Re: [RFC PATCH 3/3] mm/migrate: Create move_phys_pages syscall

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On Tue, Sep 19, 2023 at 10:59:33AM -0700, Andy Lutomirski wrote:
> I'm not complaining about the name.  I'm objecting about the semantics.
> Apparently you have a system to collect usage statistics of physical addresses, but you have no idea what those pages map do (without crawling /proc or /sys, anyway).  But that means you have no idea when the logical contents of those pages *changes*.  So you fundamentally have a nasty race: anything else that swaps or migrates those pages will mess up your statistics, and you'll start trying to migrate the wrong thing.

How does this change if I use virtual address based migration?

I could do sampling based on virtual address (page faults, IBS/PEBs,
whatever), and by the time I make a decision, the kernel could have
migrated the data or even my task from Node A to Node B.  The sample I
took is now stale, and I could make a poor migration decision.

If I do move_pages(pid, some_virt_addr, some_node) and it migrates the
page from NodeA to NodeB, then the device-side collection is likewise
no longer valid.  This problem doesn't change because I used virtual
address compared to physical address.

But if i have a 512GB memory device, and i can see a wide swath of that
512GB is hot, while a good chunk of my local DRAM is not - then I
probably don't care *what* gets migrated up to DRAM, i just care that a
vast majority of that hot data does.

The goal here isn't 100% precision, you will never get there. The goal
here is broad-scope performance enhancements of the overall system
while minimizing the cost to compute the migration actions to be taken.

I don't think the contents of the page are always relevant.  The entire
concept here is to enable migration without caring about what programs
are using the memory for - just so long as the memcg's and zoning is


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