
> > > > would expect up to 20% improvement over PCIe (virtio-net, single
> > > > 64B packet), if the device does not have to write to
> > > > virtq_used.ring[] on transmit, and bandwidth over PCI is a very precious
> resource in e.g.
> > > > virtual switch offload with east-west acceleration (for a
> > > > discussion see Intel's white- paper 335625-001).
> > >
> > > Haven't looked at it yet but we also need to consider the
> > > complexity, see below.
> > >
> > > > > Without device accesses ring will not be invaliated in cache so
> > > > > no misses hopefully.
> > > > >
> > > > > > unless a NO_CHAIN feature has
> > > > > > been negotiated.
> > > > > > The IN_ORDER by itself has already eliminated the need to
> > > > > > maintain the TX virtq_used.ring[], since the buffer order is
> > > > > > always known by the driver.
> > > > > > With a NO_CHAIN feature-bit both RX and TX virtq_avail.ring[]
> > > > > > related cache-misses could be eliminated. I.e.
> > > > > > looping a packet over a split virtqueue would just experience
> > > > > > 7 driver cache misses, down from 10 in Virtio v1.0.
> > > > > > Multi-element buffers would still be possible provided INDIRECT is
> negotiated.
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > NO_CHAIN might be a valid optimization, it is just unfortunately
> > > > > somewhat narrow in that devices that need to mix write and read
> > > > > descriptors in the same ring (e.g. storage) can not use this feature.
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > Yes, if there was a way of making indirect buffers support it,
> > > > that would be ideal. However I don't see how that can be done
> > > > without inline headers in elements to hold their written length.
> > >
> > > Kind of like it's done with with packed ring?
> > >
> > > > At the same time storage would not be hurt by it even if they are
> > > > unable to benefit from this particular optimization,
> > >
> > > It will be hurt if it uses shared code paths which potentially take
> > > up more cache, or if bugs are introduced.
> > >
> > > > and as long as there is a substantial use case/space that benefit
> > > > from an optimization, it ought to be
> > > considered.
> > > > I believe virtual switching offload with virtio-net devices over
> > > > PCIe is such a key use-case.
> > >
> > > It looks like the packed ring addresses the need nicely, while being
> > > device- independent.
> > >
> > >
> > > > >
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > >
> > > > > > > > > > ------------------------------------------------------
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