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Re: [Qemu-devel] snabbswitch integration with QEMU for userspace etherne

From: Michael S. Tsirkin
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] snabbswitch integration with QEMU for userspace ethernet I/O
Date: Tue, 28 May 2013 20:17:42 +0300

On Tue, May 28, 2013 at 12:00:38PM -0500, Anthony Liguori wrote:
> Julian Stecklina <address@hidden> writes:
> > On 05/28/2013 12:10 PM, Luke Gorrie wrote:
> >> On 27 May 2013 11:34, Stefan Hajnoczi <address@hidden
> >> <mailto:address@hidden>> wrote:
> >> 
> >>     vhost_net is about connecting the a virtio-net speaking process to a
> >>     tun-like device.  The problem you are trying to solve is connecting a
> >>     virtio-net speaking process to Snabb Switch.
> >> 
> >> 
> >> Yep!
> >
> > Since I am on a similar path as Luke, let me share another idea.
> >
> > What about extending qemu in a way to allow PCI device models to be
> > implemented in another process.
> We aren't going to support any interface that enables out of tree
> devices.  This is just plugins in a different form with even more
> downsides.  You cannot easily keep track of dirty info, the guest
> physical address translation to host is difficult to keep in sync
> (imagine the complexity of memory hotplug).
> Basically, it's easy to hack up but extremely hard to do something that
> works correctly overall.
> There isn't a compelling reason to implement something like this other
> than avoiding getting code into QEMU.  Best to just submit your device
> to QEMU for inclusion.
> If you want to avoid copying in a vswitch, better to use something like
> vmsplice as I outlined in another thread.
> > This is not as hard as it may sound.
> > qemu would open a domain socket to this process and map VM memory over
> > to the other side. This can be accomplished by having file descriptors
> > in qemu to VM memory (reusing -mem-path code) and passing those over the
> > domain socket. The other side can then just mmap them. The socket would
> > also be used for configuration and I/O by the guest on the PCI
> > I/O/memory regions. You could also use this to do IRQs or use eventfds,
> > whatever works better.
> >
> > To have a zero copy userspace switch, the switch would offer virtio-net
> > devices to any qemu that wants to connect to it and implement the
> > complete device logic itself. Since it has access to all guest memory,
> > it can just do memcpy for packet data. Of course, this only works for
> > 64-bit systems, because you need vast amounts of virtual address space.
> > In my experience, doing this in userspace is _way less painful_.
> >
> > If you can get away with polling in the switch the overhead of doing all
> > this in userspace is zero. And as long as you can rate-limit explicit
> > notifications over the socket even that overhead should be okay.
> >
> > Opinions?
> I don't see any compelling reason to do something like this.  It's
> jumping through a tremendous number of hoops to avoid putting code that
> belongs in QEMU in tree.
> Regards,
> Anthony Liguori
> >
> > Julian

OTOH an in-tree device that runs in a separate process would
be useful e.g. for security.
For example, we could limit a virtio-net device process
to only access tap and vhost files.
We can kill this process if there's a bug
with the result that NIC gets stalled but everything else
keeps going.
Possibly restart on next guest reset.
There could be other advantages.


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