[dpdk-users] How to approach packet transmit failures

Matt Laswell laswell at infiniteio.com
Fri Nov 13 17:32:27 CET 2015

Hey Folks,

I'm dealing with a situation in which my application loses the ability to
transmit packets out of a port during times of moderate stress.  I'd love
to hear suggestions for how to approach this problem, as I'm a bit at a
loss at the moment.

Specifically, I'm using DPDK 1.6r2 running on Ubuntu 14.04LTS on Haswell
processors.  I'm using the 82599 controller, configured to spread packets
across multiple queues.  Each queue is accessed by a different lcore in my
application; there is therefore concurrent access to the controller, but
not to any of the queues.  We're binding the ports to the igb_uio driver.
The symptoms I see are these:

   - All transmit out of a particular port stops
   - rte_eth_tx_burst() indicates that it is sending all of the packets
   that I give to it
   - rte_eth_stats_get() gives me stats indicating that no packets are
   being sent on the affected port.  Also, no tx errors, and no pause frames
   sent or received (opackets = 0, obytes = 0, oerrors = 0, etc.)
   - All other ports continue to work normally
   - The affected port continues to receive packets without problems; only
   TX is affected
   - Resetting the port via rte_eth_dev_stop() and rte_eth_dev_start()
   restores things and packets can flow again
   - The problem is replicable on multiple devices, and doesn't follow one
   particular port

I've tried calling rte_mbuf_sanity_check() on all packets before sending
them.  I've also instrumented my code to look for packets that have already
been sent or freed, as well as cycles in chained packets being sent.  I
also put a lock around all accesses to rte_eth* calls to synchronize access
to the NIC.  None of these strategies proved effective.

Like I said at the top, I'm a little at a loss at this point.  If you were
dealing with this set of symptoms, how would you proceed?

Thanks in advance.

Matt Laswell
infinite io, inc.
laswell at infiniteio.com

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