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Re: [RFC PATCH for-QEMU-5.2] vfio: Make migration support experimental

From: Cornelia Huck
Subject: Re: [RFC PATCH for-QEMU-5.2] vfio: Make migration support experimental
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2020 13:03:14 +0100

On Mon, 09 Nov 2020 11:56:02 -0700
Alex Williamson <alex.williamson@redhat.com> wrote:

> Per the proposed documentation for vfio device migration:
>   Dirty pages are tracked when device is in stop-and-copy phase
>   because if pages are marked dirty during pre-copy phase and
>   content is transfered from source to destination, there is no
>   way to know newly dirtied pages from the point they were copied
>   earlier until device stops. To avoid repeated copy of same
>   content, pinned pages are marked dirty only during
>   stop-and-copy phase.
> Essentially, since we don't have hardware dirty page tracking for
> assigned devices at this point, we consider any page that is pinned
> by an mdev vendor driver or pinned and mapped through the IOMMU to
> be perpetually dirty.  In the worst case, this may result in all of
> guest memory being considered dirty during every iteration of live
> migration.  The current vfio implementation of migration has chosen
> to mask device dirtied pages until the final stages of migration in
> order to avoid this worst case scenario.
> Allowing the device to implement a policy decision to prioritize
> reduced migration data like this jeopardizes QEMU's overall ability
> to implement any degree of service level guarantees during migration.
> For example, any estimates towards achieving acceptable downtime
> margins cannot be trusted when such a device is present.  The vfio
> device should participate in dirty page tracking to the best of its
> ability throughout migration, even if that means the dirty footprint
> of the device impedes migration progress, allowing both QEMU and
> higher level management tools to decide whether to continue the
> migration or abort due to failure to achieve the desired behavior.
> Link: https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/qemu-devel/2020-11/msg00807.html
> Cc: Kirti Wankhede <kwankhede@nvidia.com>
> Cc: Neo Jia <cjia@nvidia.com>
> Cc: Dr. David Alan Gilbert <dgilbert@redhat.com>
> Cc: Juan Quintela <quintela@redhat.com>
> Cc: Philippe Mathieu-Daudé <philmd@redhat.com>
> Cc: Cornelia Huck <cohuck@redhat.com>
> Signed-off-by: Alex Williamson <alex.williamson@redhat.com>
> ---
> Given that our discussion in the link above seems to be going in
> circles, I'm afraid it seems necessary to both have a contigency
> plan and to raise the visibility of the current behavior to
> determine whether others agree that this is a sufficiently
> troubling behavior to consider migration support experimental
> at this stage.  Please voice your opinion or contribute patches
> to resolve this before QEMU 5.2.  Thanks,
> Alex
>  hw/vfio/migration.c           |    2 +-
>  hw/vfio/pci.c                 |    2 ++
>  include/hw/vfio/vfio-common.h |    1 +
>  3 files changed, 4 insertions(+), 1 deletion(-)

Given the ongoing discussions, I'd be rather more comfortable making
this experimental for the upcoming release and spent some time getting
this into a state that everyone is happy to live with, so

Acked-by: Cornelia Huck <cohuck@redhat.com>

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