Re: The pagedaemon evicts ARC before scanning the inactive page list

From: Alan Somers <asomers_at_freebsd.org>
Date: Tue, 18 May 2021 17:55:36 -0600
On Tue, May 18, 2021 at 4:10 PM Mark Johnston <markj_at_freebsd.org> wrote:

> On Tue, May 18, 2021 at 04:00:14PM -0600, Alan Somers wrote:
> > On Tue, May 18, 2021 at 3:45 PM Mark Johnston <markj_at_freebsd.org> wrote:
> >
> > > On Tue, May 18, 2021 at 03:07:44PM -0600, Alan Somers wrote:
> > > > I'm using ZFS on servers with tons of RAM and running FreeBSD
> > > > 12.2-RELEASE.  Sometimes they get into a pathological situation where
> > > most
> > > > of that RAM sits unused.  For example, right now one of them has:
> > > >
> > > > 2 GB   Active
> > > > 529 GB Inactive
> > > > 16 GB  Free
> > > > 99 GB  ARC total
> > > > 469 GB ARC max
> > > > 86 GB  ARC target
> > > >
> > > > When a server gets into this situation, it stays there for days,
> with the
> > > > ARC target barely budging.  All that inactive memory never gets
> reclaimed
> > > > and put to a good use.  Frequently the server never recovers until a
> > > reboot.
> > > >
> > > > I have a theory for what's going on.  Ever since r334508^ the
> pagedaemon
> > > > sends the vm_lowmem event _before_ it scans the inactive page list.
> If
> > > the
> > > > ARC frees enough memory, then vm_pageout_scan_inactive won't need to
> free
> > > > any.  Is that order really correct?  For reference, here's the
> relevant
> > > > code, from vm_pageout_worker:
> > >
> > > That was the case even before r334508.  Note that prior to that
> revision
> > > vm_pageout_scan_inactive() would trigger vm_lowmem if pass > 0, before
> > > scanning the inactive queue.  During a memory shortage we have pass >
> 0.
> > > pass == 0 only when the page daemon is scanning the active queue.
> > >
> > > > shortage = pidctrl_daemon(&vmd->vmd_pid, vmd->vmd_free_count);
> > > > if (shortage > 0) {
> > > >         ofree = vmd->vmd_free_count;
> > > >         if (vm_pageout_lowmem() && vmd->vmd_free_count > ofree)
> > > >                 shortage -= min(vmd->vmd_free_count - ofree,
> > > >                     (u_int)shortage);
> > > >         target_met = vm_pageout_scan_inactive(vmd, shortage,
> > > >             &addl_shortage);
> > > > } else
> > > >         addl_shortage = 0
> > > >
> > > > Raising vfs.zfs.arc_min seems to workaround the problem.  But ideally
> > > that
> > > > wouldn't be necessary.
> > >
> > > vm_lowmem is too primitive: it doesn't tell subscribing subsystems
> > > anything about the magnitude of the shortage.  At the same time, the VM
> > > doesn't know much about how much memory they are consuming.  A better
> > > strategy, at least for the ARC, would be reclaim memory based on the
> > > relative memory consumption of each subsystem.  In your case, when the
> > > page daemon goes to reclaim memory, it should use the inactive queue to
> > > make up ~85% of the shortfall and reclaim the rest from the ARC.  Even
> > > better would be if the ARC could use the page cache as a second-level
> > > cache, like the buffer cache does.
> > >
> > > Today I believe the ARC treats vm_lowmem as a signal to shed some
> > > arbitrary fraction of evictable data.  If the ARC is able to quickly
> > > answer the question, "how much memory can I release if asked?", then
> > > the page daemon could use that to determine how much of its reclamation
> > > target should come from the ARC vs. the page cache.
> > >
> >
> > I guess I don't understand why you would ever free from the ARC rather
> than
> > from the inactive list.  When is inactive memory ever useful?
>
> Pages in the inactive queue are either unmapped or haven't had their
> mappings referenced recently.  But they may still be frequently accessed
> by file I/O operations like sendfile(2).  That's not to say that
> reclaiming from other subsystems first is always the right strategy, but
> note also that the page daemon may scan the inactive queue many times in
> between vm_lowmem calls.
>

So By default ZFS tries to free (arc_target / 128) bytes of memory in
arc_lowmem.  That's huge!  On this server, pidctrl_daemon typically
requests 0-10MB, and arc_lowmem tries to free 600 MB.  It looks like it
would be easy to modify vm_lowmem to include the total amount of memory
that it wants freed.  I could make such a patch.  My next question is:
what's the fastest way to generate a lot of inactive memory?  My first
attempt was "find . | xargs md5", but that isn't terribly effective.  The
production machines are doing a lot of "zfs recv" and running some busy Go
programs, among other things, but I can't easily replicate that workload on
a development system.
-Alan
Received on Tue May 18 2021 - 23:55:36 UTC

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