IO scheduler based IO controller V10

Ryo Tsuruta ryov at
Mon Sep 28 00:30:51 PDT 2009

Hi Vivek,

Vivek Goyal <vgoyal at> wrote:
> > Because dm-ioband provides faireness in terms of how many IO requests
> > are issued or how many bytes are transferred, so this behaviour is to
> > be expected. Do you think fairness in terms of IO requests and size is
> > not fair?
> > 
> Hi Ryo,
> Fairness in terms of size of IO or number of requests is probably not the
> best thing to do on rotational media where seek latencies are significant.
> It probably should work just well on media with very low seek latencies
> like SSD.
> So on rotational media, either you will not provide fairness to random 
> readers because they are too slow or you will choke the sequential readers
> in other group and also bring down the overall disk throughput.
> If you don't decide to choke/throttle sequential reader group for the sake
> of random reader in other group then you will not have a good control
> on random reader latencies. Because now IO scheduler sees the IO from both
> sequential reader as well as random reader and sequential readers have not
> been throttled. So the dispatch pattern/time slices will again look like..
> 	SR1 SR2 SR3 SR4 SR5 RR.....
> 	instead  of
> 	SR1 RR SR2 RR SR3 RR SR4 RR ....
> SR --> sequential reader,  RR --> random reader

Thank you for elaborating. However, I think that fairness in terms of
disk time has a similar problem. The below is a benchmark result of
randread vs seqread I posted before, rand-readers and seq-readers ran
on individual groups and their weights were equally assigned.

                   Throughput [KiB/s]
             io-controller  dm-ioband
randread         161          314
seqread         9556          631

I know that dm-ioband is needed to improvement on the seqread
throughput, but I don't think that io-controller seems quite fair,
even the disk times of each group are equal, why randread can't get
more bandwidth. So I think that this is how users think about
faireness, and it would be good thing to provide multiple policies of
bandwidth control for uses.

> > The write-starve-reads on dm-ioband, that you pointed out before, was
> > not caused by FIFO release, it was caused by IO flow control in
> > dm-ioband. When I turned off the flow control, then the read
> > throughput was quite improved.
> What was flow control doing?

dm-ioband gives a limit on each IO group. When the number of IO
requests backlogged in a group exceeds the limit, processes which are
going to issue IO requests to the group are made sleep until all the
backlogged requests are flushed out.

> > Now I'm considering separating dm-ioband's internal queue into sync
> > and async and giving a certain priority of dispatch to async IOs.
> Even if you maintain separate queues for sync and async, in what ratio will
> you dispatch reads and writes to underlying layer once fresh tokens become
> available to the group and you decide to unthrottle the group.

Now I'm thinking that It's according to the requested order, but
when the number of in-flight sync IOs exceeds io_limit (io_limit is
calculated based on nr_requests of underlying block device), dm-ioband
dispatches only async IOs until the number of in-flight sync IOs are
below the io_limit, and vice versa. At least it could solve the
write-starve-read issue which you pointed out.
> Whatever policy you adopt for read and write dispatch, it might not match
> with policy of underlying IO scheduler because every IO scheduler seems to
> have its own way of determining how reads and writes should be dispatched.

I think that this is a matter of users choise, which a user would
like to give priority to bandwidth or IO scheduler's policy.

> Now somebody might start complaining that my job inside the group is not
> getting same reader/writer ratio as it was getting outside the group.
> Thanks
> Vivek

Ryo Tsuruta

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