[dpdk-dev] [RFC] Add GRO support in DPDK

Wiles, Keith keith.wiles at intel.com
Tue Jan 24 15:48:35 CET 2017

> On Jan 24, 2017, at 3:33 AM, Ananyev, Konstantin <konstantin.ananyev at intel.com> wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Wiles, Keith
>> Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 5:26 AM
>> To: Ananyev, Konstantin <konstantin.ananyev at intel.com>
>> Cc: Stephen Hemminger <stephen at networkplumber.org>; Hu, Jiayu <jiayu.hu at intel.com>; dev at dpdk.org; Kinsella, Ray
>> <ray.kinsella at intel.com>; Gilmore, Walter E <walter.e.gilmore at intel.com>; Venkatesan, Venky <venky.venkatesan at intel.com>;
>> yuanhan.liu at linux.intel.com
>> Subject: Re: [dpdk-dev] [RFC] Add GRO support in DPDK
>>> On Jan 23, 2017, at 6:43 PM, Ananyev, Konstantin <konstantin.ananyev at intel.com> wrote:
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Wiles, Keith
>>>> Sent: Monday, January 23, 2017 9:53 PM
>>>> To: Stephen Hemminger <stephen at networkplumber.org>
>>>> Cc: Hu, Jiayu <jiayu.hu at intel.com>; dev at dpdk.org; Kinsella, Ray <ray.kinsella at intel.com>; Ananyev, Konstantin
>>>> <konstantin.ananyev at intel.com>; Gilmore, Walter E <walter.e.gilmore at intel.com>; Venkatesan, Venky
>> <venky.venkatesan at intel.com>;
>>>> yuanhan.liu at linux.intel.com
>>>> Subject: Re: [dpdk-dev] [RFC] Add GRO support in DPDK
>>>>> On Jan 23, 2017, at 10:15 AM, Stephen Hemminger <stephen at networkplumber.org> wrote:
>>>>> On Mon, 23 Jan 2017 21:03:12 +0800
>>>>> Jiayu Hu <jiayu.hu at intel.com> wrote:
>>>>>> With the support of hardware segmentation techniques in DPDK, the
>>>>>> networking stack overheads of send-side of applications, which directly
>>>>>> leverage DPDK, have been greatly reduced. But for receive-side, numbers of
>>>>>> segmented packets seriously burden the networking stack of applications.
>>>>>> Generic Receive Offload (GRO) is a widely used method to solve the
>>>>>> receive-side issue, which gains performance by reducing the amount of
>>>>>> packets processed by the networking stack. But currently, DPDK doesn't
>>>>>> support GRO. Therefore, we propose to add GRO support in DPDK, and this
>>>>>> RFC is used to explain the basic DPDK GRO design.
>>>>>> DPDK GRO is a SW-based packets assembly library, which provides GRO
>>>>>> abilities for numbers of protocols. In DPDK GRO, packets are merged
>>>>>> before returning to applications and after receiving from drivers.
>>>>>> In DPDK, GRO is a capability of NIC drivers. That support GRO or not and
>>>>>> what GRO types are supported are up to NIC drivers. Different drivers may
>>>>>> support different GRO types. By default, drivers enable all supported GRO
>>>>>> types. For applications, they can inquire the supported GRO types by
>>>>>> each driver, and can control what GRO types are applied. For example,
>>>>>> ixgbe supports TCP and UDP GRO, but the application just needs TCP GRO.
>>>>>> The application can disable ixgbe UDP GRO.
>>>>>> To support GRO, a driver should provide a way to tell applications what
>>>>>> GRO types are supported, and provides a GRO function, which is in charge
>>>>>> of assembling packets. Since different drivers may support different GRO
>>>>>> types, their GRO functions may be different. For applications, they don't
>>>>>> need extra operations to enable GRO. But if there are some GRO types that
>>>>>> are not needed, applications can use an API, like
>>>>>> rte_eth_gro_disable_protocols, to disable them. Besides, they can
>>>>>> re-enable the disabled ones.
>>>>>> The GRO function processes numbers of packets at a time. In each
>>>>>> invocation, what GRO types are applied depends on applications, and the
>>>>>> amount of packets to merge depends on the networking status and
>>>>>> applications. Specifically, applications determine the maximum number of
>>>>>> packets to be processed by the GRO function, but how many packets are
>>>>>> actually processed depends on if there are available packets to receive.
>>>>>> For example, the receive-side application asks the GRO function to
>>>>>> process 64 packets, but the sender only sends 40 packets. At this time,
>>>>>> the GRO function returns after processing 40 packets. To reassemble the
>>>>>> given packets, the GRO function performs an "assembly procedure" on each
>>>>>> packet. We use an example to demonstrate this procedure. Supposing the
>>>>>> GRO function is going to process packetX, it will do the following two
>>>>>> things:
>>>>>> 	a. Find a L4 assembly function according to the packet type of
>>>>>> 	packetX. A L4 assembly function is in charge of merging packets of a
>>>>>> 	specific type. For example, TCPv4 assembly function merges packets
>>>>>> 	whose L3 IPv4 and L4 is TCP. Each L4 assembly function has a packet
>>>>>> 	array, which keeps the packets that are unable to assemble.
>>>>>> 	Initially, the packet array is empty;
>>>>>> 	b. The L4 assembly function traverses own packet array to find a
>>>>>> 	mergeable packet (comparing Ethernet, IP and L4 header fields). If
>>>>>> 	finds, merges it and packetX via chaining them together; if doesn't,
>>>>>> 	allocates a new array element to store packetX and updates element
>>>>>> 	number of the array.
>>>>>> After performing the assembly procedure to all packets, the GRO function
>>>>>> combines the results of all packet arrays, and returns these packets to
>>>>>> applications.
>>>>>> There are lots of ways to implement the above design in DPDK. One of the
>>>>>> ways is:
>>>>>> 	a. Drivers tell applications what GRO types are supported via
>>>>>> 	dev->dev_ops->dev_infos_get;
>>>>>> 	b. When initialize, drivers register own GRO function as a RX
>>>>>> 	callback, which is invoked inside rte_eth_rx_burst. The name of the
>>>>>> 	GRO function should be like xxx_gro_receive (e.g. ixgbe_gro_receive).
>>>>>> 	Currently, the RX callback can only process the packets returned by
>>>>>> 	dev->rx_pkt_burst each time, and the maximum packet number
>>>>>> 	dev->rx_pkt_burst returns is determined by each driver, which can't
>>>>>> 	be interfered by applications. Therefore, to implement the above GRO
>>>>>> 	design, we have to modify current RX implementation to make driver
>>>>>> 	return packets as many as possible until the packet number meets the
>>>>>> 	demand of applications or there are not available packets to receive.
>>>>>> 	This modification is also proposed in patch:
>>>>>> 	http://dpdk.org/ml/archives/dev/2017-January/055887.html;
>>>>>> 	c. The GRO types to apply and the maximum number of packets to merge
>>>>>> 	are passed by resetting RX callback parameters. It can be achieved by
>>>>>> 	invoking rte_eth_rx_callback;
>>>>>> 	d. Simply, we can just store packet addresses into the packet array.
>>>>>> 	To check one element, we need to fetch the packet via its address.
>>>>>> 	However, this simple design is not efficient enough. Since whenever
>>>>>> 	checking one packet, one pointer dereference is generated. And a
>>>>>> 	pointer dereference always causes a cache line miss. A better way is
>>>>>> 	to store some rules in each array element. The rules must be the
>>>>>> 	prerequisites of merging two packets, like the sequence number of TCP
>>>>>> 	packets. We first compare the rules, then retrieve the packet if the
>>>>>> 	rules match. If storing the rules causes the packet array structure
>>>>>> 	is cache-unfriendly, we can store a fixed-length signature of the
>>>>>> 	rules instead. For example, the signature can be calculated by
>>>>>> 	performing XOR operation on IP addresses. Both design can avoid
>>>>>> 	unnecessary pointer dereferences.
>>>>> Since DPDK does burst mode already, GRO is a lot less relevant.
>>>>> GRO in Linux was invented because there is no burst mode in the receive API.
>>>>> If you look at VPP in FD.io you will see they already do aggregration and
>>>>> steering at the higher level in the stack.
>>>>> The point of GRO is that it is generic, no driver changes are necessary.
>>>>> Your proposal would add a lot of overhead, and cause drivers to have to
>>>>> be aware of higher level flows.
>>>> NACK
>>>> The design is not super clear to me here and we need to understand the impact to DPDK, performance and the  application. I would like
>> to
>>>> have a clean transparent design to the application and as little impact on performance as possible.
>>>> Let discuss this as I am not sure my previous concerns were addressed in this RFC.
>>> I would agree that design looks overcomplicated and strange:
>>> If GRO can (and supposed to be) done fully in SW, why do we need to modify PMDs at all,
>>> why it can't be just a standalone DPDK library that user can use on his/her convenience?
>>> I'd suggest to start with some simple and most widespread case (TCP?) and try to implement
>>> a library for it first: something similar to what we have for ip reassembly.
>> The reason this should not be a library the application calls is to allow for a transparent design for HW and SW support of this feature. Using
>> the SW version the application should not need to understand (other then performance) that GRO is being done for this port.
> Why is that?
> Let say we have ip reassembly library that is called explicitly by the application.
> I think for L4 grouping we can do the same.
> After all it is a pure SW feature, so to me it makes sense to allow application to decide
> when/where to call it.
> Again it would allow people to develop/use it without any modifications in current PMDs.

I guess I did not make it clear, we need to support HW and this SW version transparently just as we handle other features in HW/SW under a generic API for DPDK.

>> As I was told the Linux kernel hides this features and make it transparent.
> Yes, but DPDK does a lot things in a different way.
> So it doesn't look like a compelling reason for me :)

Just looking at different options here and it is a compelling reason to me as it enforces the design can be transparent to the application. Having the application in a NFV deciding on hw or sw or both is not a good place to put that logic IMO.

> Konstantin


More information about the dev mailing list