[RFC] per-containers tcp buffer limitation

Glauber Costa glommer at parallels.com
Wed Aug 24 18:28:59 PDT 2011

On 08/24/2011 09:35 PM, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
> Glauber Costa<glommer at parallels.com>  writes:
>> Hello,
>> This is a proof of concept of some code I have here to limit tcp send and
>> receive buffers per-container (in our case). At this phase, I am more concerned
>> in discussing my approach, so please curse my family no further than the 3rd
>> generation.
>> The problem we're trying to attack here, is that buffers can grow and fill
>> non-reclaimable kernel memory. When doing containers, we can't afford having a
>> malicious container pinning kernel memory at will, therefore exhausting all the
>> others.
>> So here a container will be seen in the host system as a group of tasks, grouped
>> in a cgroup. This cgroup will have files allowing us to specify global
>> per-cgroup limits on buffers. For that purpose, I created a new sockets cgroup -
>> didn't really think any other one of the existing would do here.
>> As for the network code per-se, I tried to keep the same code that deals with
>> memory schedule as a basis and make it per-cgroup.
>> You will notice that struct proto now take function pointers to values
>> controlling memory pressure and will return per-cgroup data instead of global
>> ones. So the current behavior is maintained: after the first threshold is hit,
>> we enter memory pressure. After that, allocations are suppressed.
>> Only tcp code was really touched here. udp had the pointers filled, but we're
>> not really controlling anything. But the fact that this lives in generic code,
>> makes it easier to do the same for other protocols in the future.
>> For this patch specifically, I am not touching - just provisioning -
>> rmem and wmem specific knobs. I should also #ifdef a lot of this, but hey,
>> remember: rfc...
>> One drawback of this approach I found, is that cgroups does not really work well
>> with modules. A lot of the network code is modularized, so this would have to be
>> fixed somehow.
>> Let me know what you think.
> Can you implement this by making the existing network sysctls per
> network namespace?
> At a quick skim it looks to me like you can make the existing sysctls
> per network namespace and solve the issues you are aiming at solving and
> that should make the code much simpler, than your proof of concept code.
> Any implementation of this needs to answer the question how much
> overhead does this extra accounting add.  I don't have a clue how much
> overhead you are adding but you are making structures larger and I
> suspect adding at least another cache line miss, so I suspect your
> changes will impact real world socket performance.

Hi Eric,

Thanks for your attention.

So, this that you propose was my first implementation. I ended up 
throwing it away after playing with it for a while.

One of the first problems that arise from that, is that the sysctls are
a tunable visible from inside the container. Those limits, however, are 
to be set from the outside world. The code is not much better than that 
either, and instead of creating new cgroup structures and linking them 
to the protocol, we end up doing it for net ns. We end up increasing 
structures just the same...

Also, since we're doing resource control, it seems more natural to use 
cgroups. Now, the fact that there are no correlation whatsoever between 
cgroups and namespaces does bother me. But that's another story, much 
more broader and general than this patch.

About overhead, since this is the first RFC, I did not care about 
measuring. However, it seems trivial to me to guarantee that at least 
that it won't impose a significant performance penalty when it is 
compiled out. If we're moving forward with this implementation, I will
include data in the next release so we can discuss in this basis.

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