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Re: [Xen-devel] [PATCH v2 2/2] xen/balloon: Enforce various limits on target

On Fri, May 03, 2013 at 09:15:32AM +0100, Ian Campbell wrote:
> On Thu, 2013-05-02 at 19:04 +0100, Konrad Rzeszutek Wilk wrote:
> > On Thu, May 02, 2013 at 12:34:32PM +0100, Stefano Stabellini wrote:


> > > The xapi guys, CC'ed, might have more insights on what exactly is.
> I think that unless someone can remember what this issue was we should
> just chalk it up to a historical artefact of something xapi (or maybe
> some historical guest) was doing which we have no reason to believe
> needs to be carried over to libxl.
> IOW I'm suggesting we set LIBXL_MAXMEM_CONSTANT to 0 early in the 4.4
> cycle and see how it goes. If someone can show either empirical evidence
> or (better) logically argue that a fudge is required then we can always
> put it back (or it may turn out to be the caller's issue, in which case
> they can deal with it, hopefully xapi-on-libxl won't apply this fudge
> twice...).
> Alternatively I'm also strongly considering having debug builds of the
> toolstack randomise the amount of slack, that ought to shake out any
> lingering issues...

Do you suggest to postopone this work until 4.4 merge window?
If yes, then I think that at least "xen/balloon: Enforce various limits on 
patch (without this crazy libxl hack) should be applied.

> > > I dislike having to pull this "hack" into Linux, but if it is actually
> > > important to leave LIBXL_MAXMEM_CONSTANT unused, then it is worth doing.
> > > I would add a big comment on top saying:
> > >
> > > "libxl seems to think that we need to leave LIBXL_MAXMEM_CONSTANT
> > > kilobytes unused, let's be gentle and do that."
> It seems to me that this change in Linux is really just papering over
> the underlying issue. Or at the very least no one has adequately
> explained what that real issue is and why this change is relevant to it
> and/or an appropriate fix for it.
> The guest knows what target the toolstack has set for it is (its in the
> target xenstore node), I don't see any reason for the guest to be
> further second guessing that value by examining maxmem (adjusted by a
> fudge factor or otherwise). If the guest is seeing failures to increase
> its reservation when trying to meet that target then either the
> toolstack was buggy in asking it to hit a target greater than its maxmem
> or it is hitting one of the other reason for increase reservation
> failures. Since it needs to deal with the latter anyway I don't see any
> reason to special case maxmem as a cause for a failure.

Do not forget that guest may change target itself.
Additionally, we would like to introduce xm compatibility
mode which is a bit different then xl normal behavior.
I do not mention that it is always worth check the limits.
It will save us a lot of trouble later.


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