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Re: virtio-fs performance

From: Stefan Hajnoczi
Subject: Re: virtio-fs performance
Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2020 12:52:29 +0100

On Tue, Aug 04, 2020 at 03:37:26PM +0800, Derek Su wrote:
> Set the cache=none in virtiofsd and direct=1 in fio,
> here are the results and kvm-exit count in 5 seconds.
> --thread-pool-size=64 (default)
>     seq read: 307 MB/s (kvm-exit count=1076463)
>     seq write: 430 MB/s (kvm-exit count=1302493)
>     rand 4KB read: 65.2k IOPS (kvm-exit count=1322899)
>     rand 4KB write: 97.2k IOPS (kvm-exit count=1568618)
> --thread-pool-size=1
>     seq read: 303 MB/s (kvm-exit count=1034614)
>     seq write: 358 MB/s. (kvm-exit count=1537735)
>     rand 4KB read: 7995 IOPS (kvm-exit count=438348)
>     rand 4KB write: 97.7k IOPS (kvm-exit count=1907585)
> The thread-pool-size=64 improves the rand 4KB read performance largely,
> but doesn't increases the kvm-exit count too much.
> In addition, the fio avg. clat of rand 4K write are 960us for
> thread-pool-size=64 and 7700us for thread-pool-size=1.

These numbers make sense to me. The thread pool is generally faster.

Note that virtiofsd opens files without O_DIRECT, even if with the
cache=none option. This explains why rand 4KB write reaches 97.7K but
rand 4KB read only does 7885 IOPS (random reads result in page cache
misses on the host).

I don't have a good explanation of why the thread pool was slower with
direct=0 though :(. One way to investigate that is by checking whether
the I/O pattern submitted by the guest is comparable between
--thread-pool-size=64 and --thread-pool-size=1. You could try to observe
this by tracing virtiofsd preadv()/pwritev() system calls.

If you find that --thread-pool-size=64 made more I/O requests and with
smaller block sizes, then it's probably a timing issue where the guest
page cache responds differently because the virtiofsd thread pool
completes requests at a different rate. Maybe it affects how the guest
page cache is populated and a slower virtiofsd leads to more efficient
page cache activity in the guest (-> fewer and bigger FUSE read/write


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