On Wed, 2010-11-17 at 22:29 -0500, John Weekes wrote:
> > Which branch/revision does latest pvops mean?
> stable-2.6.32, using the latest pull as of today. (I also tried
> next-2.6.37, but it wouldn't boot for me.)
> > Would you be willing to try and reproduce that again with the XCP blktap
> > (userspace, not kernel) sources? Just to further isolate the problem.
> > Those see a lot of testing. I certainly can't come up with a single fix
> > to the aio layer, in ages. But I'm never sure about other stuff
> > potentially broken in userland.
> I'll have to give it a try. Normal blktap still isn't working with
> pv_ops, though, so I hope this is a drop-in for blktap2.
I think it should work fine, or wouldn't ask. If not, lemme know.
> In my last bit of troubleshooting, I took O_DIRECT out of the open call
> in tools/blktap2/drivers/block-aio.c, and preliminary testing indicates
> that this might have eliminated the problem with corruption. I'm testing
> further now, but could there be an issue with alignment (since the
> kernel is apparently very strict about it with direct I/O)?
Nope. It is, but they're 4k-aligned all over the place. You'd see syslog
yelling quite miserably in cases like that. Keeping an eye on syslog
(the daemon and kern facilites) is a generally good idea btw.
> this flag also brings back in use of the page cache, of course.)
I/O-wise it's not much different from the file:-path. Meaning it should
have carried you directly back into the Oom realm.
> > If dio is definitely not what you feel you need, let's get back your
> > original OOM problem. Did reducing dom0 vcpus help? 24 of them is quite
> > aggressive, to say the least.
> When I switched to aio, I reduced the vcpus to 2 (I needed to do this
> with dom0_max_vcpus, rather than through xend-config.sxp -- the latter
> wouldn't always boot). I haven't separately tried cached I/O with
> reduced CPUs yet, except in the lab; and unfortunately I still can't get
> the problem to happen in the lab, no matter what I try.
Just reducing the cpu count alone sounds like sth worth trying even on a
production box, if the current state of things already tends to take the
system down. Also, the dirty_ratio sysctl should be pretty safe to tweak
> > If that alone doesn't help, I'd definitely try and check vm.dirty_ratio.
> > There must be a tradeoff which doesn't imply scribbling the better half
> > of 1.5GB main memory.
> The default for dirty_ratio is 20. I tried halving that to 10, but it
> didn't help.
Still too much. That's meant to be %/task. Try 2, with 1.5G that's still
a decent 30M write cache and should block all out of 24 disks after some
700M, worst case. Or so I think...
> I could try lower, but I like the thought of keeping this
> in user space, if possible, so I've been pursuing the blktap2 path most
Okay. I'm sending you a tbz to try.
> > That's disturbing. It might be worth trying to drop the number of VCPUs in
> > dom0 to 1 and then try to repro.
> > BTW: for production use I'd currently be strongly inclined to use the XCP
> > 2.6.32 kernel.
> Interesting, ok.
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