Heavy I/O blocks FreeBSD box for several seconds

Nathan Whitehorn nwhitehorn at freebsd.org
Wed Jul 6 18:36:25 UTC 2011

On 07/06/11 13:00, Steve Kargl wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 06, 2011 at 05:05:41PM +0000, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:
>> In message<20110706170132.GA68775 at troutmask.apl.washington.edu>, Steve Kargl w
>> rites:
>>> I periodically ran the same type test in the 2008 post over the
>>> last three years.  Nothing has changed.  I even set up an account
>>> on one node in my cluster for jeffr to use.  He was too busy to
>>> investigate at that time.
>> Isn't this just the lemming-syncer hurling every dirty block over
>> the cliff at the same time ?
> I don't know the answer.  Of course, having no experience in
> processing scheduling, I don't understand the question either ;-)
> AFAICT, it is a cpu affinity issue.  If I launch n+1 MPI images
> on a system with n cpus/cores, then 2 (and sometimes 3) images
> are stuck on a cpu and those 2 (or 3) images ping-pong on that
> cpu.  I recall trying to use renice(8) to force some load
> balancing, but vaguely remember that it did not help.

I've seen exactly this problem with multi-threaded math libraries, as 
well. Using parallel GotoBLAS on FreeBSD gives terrible performance 
because the threads keep migrating between CPUs, causing frequent cache 

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