[dpdk-dev] CONFIG_RTE_EAL_NUMA_AWARE_HUGEPAGES: no difference in memory pool allocations, when enabling/disabling this configuration

Asaf Sinai AsafSi at Radware.com
Sun Dec 16 10:44:44 CET 2018

Hi Anatoly,

Thank you very much for the useful explanations!


-----Original Message-----
From: Burakov, Anatoly <anatoly.burakov at intel.com> 
Sent: Monday, December 10, 2018 12:10 PM
To: Asaf Sinai <AsafSi at Radware.com>; Ilya Maximets <i.maximets at samsung.com>; Hemant Agrawal <hemant.agrawal at nxp.com>; dev at dpdk.org; Thomas Monjalon <thomas at monjalon.net>
Cc: Ilia Ferdman <IliaF at Radware.com>; Sasha Hodos <SashaH at Radware.com>
Subject: Re: [dpdk-dev] CONFIG_RTE_EAL_NUMA_AWARE_HUGEPAGES: no difference in memory pool allocations, when enabling/disabling this configuration

On 09-Dec-18 8:14 AM, Asaf Sinai wrote:
> Hi all,
> Thanks for the detailed explanations!
> So, what we understood from that, is the following (please correct, if it is wrong):
> Before 18.05 version:
> - Dividing huge pages between NUMAs was based, by default, on Linux good will.
> - Enforcing Linux to divide huge pages between NUMAs, required enabling configuration option "CONFIG_RTE_EAL_NUMA_AWARE_HUGEPAGES".
> - The enforcement was done via "libnuma" library.
>  From 18.05 version:
> - The mentioned configuration option is ignored, so that by default, all huge pages are allocated on NUMA 0.
> - if "libnuma" library exists in system, then huge pages will be divided between NUMAs, without any special configuration.
> - The above is relevant to architectures that support NUMA, e.g. X86 (which we use).
> Thanks,
> Asaf

Hi Asaf,

Before 18.05, the above description is correct.

Since 18.05, it's not _quite_ like that. There are two memory modes in
18.05 - default and legacy. Legacy mode pretty much behaves like
pre-18.05 code.

Default memory mode without the CONFIG_RTE_EAL_NUMA_AWARE_HUGEPAGES for all intents and purposes should be considered unsupported for post-18.05 code, and libnuma should be considered to be a hard dependency for non-legacy, NUMA-aware code. Without this option, EAL will disallow allocations on sockets other than 0, but on a NUMA-enabled system, you won't necessarily get memory from socket 0 - it will *say* it is on socket 0, but it may not *actually* be the case, because without libnuma we do not check where it was allocated.

Reasons for the above behavior is simple: legacy mem mode preallocates all memory in advance. This gives us an opportunity to figure out page socket affinity at initialization, and not worry about it afterwards. 
Non-legacy mode doesn't have the luxury of preallocating all memory in advance, instead we allocate memory on the fly - which means that whenever an allocation is requested, we need memory not just anywhere (like in legacy init case), but located on a specific socket - we cannot "sort it out later" like we do with legacy mem. Without libnuma, we cannot get this functionality.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ilya Maximets <i.maximets at samsung.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2018 06:50 PM
> To: Burakov, Anatoly <anatoly.burakov at intel.com>; Hemant Agrawal 
> <hemant.agrawal at nxp.com>; Asaf Sinai <AsafSi at Radware.com>; 
> dev at dpdk.org; Thomas Monjalon <thomas at monjalon.net>
> Cc: Ilia Ferdman <IliaF at Radware.com>; Sasha Hodos <SashaH at Radware.com>
> Subject: Re: [dpdk-dev] CONFIG_RTE_EAL_NUMA_AWARE_HUGEPAGES: no 
> difference in memory pool allocations, when enabling/disabling this 
> configuration
> On 27.11.2018 13:33, Burakov, Anatoly wrote:
>> On 27-Nov-18 10:26 AM, Hemant Agrawal wrote:
>>> On 11/26/2018 8:55 PM, Asaf Sinai wrote:
>>>> +CC Ilia & Sasha.
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Burakov, Anatoly <anatoly.burakov at intel.com>
>>>> Sent: Monday, November 26, 2018 04:57 PM
>>>> To: Ilya Maximets <i.maximets at samsung.com>; Asaf Sinai 
>>>> <AsafSi at Radware.com>; dev at dpdk.org; Thomas Monjalon 
>>>> <thomas at monjalon.net>
>>>> Subject: Re: [dpdk-dev] CONFIG_RTE_EAL_NUMA_AWARE_HUGEPAGES: no 
>>>> difference in memory pool allocations, when enabling/disabling this 
>>>> configuration
>>>> On 26-Nov-18 2:32 PM, Ilya Maximets wrote:
>>>>> On 26.11.2018 17:21, Burakov, Anatoly wrote:
>>>>>> On 26-Nov-18 2:10 PM, Ilya Maximets wrote:
>>>>>>> On 26.11.2018 16:42, Burakov, Anatoly wrote:
>>>>>>>> On 26-Nov-18 1:20 PM, Ilya Maximets wrote:
>>>>>>>>> On 26.11.2018 16:16, Ilya Maximets wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> On 26.11.2018 15:50, Burakov, Anatoly wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>> On 26-Nov-18 11:43 AM, Burakov, Anatoly wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>> On 26-Nov-18 11:33 AM, Asaf Sinai wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Hi Anatoly,
>>>>>>>>>>>>> We did not check it with "testpmd", only with our application.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>        From the beginning, we did not enable this configuration (look at attached files), and everything works fine.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Of course we rebuild DPDK, when we change configuration.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Please note that we use DPDK 17.11.3, maybe this is why it works fine?
>>>>>>>>>>>> Just tested with DPDK 17.11, and yes, it does work the way you are describing. This is not intended behavior. I will look into it.
>>>>>>>>>>> +CC author of commit introducing CONFIG_RTE_EAL_NUMA_AWARE_HUGEPAGES.
>>>>>>>>>>> Looking at the code, i think this config option needs to be reworked and we should clarify what we mean by this option. It appears that i've misunderstood what this option actually intended to do, and i also think it's naming could be improved because it's confusing and misleading.
>>>>>>>>>>> In 17.11, this option does *not* prevent EAL from using NUMA - it merely disables using libnuma to perform memory allocation. This looks like intended (if counter-intuitive) behavior - disabling this option will simply revert DPDK to working as it did before this option was introduced (i.e. best-effort allocation). This is why your code still works - because EAL still does allocate memory on socket 1, and *knows* that it's socket 1 memory. It still supports NUMA.
>>>>>>>>>>> The commit message for these changes states that the actual purpose of this option is to enable "balanced" hugepage allocation. In case of cgroups limitations, previously, DPDK would've exhausted all hugepages on master core's socket before attempting to allocate from other sockets, but by the time we've reached cgroups limits on numbers of hugepages, we might not have reached socket 1 and thus missed out on the pages we could've allocated, but didn't. Using libnuma solves this issue, because now we can allocate pages on sockets we want, instead of hoping we won't run out of hugepages before we get the memory we need.
>>>>>>>>>>> In 18.05 onwards, this option works differently (and arguably wrong). More specifically, it disallows allocations on sockets other than 0, and it also makes it so that EAL does not check which socket the memory *actually* came from. So, not only allocating memory from socket 1 is disabled, but allocating from socket 0 may even get you memory from socket 1!
>>>>>>>>>> I'd consider this as a bug.
>>>>>>>>>>> +CC Thomas
>>>>>>>>>>> The CONFIG_RTE_EAL_NUMA_AWARE_HUGEPAGES option is a misnomer, because it makes it seem like this option disables NUMA support, which is not the case.
>>>>>>>>>>> I would also argue that it is not relevant to 18.05+ memory subsystem, and should only work in legacy mode, because it is *impossible* to make it work right in the new memory subsystem, and here's why:
>>>>>>>>>>> Without libnuma, we have no way of "asking" the kernel to allocate a hugepage on a specific socket - instead, any allocation will most likely happen on socket from which the allocation came from. For example, if user program's lcore is on socket 1, allocation on socket 0 will actually allocate a page on socket 1.
>>>>>>>>>>> If we don't check for page's NUMA node affinity (which is what currently happens) - we get performance degradation because we may unintentionally allocate memory on wrong NUMA node. If we do check for this - then allocation of memory on socket 1 from lcore on socket 0 will almost never succeed, because kernel will always give us pages on socket 0.
>>>>>>>>>>> Put it simply, there is no sane way to make this option work for the new memory subsystem - IMO it should be dropped, and libnuma should be made a hard dependency on Linux.
>>>>>>>>>> I agree that new memory model could not work without libnuma, 
>>>>>>>>>> i.e. will lead to unpredictable memory allocations with no 
>>>>>>>>>> any respect to requested socket_id's. I also agree that 
>>>>>>>>>> CONFIG_RTE_EAL_NUMA_AWARE_HUGEPAGES is only sane for a legacy memory model.
>>>>>>>>>> It looks like we have no other choice than just drop the 
>>>>>>>>>> option and make the code unconditional, i.e. have hard dependency on libnuma.
>>>>>>>>> We, probably, could compile this code and have hard dependency 
>>>>>>>>> only for platforms with 'RTE_MAX_NUMA_NODES > 1'.
>>>>>>>> Well, as long as legacy mode stays supported, we have to keep the option. The "drop" part was referring to supporting it under the new memory system, not a literal drop from config files.
>>>>>>> The option was introduced because we didn't want to introduce 
>>>>>>> the new hard dependency. Since we'll have it anyway, I'm not 
>>>>>>> sure if keeping the option for legacy mode makes any sense.
>>>>>> Oh yes, you're right. Drop it is!
>>>>>>>> As for using RTE_MAX_NUMA_NODES, i don't think it's merited. Distributions cannot deliver different DPDK versions based on the number of sockets on a particular machine - so it would have to be a hard dependency for distributions anyway (does any distribution ship DPDK without libnuma?).
>>>>>>> At least ARMv7 builds commonly does not ship libnuma package.
>>>>>> Do you mean libnuma builds for ARMv7 are not available? Or do you mean the libnuma package is not installed by default?
>>>>>> If it's the latter, then i believe it's not installed by default anywhere, but if using distribution version of DPDK, libnuma will be taken care of via package manager. Presumably building from source can be taken care of with pkg-config/meson.
>>>>>> Or do you mean ARMv7 does not have libnuma for their arch at all, in any distro?
>>>>> libnuma builds for ARMv7 are not available in most of the distros.
>>>>> I didn't check all, but here is results for Ubuntu:
>>>>> https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2
>>>>> F
>>>>> pac
>>>>> kages.ubuntu.com%2Fsearch%3Fsuite%3Dbionic%26arch%3Darmhf%26search
>>>>> o
>>>>> n%3
>>>>> Dnames%26keywords%3Dlibnuma&data=02%7C01%7CAsafSi%40radware.co
>>>>> m
>>>>> %7C
>>>>> a44f84bca42d4a52acac08d653af83b8%7C6ae4e000b5d04f48a766402d46119b7
>>>>> 6
>>>>> %7C
>>>>> 0%7C0%7C636788410626179927&sdata=1pJ0WkAs6Y%2Bv3w%2BhKAELBw%2B
>>>>> j
>>>>> Mra
>>>>> BnhiqqpsXkRv2ifI%3D&reserved=0
>>>>> You may see that Ubuntu 18.04 (bionic) has no libnuma package for 
>>>>> 'armhf' and also 'powerpc' platforms.
>>>> That's a difficulty. Do these platforms support NUMA? In other words, could we replace this flag with just outright disabling NUMA support?
>>> Many platforms don't support NUMA, so they dont' really need libnuma.
>>> Mandating libnuma will also break several things:
>>>      - cross build for ARM on x86 - which is among the preferred 
>>> method for build by many in ARM community.
>>>     - many of the embedded SoCs are without NUMA support, they use 
>>> smaller rootf (e.g. Yocto).  It will be a burden to add libnuma there.
>> OK, point taken.
>> So, the alternative would be to have the ability to outright disable NUMA support (either with a new option, or reworking this one - i would prefer a new one, since this one is confusingly named). Meaning, report all cores as socket 0, report all hardware as socket 0, report all memory as socket 0 and never care about NUMA nodes anywhere.
>> Would that work? E.g. by default, make libnuma a hard dependency on x86 Linux (but allow to disable it), but disable it everywhere else?
> I think, you may just rename the RTE_EAL_NUMA_AWARE_HUGEPAGES to something like RTE_EAL_NUMA_SUPPORT and keep all the defaults as is, i.e.
> * globally disabled
> * enabled for linux
> * disabled for armv7a, dpaa, dpaa2 and stingray.
> Meson could handle everything dynamically.
>>>>>>>> For those compiling from source - are there any supported 
>>>>>>>> distributions which don't package libnuma? I don't see much 
>>>>>>>> sense in keeping libnuma optional, IMO. This is of course up to 
>>>>>>>> the tech board to decide, but IMO the "without libnuma it's 
>>>>>>>> basically broken" argument is very strong in my opinion :)
>>>> --
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> Anatoly


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