So, swapping mfns for write requests is a definite no-no. One could still live
with copying write buffers and swapping read buffers by the end of the request.
That still yields some benefit.
As for kernel mappings, I though a solution would be to provide the hypervisor
with both pte pointers. After all pte pointers are already provided for mapping
grants in user-space. But that's a little too much to handle for the current
Thanks for the feedback
On Nov 17, 2010, at 12:52 PM, Jeremy Fitzhardinge wrote:
> On 11/17/2010 08:36 AM, Andres Lagar-Cavilla wrote:
>> I'll throw an idea there and you educate me why it's lame.
>> Going back to the primary issue of dropping zero-copy, you want the block
>> backend (tapdev w/AIO or otherwise) to operate on regular dom0 pages,
>> because you run into all sorts of quirkiness otherwise: magical VM_FOREIGN
>> incantations to back granted mfn's with fake page structs that make
>> get_user_pages happy, quirky grant PTEs, etc.
>> Ok, so how about something along the lines of GNTTABOP_swap? Eerily
>> reminiscent of (maligned?) GNTTABOP_transfer, but hear me out.
>> The observation is that for a blkfront read, you could do the read all along
>> on a regular dom0 frame, and when stuffing the response into the ring, swap
>> the dom0 frame (mfn) you used with the domU frame provided as a buffer. Then
>> the algorithm folds out:
>> 1. Block backend, instead of get_empty_pages_and_pagevec at init time,
>> creates a pool of reserved regular pages via get_free_page(s). These pages
>> have their refcount pumped, no one in dom0 will ever touch them.
>> 2. When extracting a blkfront write from the ring, call GNTTABOP_swap
>> immediately. One of the backend-reserved mfn's is swapped with the domU mfn.
>> Pfn's and page struct's on both ends remain untouched.
> Would GNTTABOP_swap also require the domU to have already unmapped the
> page from its own pagetables? Presumably it would fail if it didn't,
> otherwise you'd end up with a domU mapping the same mfn as a
> dom0-private page.
>> 3. For blkfront reads, call swap when stuffing the response back into the
>> 4. Because of 1, dom0 can a) calmly fix its p2m (and kvaddr) after swap,
>> much like balloon and others do, without fear of races. More importantly, b)
>> you don't have a weirdo granted PTE, or work with a frame from other domain.
>> It's your page all along, dom0
>> 5. One assumption for domU is that pages allocated as blkfront buffers won't
>> be touched by anybody, so a) it's safe for them to swap async with another
>> frame with undef contents and b) domU can fix its p2m (and kvaddr) when
>> pulling responses from the ring (the new mfn should be put on the response
>> by dom0 directly or through an opaque handle)
>> 6. Scatter-gather vectors in ring requests give you a natural multicall
>> batching for these GNTTABOP_swap's. I.e. all these hypercalls won't happen
>> as often and at the granularity as skbuff's demanded for GNTTABOP_transfer
>> 7. Potentially domU may want to use the contents in a blkfront write buffer
>> later for something else. So it's not really zero-copy. But the approach
>> opens a window to async memcpy . From the point of swap when pulling the req
>> to the point of pushing the response, you can do memcpy at any time. Don't
>> know about how practical that is though.
> I think that will be the common case - the kernel will always attempt to
> write dirty pagecache pages to make clean ones, and it will still want
> them around to access. So it can't really give up the page altogether;
> if it hands it over to dom0, it needs to make a local copy first.
>> Problems at first glance:
>> 1. To support GNTTABOP_swap you need to add more if(version) to blkfront and
>> 2. The kernel vaddr will need to be managed as well by dom0/U. Much like
>> balloon or others: hypercall, fix p2m, and fix kvaddr all need to be taken
>> care of. domU will probably need to neuter its kvaddr before granting, and
>> then re-establish it when the response arrives. Weren't all these hypercalls
>> ultimately more expensive than memcpy for GNTABOP_transfer for netback?
>> 3. Managing the pool of backend reserved pages may be a problem?
>> So in the end, perhaps more of an academic exercise than a palatable answer,
>> but nonetheless I'd like to hear other problems people may find with this
> It's not clear to me that its any improvement over just directly copying
> the data up front.
Xen-devel mailing list