Heavy I/O blocks FreeBSD box for several seconds

Case van Rij case.vanrij at gmail.com
Thu Jul 7 08:20:30 UTC 2011

On Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 10:55 PM, Hartmann, O.
<ohartman at zedat.fu-berlin.de> wrote:
> On 07/07/11 06:29, Arnaud Lacombe wrote:
>> Hi,
>> On Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 5:00 PM, Hartmann, O.
>> <ohartman at zedat.fu-berlin.de>  wrote:
>>> On 07/06/11 21:36, Steve Kargl wrote:
>>>> On Wed, Jul 06, 2011 at 03:18:35PM -0400, Arnaud Lacombe wrote:
>>>>> Hi,
>>>>> On Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 12:28 PM, Steve Kargl
>>>>> <sgk at troutmask.apl.washington.edu>    wrote:
>>>>>> On Wed, Jul 06, 2011 at 05:29:24PM +0200, O. Hartmann wrote:
>>>>>>> I use SCHED_ULE on all machines, since it is supposed to be
>>>>>>> performing
>>>>>>> better on multicore boxes, but there are lots of suggestions
>>>>>>> switching
>>>>>>> back to the old SCHED_4BSD scheduler.
>>>>>> If you are using MPI in numerical codes, then you want
>>>>>> to use SCHED_4BSD. ?I've posted numerous times about ULE
>>>>>> and its very poor performance when using MPI.
>>>>>> http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-hackers/2008-October/026375.html

>>>>>>>With ULE, 2 Test_mpi jobs are always scheduled on the same core while one
>>>>>>>core remains idle.  Also, note the difference in the reported load averages.

While possibly not the same issue you're seeing, I noticed a similar
problem on 8 and 12
core machines with ULE, specifically with a relatively small number of
threads runnable
but waiting to run on a busy core while other cores were sitting idle.

tdq_idled won't steal threads from a queue unless there are
threads in that queue, where steal_thresh = min(fls(mp_ncpus) - 1, 3);
ie. on an 8 core system you need 3 threads in the queue before idled
steals one.
Fortunately you can simply override steal_thresh at run time. 1 works
great for me, ymmv.

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