[libvirt] [RFC] Memory hotplug for qemu guests and the relevant XML parts

Peter Krempa pkrempa at redhat.com
Thu Jul 24 14:30:43 UTC 2014

On 07/24/14 16:21, Daniel P. Berrange wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 02:20:22PM +0200, Peter Krempa wrote:


>> For targetting the RAM module the target element could have the
>> following format:
>> <target model="dimm" node='2' address='0xdeadbeef'/>
>> "node" determines the guest numa node to connect the memory "module" to.
>> The attribute is optional for non-numa guests or node 0 is assumed.
> If I'm thinking about this from a physical hardware POV, it doesn't
> make a whole lot of sense for the NUMA node to be configurable at
> the time you plug in the DIMM. The NUMA affinity is a property of
> how the slot is wired into the memory controller. Plugging the DIMM
> cannot change that.

While this is true for physical hardware, the emulated one apparently
supports changing a slot's position in the numa topology. Additionally
this allows to use a non-uniform mapping of memory modules to numa nodes.

Are you suggesting that we should bind certain slots to certain numa
nodes in advance thus try to emulate the limitations of the physical

> So from that POV, I'd say that when we initially configure the
> NUMA / huge page information for a guest at boot time, we should
> be doing that wrt to the 'maxMemory' size, instead of the current
> 'memory' size. ie the actual NUMA topology is all setup upfront
> even though the DIMMS are not present for some of this topology.
>> "address" determines the address in the guest's memory space where the
>> memory will be mapped. This is optional and not recommended being set by
>> the user (except for special cases).
>> For expansion the model="pflash" device may be added.
>> For migration the target VM needs to be started with the hotplugged
>> modules already specified on the command line, which is in line how we
>> treat devices currently.
>> My suggestion above contrasts with the approach Michal and Martin took
>> when adding the numa and hugepage backing capabilities as they describe
>> a node while this describes the memory device beneath it. I think those
>> two approaches can co-exist whilst being mutually-exclusive. Simply when
>> using memory hotplug, the memory will need to be specified using the
>> memory modules. Non-hotplug guests could use the approach defined
>> originally.
> I don't think it is viable to have two different approaches for configuring
> NUMA / huge page information. Apps should not have to change the way they
> configure NUMA/hugepages when they decide they want to take advantage of
> DIMM hotplug.

Well, the two approaches are orthogonal in the information they store.
The existing approach stores the memory topology from the point of view
of the numa node whereas the <device> based approach from the point of
the memory module.

The difference is that the existing approach currently wouldn't allow
splitting a numa node into more memory devices to allow
plugging/unplugging them.

> Regards,
> Daniel


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