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Re: [Qemu-devel] CFQ I/O starvation problem triggered by RHEL6.0 KVM gue

From: Vivek Goyal
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] CFQ I/O starvation problem triggered by RHEL6.0 KVM guests
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2011 09:49:45 -0400
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Thu, Sep 08, 2011 at 06:13:53PM +0900, Takuya Yoshikawa wrote:
> This is a report of strange cfq behaviour which seems to be triggered by
> QEMU posix aio threads.
> Host environment:
>   OS: RHEL6.0 KVM/qemu-kvm (with no patch applied)
>   IO scheduler: cfq (with the default parameters)

So you are using both RHEL 6.0 in both host and guest kernel? Can you
reproduce the same issue with upstream kernels? How easily/frequently
you can reproduce this with RHEL6.0 host.

> On the host, we were running 3 linux guests to see if I/O from these guests
> would be handled fairly by host; each guest did dd write with oflag=direct.
> Guest virtual disk:
>   We used a host local disk which had 3 partitions, and each guest was
>   allocated one of these as dd write target.
> So our test was for checking if cfq could keep fairness for the 3 guests
> who shared the same disk.
> The result (strage starvation):
>   Sometimes, one guest dominated cfq for more than 10sec and requests from
>   other guests were not handled at all during that time.
> Below is the blktrace log which shows that a request to (8,27) in cfq2068S 
> (*1)
> is not handled at all during cfq2095S and cfq2067S which hold requests to
> (8,26) are being handled alternately.
> *1) WS 104920578 + 64
> Question:
>   I guess that cfq_close_cooperator() was being called in an unusual manner.
>   If so, do you think that cfq is responsible for keeping fairness for this
>   kind of unusual write requests?

- If two guests are doing IO to separate partitions, they should really
  not be very close (until and unless partitions are really small).

- Even if there are close cooperators, these queues are merged and they
  are treated as single queue from slice point of view. So cooperating
  queues should be merged and get a single slice instead of starving
  other queues in the system.

Can you upload the blktrace logs somewhere which shows what happened 
during that 10 seconds.

> Note:
>   With RHEL6.1, this problem could not triggered. But I guess that was due to
>   QEMU's block layer updates.

You can try reproducing this with fio.


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