Re: [PATCH v2 00/17] net: introduce Qualcomm IPA driver

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On Tue, 2019-06-04 at 10:13 +0200, Arnd Bergmann wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 3, 2019 at 3:32 PM Alex Elder <elder@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > On 6/3/19 5:04 AM, Arnd Bergmann wrote:
> > > On Sat, Jun 1, 2019 at 1:59 AM Subash Abhinov Kasiviswanathan
> > > 
> > > - What I'm worried about most here is the flow control handling
> > > on the
> > >   transmit side. The IPA driver now uses the modern BQL method to
> > >   control how much data gets submitted to the hardware at any
> > > time.
> > >   The rmnet driver also uses flow control using the
> > >   rmnet_map_command() function, that blocks tx on the higher
> > >   level device when the remote side asks us to.
> > >   I fear that doing flow control for a single physical device on
> > > two
> > >   separate netdev instances is counterproductive and confuses
> > >   both sides.
> > 
> > I understand what you're saying here, and instinctively I think
> > you're right.
> > 
> > But BQL manages the *local* interface's ability to get rid of
> > packets, whereas the QMAP flow control is initiated by the other
> > end of the connection (the modem in this case).
> > 
> > With multiplexing, it's possible that one of several logical
> > devices on the modem side has exhausted a resource and must
> > ask the source of the data on the host side to suspend the
> > flow.  Meanwhile the other logical devices sharing the physical
> > link might be fine, and should not be delayed by the first one.
> > 
> > It is the multiplexing itself that confuses the BQL algorithm.
> > The abstraction obscures the *real* rates at which individual
> > logical connections are able to transmit data.
> I would assume that the real rate constantly changes, at least
> for wireless interfaces that are also shared with other users
> on the same network. BQL is meant to deal with that, at least
> when using a modern queuing algorithm.
> > Even if the multiple logical interfaces implemented BQL, they
> > would not get the feedback they need directly from the IPA
> > driver, because transmitting over the physical interface might
> > succeed even if the logical interface on the modem side can't
> > handle more data.  So I think the flow control commands may be
> > necessary, given multiplexing.
> Can you describe what kind of multiplexing is actually going on?
> I'm still unclear about what we actually use multiple logical
> interfaces for here, and how they relate to one another.

Each logical interface represents a different "connection" (PDP/EPS
context) to the provider network with a distinct IP address and QoS.
VLANs may be a suitable analogy but here they are L3+QoS.

In realistic example the main interface (say rmnet0) would be used for
web browsing and have best-effort QoS. A second interface (say rmnet1)
would be used for VOIP and have certain QoS guarantees from both the
modem and the network itself.

QMAP can also aggregate frames for a given channel (connection/EPS/PDP
context/rmnet interface/etc) to better support LTE speeds.


> > The rmnet driver could use BQL, and could return NETDEV_TX_BUSY
> > for a logical interface when its TX flow has been stopped by a
> > QMAP command.  That way the feedback for BQL on the logical
> > interfaces would be provided in the right place.
> > 
> > I have no good intuition about the interaction between
> > two layered BQL managed queues though.
> Returning NETDEV_TX_BUSY is usually a bad idea as that
> leads to unnecessary frame drop.
> I do think that using BQL and the QMAP flow command on
> the /same/ device would be best, as that throttles the connection
> when either of the two algorithms wants us to slow down.
> The question is mainly which of the two devices that should be.
> Doing it in the ipa driver is probably easier to implement here,
> but ideally I think we'd only have a single queue visible to the
> network stack, if we can come up with a way to do that.
> > > - I was a little confused by the location of the rmnet driver in
> > >   drivers/net/ethernet/... More conventionally, I think as a
> > > protocol
> > >   handler it should go into net/qmap/, with the ipa driver going
> > >   into drivers/net/qmap/ipa/, similar to what we have fo
> > > ethernet,
> > >   wireless, ppp, appletalk, etc.
> > > 
> > > - The rx_handler uses gro_cells, which as I understand is meant
> > >   for generic tunnelling setups and takes another loop through
> > >   NAPI to aggregate data from multiple queues, but in case of
> > >   IPA's single-queue receive calling gro directly would be
> > > simpler
> > >   and more efficient.
> > 
> > I have been planning to investigate some of the generic GRO
> > stuff for IPA but was going to wait on that until the basic
> > code was upstream.
> That's ok, that part can easily be changed after the fact, as it
> does not impact the user interface or the general design.
> > >   From the overall design and the rmnet Kconfig description, it
> > >   appears as though the intention as that rmnet could be a
> > >   generic wrapper on top of any device, but from the
> > >   implementation it seems that IPA is not actually usable that
> > >   way and would always go through IPA.
> > 
> > As far as I know *nothing* upstream currently uses rmnet; the
> > IPA driver will be the first, but as Bjorn said others seem to
> > be on the way.  I'm not sure what you mean by "IPA is not
> > usable that way."  Currently the IPA driver assumes a fixed
> > configuration, and that configuration assumes the use of QMAP,
> > and therefore assumes the rmnet driver is layered above it.
> > That doesn't preclude rmnet from using a different back end.
> Yes, that's what I meant above: IPA can only be used through
> rmnet (I wrote "through IPA", sorry for the typo), but cannot be
> used by itself.
>        Arnd

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