[PATCH RFC 0/1] s390x CPU Model Feature Deprecation

David Hildenbrand david at redhat.com
Tue Mar 15 19:08:10 UTC 2022

On 15.03.22 18:40, Boris Fiuczynski wrote:
> On 3/15/22 4:58 PM, David Hildenbrand wrote:
>> On 11.03.22 13:44, Christian Borntraeger wrote:
>>> Am 11.03.22 um 10:30 schrieb David Hildenbrand:
>>>> On 11.03.22 05:17, Collin Walling wrote:
>>>>> The s390x architecture has a growing list of features that will no longer
>>>>> be supported on future hardware releases. This introduces an issue with
>>>>> migration such that guests, running on models with these features enabled,
>>>>> will be rejected outright by machines that do not support these features.
>>>>> A current example is the CSSKE feature that has been deprecated for some time.
>>>>> It has been publicly announced that gen15 will be the last release to
>>>>> support this feature, however we have postponed this to gen16a. A possible
>>>>> solution to remedy this would be to create a new QEMU QMP Response that allows
>>>>> users to query for deprecated/unsupported features.
>>>>> This presents two parts of the puzzle: how to report deprecated features to
>>>>> a user (libvirt) and how should libvirt handle this information.
>>>>> First, let's discuss the latter. The patch presented alongside this cover letter
>>>>> attempts to solve the migration issue by hard-coding the CSSKE feature to be
>>>>> disabled for all s390x CPU models. This is done by simply appending the CSSKE
>>>>> feature with the disabled policy to the host-model.
>>>>> libvirt pseudo:
>>>>> if arch is s390x
>>>>>       set CSSKE to disabled for host-model
>>>> That violates host-model semantics and possibly the user intend. There
>>>> would have to be some toggle to manually specify this, for example, a
>>>> new model type or a some magical flag.
>>> What we actually want to do is to disable csske completely from QEMU and
>>> thus from the host-model. Then it would not violate the spec.
>>> But this has all kind of issues (you cannot migrate from older versions
>>> of software and machines) although the hardware still can provide the feature.
>>> The hardware guys promised me to deprecate things two generations earlier
>>> and we usually deprecate things that are not used or where software has a
>>> runtime switch.
>>>   From what I hear from you is that you do not want to modify the host-model
>>> semantics to something more useful but rather define a new thing (e.g. "host-sane") ?
>> My take would be, to keep the host model consistent, meaning, the
>> semantics in QEMU exactly match the semantics in Libvirt. It defines the
>> maximum CPU model that's runnable under KVM. If a feature is not
>> included (e.g., csske) that feature cannot be enabled in any way.
>> The "host model" has the semantics of resembling the actual host CPU.
>> This is only partially true, because we support some features the host
>> might not support (e.g., zPCI IIRC) and obviously don't support all host
>> features in QEMU.
>> So instead of playing games on the libvirt side with the host model, I
>> see the following alternatives:
>> 1. Remove the problematic features from the host model in QEMU, like "we
>> just don't support this feature". Consequently, any migration of a VM
>> with csske=on to a new QEMU version will fail, similar to having an
>> older QEMU version without support for a certain feature.
>> "host-passthrough" would change between QEMU versions ... which I see as
>> problematic.
>> 2. Introduce a new CPU model that has these new semantics: "host model"
>> - deprecated features. Migration of older VMs with csske=on to a new
>> QEMU version will work. Make libvirt use/expand that new CPU model
>> It doesn't necessarily have to be an actual new cpu model. We can use a
>> feature group, like "-cpu host,deprectated-features=false". What's
>> inside "deprecated-features" will actually change between QEMU versions,
>> but we don't really care, as the expanded CPU model won't change.
>> "host-passthrough" won't change between QEMU versions ...
>> 3. As Daniel suggested, don't use the host model, but a CPU model
>> indicated as "suggested".
>> The real issue is that in reality, we don't simply always use a model
>> like "gen15a", but usually want optional features, if they are around.
>> Prime examples are "sie" and friends.
>> I tend to prefer 2. With 3. I see issues with optional features like
>> "sie" and friends. Often, you really want "give me all you got, but
>> disable deprecated features that might cause problems in the future".
> David,
> if I understand you proposal 2 correctly it sounds a lot like Christians 
> idea of leaving the CPU mode "host-model" as is and introduce a new CPU 
> mode "host-recommended" for the new semantics in which 
> query-cpu-model-expansion would be called with the additional 
> "deprectated-features" property.
> That way libvirt would not have to fiddle around with the deprecation 
> itself and users would have the option which semantic they want to use. 
> Is that correct?

Yes, exactly.


David / dhildenb

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