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Subject: Re: [RFC][Patch v12 1/2] mm: page_reporting: core infrastructure

On 8/12/19 2:47 PM, Alexander Duyck wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 12, 2019 at 6:13 AM Nitesh Narayan Lal <nitesh@redhat.com> wrote:
>> This patch introduces the core infrastructure for free page reporting in
>> virtual environments. It enables the kernel to track the free pages which
>> can be reported to its hypervisor so that the hypervisor could
>> free and reuse that memory as per its requirement.
>> While the pages are getting processed in the hypervisor (e.g.,
>> via MADV_DONTNEED), the guest must not use them, otherwise, data loss
>> would be possible. To avoid such a situation, these pages are
>> temporarily removed from the buddy. The amount of pages removed
>> temporarily from the buddy is governed by the backend(virtio-balloon
>> in our case).
>> To efficiently identify free pages that can to be reported to the
>> hypervisor, bitmaps in a coarse granularity are used. Only fairly big
>> chunks are reported to the hypervisor - especially, to not break up THP
>> in the hypervisor - "MAX_ORDER - 2" on x86, and to save space. The bits
>> in the bitmap are an indication whether a page *might* be free, not a
>> guarantee. A new hook after buddy merging sets the bits.
>> Bitmaps are stored per zone, protected by the zone lock. A workqueue
>> asynchronously processes the bitmaps, trying to isolate and report pages
>> that are still free. The backend (virtio-balloon) is responsible for
>> reporting these batched pages to the host synchronously. Once reporting/
>> freeing is complete, isolated pages are returned back to the buddy.
>> Signed-off-by: Nitesh Narayan Lal <nitesh@redhat.com>
>> +}
>> +
>> +/**
>> + * __page_reporting_enqueue - tracks the freed page in the respective zone's
>> + * bitmap and enqueues a new page reporting job to the workqueue if possible.
>> + */
>> +void __page_reporting_enqueue(struct page *page)
>> +{
>> +       struct page_reporting_config *phconf;
>> +       struct zone *zone;
>> +
>> +       rcu_read_lock();
>> +       /*
>> +        * We should not process this page if either page reporting is not
>> +        * yet completely enabled or it has been disabled by the backend.
>> +        */
>> +       phconf = rcu_dereference(page_reporting_conf);
>> +       if (!phconf)
>> +               return;
>> +
>> +       zone = page_zone(page);
>> +       bitmap_set_bit(page, zone);
>> +
>> +       /*
>> +        * We should not enqueue a job if a previously enqueued reporting work
>> +        * is in progress or we don't have enough free pages in the zone.
>> +        */
>> +       if (atomic_read(&zone->free_pages) >= phconf->max_pages &&
>> +           !atomic_cmpxchg(&phconf->refcnt, 0, 1))
> This doesn't make any sense to me. Why are you only incrementing the
> refcount if it is zero? Combining this with the assignment above, this
> isn't really a refcnt. It is just an oversized bitflag.

The intent for having an extra variable was to ensure that at a time only one
reporting job is enqueued. I do agree that for that purpose I really don't need
a reference counter and I should have used something like bool
'page_hinting_active'. But with bool, I think there could be a possible chance
of race. Maybe I should rename this variable and keep it as atomic.
Any thoughts?

> Also I am pretty sure this results in the opportunity to miss pages
> because there is nothing to prevent you from possibly missing a ton of
> pages you could hint on if a large number of pages are pushed out all
> at once and then the system goes idle in terms of memory allocation
> and freeing.

I was looking at how you are enqueuing/processing reporting jobs for each zone.
I am wondering if I should also consider something on similar lines as having
that I might be able to address the concern which you have raised above. But it
would also mean that I have to add an additional flag in the zone_flags. :)

>> +EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL(page_reporting_enable);
>> --
>> 2.21.0

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