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Re: [Xen-devel] <summary-1> (v2) Design proposal for RMRR fix

>>> On 09.01.15 at 11:26, <kevin.tian@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>  From: Jan Beulich [mailto:JBeulich@xxxxxxxx]
>> >>> On 09.01.15 at 07:57, <kevin.tian@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> > 1.1) per-device 'warn' vs. global 'warn'
>> >
>> > Both Tim/Jan prefer to 'warn' as a per-device option to the admin instead
>> > of a global option.
>> >
>> > In a glimpse a per-device 'warn' option provides more fine-grained control
>> > than a global option, however if thinking it carefully allowing one device
>> > w/
>> > potential problem isn't more correct or secure than allowing multiple
>> > devices w/ potential problem. Even in practice a device like USB can
>> > work bearing <1MB confliction, like Jan pointed out there's always corner
>> > cases which we might not know so as long as we open door for one device,
>> > it implies a problematic environment to users and user's judge on whether
>> > he can live up to this problem is not impacted by how many devices the door
>> > is opened for (he anyway needs to study warning message and do
>> verification
>> > if choosing to live up)
>> >
>> > Regarding to that, imo if we agree to provide 'warn' option, just providing
>> > a global overriding option (definitely per-vm) is acceptable and simpler.
>> If the admin determined that ignoring the RMRR requirements for one
>> devices is safe, that doesn't (and shouldn't) mean this is the case for
>> all other devices too.
> I don't think admin can determine whether it's 100% safe. What admin can 
> decide is whether he lives up to the potential problem based on his purpose
> or based on some experiments. only device vendor knows when and how
> RMRR is used. So as long as warn is opened for one device, I think it
> already means a problem environment and then adding more device is
> just same situation.

What if the admin consulted the device and BIOS vendors, and got
assured there's not going to be any accesses to the reserved regions

>> > 1.2) when to 'fail'
>> >
>> > There is one open whether we should fail immediately in domain builder
>> > if a confliction is detected.
>> >
>> > Jan's comment is yes, we should 'fail' the VM creation as it's an error.
>> >
>> > My previous point is more mimicking native behavior, where a device
>> > failure (in our case it's actually potential device failure since VM is not
>> > powered yet) doesn't impact user until its function is actually touched.
>> > In our case, even domain builder fails to re-arrange guest RAM to skip
>> > reserved regions, we have centralized policy (either 'fail' or 'warn' per
>> > above conclusion) in Xen hypervisor when the device is actually assigned.
>> > so a 'warn' should be fine, but my insist on this is not strong.
>> See my earlier reply: Failure to add a device to me is more like a
>> device preventing a bare metal system from coming up altogether.
> not all devices are required for bare metal to boot. it causes problem
> only when it's being used in the boot process. say at powering up the
> disk (insert in the PCI slot) is broken (not sure whether you call such
> thing as 'failure to add a device'), it is only error when BIOS tries to
> read disk.

Not necessarily. Any malfunctioning device touched by the BIOS,
irrespective of whether the device is needed for booting, can cause
the boot process to hang. Again, the analogy to bare metal is
device presence, not whether the device is functioning properly.

> note device assignment path is the actual path to decide whether a
> device will be present to the guest. not at this domain build time.

That would only make a marginal difference in time of when domain
creation fails.

>> > and another point is about hotplug. 'fail' for future devices is too 
> strict,
>> > but to differentiate that from static-assigned devices, domain builder
>> > will then need maintain a per-device reserved region structure. just
>> > 'warn' makes things simple.
>> Whereas here I agree - hotplug should just fail (without otherwise
>> impacting the guest).
> so 'should' -> 'shoundn't'?

No. Perhaps what you imply from fail is different from my reading:
I mean this to be the result of the hotplug operation - the device
would just not appear in the guest. The guest isn't to be brought
down because of such failure (i.e. behavior here is different from
the boot time assignment, where the guest would be prevented
from coming up).

>> > second, I'm not sure to what level users care about those reserved regions.
>> > At most it's same layout as physical so even sensitive users won't see it 
>> > as
>> > a UFO. :-) and e820 is platform attributes so user shouldn't set assumption
>> > on it.
>> Just consider the case where, in order to accommodate the reserved
>> regions, low memory needs to be reduced from the default of over
>> 3Gb to say 1Gb. If the guest OS then is incapable of using memory
>> above 4Gb (say Linux with HIGHMEM=n), there is a significant
>> difference to be seen by the user.
> that makes some sense... but if yes it's also a limitation to your below
> proposal on avoid fiddling lowmem, if there's a region at 1GB. I think
> for this we can go with your earlier assumption, that we only support
> the case which is reasonable high say 3G. violating that assumption
> will be warned (so guest RAM is not moved) and later device assignment
> will fail.

No, we shouldn't put in arbitrary restrictions on where RMRRs can sit.
If there's one at 1Gb, and the associated device is to be passed through,
so be it. All I wanted to make clear is that the report-all approach is
going to have too heavy an impact on the guest.


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