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Re: [Qemu-devel] [RFC 0/3] aio: experimental virtio-blk polling mode

From: Christian Borntraeger
Subject: Re: [Qemu-devel] [RFC 0/3] aio: experimental virtio-blk polling mode
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2016 15:59:32 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/45.4.0

On 11/09/2016 06:13 PM, Stefan Hajnoczi wrote:
> Recent performance investigation work done by Karl Rister shows that the
> guest->host notification takes around 20 us.  This is more than the "overhead"
> of QEMU itself (e.g. block layer).
> One way to avoid the costly exit is to use polling instead of notification.
> The main drawback of polling is that it consumes CPU resources.  In order to
> benefit performance the host must have extra CPU cycles available on physical
> CPUs that aren't used by the guest.
> This is an experimental AioContext polling implementation.  It adds a polling
> callback into the event loop.  Polling functions are implemented for 
> virtio-blk
> virtqueue guest->host kick and Linux AIO completion.
> The QEMU_AIO_POLL_MAX_NS environment variable sets the number of nanoseconds 
> to
> poll before entering the usual blocking poll(2) syscall.  Try setting this
> variable to the time from old request completion to new virtqueue kick.
> By default no polling is done.  The QEMU_AIO_POLL_MAX_NS must be set to get 
> any
> polling!
> Karl: I hope you can try this patch series with several QEMU_AIO_POLL_MAX_NS
> values.  If you don't find a good value we should double-check the tracing 
> data
> to see if this experimental code can be improved.
> Stefan Hajnoczi (3):
>   aio-posix: add aio_set_poll_handler()
>   virtio: poll virtqueues for new buffers
>   linux-aio: poll ring for completions
>  aio-posix.c         | 133 
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>  block/linux-aio.c   |  17 +++++++
>  hw/virtio/virtio.c  |  19 ++++++++
>  include/block/aio.h |  16 +++++++
>  4 files changed, 185 insertions(+)

Another observation: With more iothreads than host CPUs the performance drops 

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