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[Libguestfs] [PATCH libnbd v3 3/3] copy: Evict pages from the page cache when writing to local files.



When writing to a file or block device, we are always writing new
(ie. previously uncached) data.  This commit ensures that very little
of that data will be in the page cache after nbdcopy finishes by
evicting it as we go along.  This ensures that the host page cache is
largely unchanged for other host processes.

This uses Linus's technique described here:
https://stackoverflow.com/a/3756466
but instead of using 2 windows, it uses a configurable larger number
of windows (in this case 8).

Before this commit:

  $ rm /var/tmp/pattern ; sync ; time ./run nbdcopy [ nbdkit pattern 32G ] /var/tmp/pattern && cachestats /var/tmp/pattern
  real	0m34.852s
  user	0m18.368s
  sys	0m33.117s
  pages in cache: 7090389/8388608 (84.5%)  [filesize=33554432.0K, pagesize=4K]

Notice that the newly written file ends up in the cache, thus trashing
the page cache on the host.

After this commit:

  $ rm /var/tmp/pattern ; sync ; time ./run nbdcopy [ nbdkit pattern 32G ] /var/tmp/pattern && cachestats /var/tmp/pattern
  real	0m38.721s
  user	0m18.837s
  sys	0m40.654s
  pages in cache: 65536/8388608 (0.8%)  [filesize=33554432.0K, pagesize=4K]

The newly written file does not disturb the page cache.  However there
is about 11% slow down.
---
 copy/file-ops.c | 69 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-
 1 file changed, 68 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)

diff --git a/copy/file-ops.c b/copy/file-ops.c
index 888a388..a2860ea 100644
--- a/copy/file-ops.c
+++ b/copy/file-ops.c
@@ -21,6 +21,7 @@
 #include <stdio.h>
 #include <stdlib.h>
 #include <stdbool.h>
+#include <string.h>
 #include <fcntl.h>
 #include <unistd.h>
 #include <errno.h>
@@ -53,6 +54,11 @@
 #endif
 #endif
 
+/* If we are going to evict the page cache after writing a new file. */
+#ifdef __linux__
+#define EVICT_WRITES 1
+#endif
+
 #ifdef PAGE_CACHE_MAPPING
 DEFINE_VECTOR_TYPE (byte_vector, uint8_t)
 #endif
@@ -159,7 +165,60 @@ page_cache_evict (struct rw_file *rwf, uint64_t orig_offset, size_t orig_len)
     len -= n;
   }
 }
-#endif
+#endif /* PAGE_CACHE_MAPPING */
+
+#ifdef EVICT_WRITES
+/* Prepare to evict file contents from the page cache when writing.
+ * We cannot do this directly (as for reads above) because we have to
+ * wait for Linux to finish writing the pages to disk.  Therefore the
+ * strategy is to (1) tell Linux to begin writing asynchronously and
+ * (2) evict the previous pages, which have hopefully been written
+ * already by the time we get here.  We have to maintain window(s) per
+ * thread.
+ *
+ * For more information see https://stackoverflow.com/a/3756466 and
+ * the links to Linus's advice from that entry.
+ */
+
+/* Increasing the number of windows gives better performance since
+ * writes are given more time to make it to disk before we have to
+ * pause to do the page cache eviction.  But a larger number of
+ * windows means less success overall since (a) more page cache is
+ * used as the program runs, and (b) we don't evict any writes which
+ * are still pending when the program exits.
+ */
+#define NR_WINDOWS 8
+
+struct write_window {
+  uint64_t offset;
+  size_t len;
+};
+
+static inline void
+evict_writes (struct rw_file *rwf, uint64_t offset, size_t len)
+{
+  static __thread struct write_window window[NR_WINDOWS];
+
+  /* Evict the oldest window from the page cache. */
+  if (window[0].len > 0) {
+    sync_file_range (rwf->fd, window[0].offset, window[0].len,
+                     SYNC_FILE_RANGE_WAIT_BEFORE|SYNC_FILE_RANGE_WRITE|
+                     SYNC_FILE_RANGE_WAIT_AFTER);
+    posix_fadvise (rwf->fd, window[0].offset, window[0].len,
+                   POSIX_FADV_DONTNEED);
+  }
+
+  /* Move the Nth window to N-1. */
+  memmove (&window[0], &window[1], sizeof window[0] * (NR_WINDOWS-1));
+
+  /* Set up the current window and tell Linux to start writing it out
+   * to disk (asynchronously).
+   */
+  sync_file_range (rwf->fd, offset, len, SYNC_FILE_RANGE_WRITE);
+  window[NR_WINDOWS-1].offset = offset;
+  window[NR_WINDOWS-1].len = len;
+}
+#endif /* EVICT_WRITES */
 
 static bool
 seek_hole_supported (int fd)
@@ -365,6 +424,10 @@ file_synch_write (struct rw *rw,
                   const void *data, size_t len, uint64_t offset)
 {
   struct rw_file *rwf = (struct rw_file *)rw;
+#ifdef PAGE_CACHE_MAPPING
+  const uint64_t orig_offset = offset;
+  const size_t orig_len = len;
+#endif
   ssize_t r;
 
   while (len > 0) {
@@ -377,6 +440,10 @@ file_synch_write (struct rw *rw,
     offset += r;
     len -= r;
   }
+
+#if EVICT_WRITES
+  evict_writes (rwf, orig_offset, orig_len);
+#endif
 }
 
 static inline bool
-- 
2.29.0.rc2


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