Re: [PATCH nf-next,RFC] netfilter: nf_tables: shrink memory consumption of set elements

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On Fri, Oct 13, 2023 at 09:30:50PM +0200, Florian Westphal wrote:
> Pablo Neira Ayuso <pablo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > Instead of copying struct nft_set_elem into struct nft_trans_elem, store
> > the pointer to the opaque set element object in the transaction. Adapt
> > set backend API (and set backend implementations) to take the pointer to
> > opaque set element representation whenever required.
> > 
> > This patch deconstifies .remove() and .activate() set backend API since these
> > modify the set element opaque object. And it also constify nft_set_elem_ext()
> > since this provides access to the nft_set_ext struct without updating the
> > object.
> > 
> > According to pahole on x86_64, this patch shrinks struct nft_trans_elem
> > size from 216 to 24 bytes.
> > 
> > This patch also reduces stack memory consumption by removing the
> > template struct nft_set_elem object which consumes 200 bytes of stack
> > memory according to pahole. Use the opaque set element object instead
> > from the set iterator API, catchall elements and the get element
> > command paths to benefit from this memory consumption reduction.
> Is there a request for this? Or is the memory consumption a concern
> on your end?

This takes element transaction from kmalloc-512 pool to kmalloc-128,
elements use a lot of this temporary objects.

> > Signed-off-by: Pablo Neira Ayuso <pablo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> > ---
> > I tagged this as RFC because it based on nf.git, but targeted at
> > nf-next.git, because of missing dependencies, I have kept in here for a
> > while in my local pile waiting for the dependencies to land, but I
> > prefer to post it now for review. So it cannot be considered for
> > integration into the nf-next.git tree yet because of these details.
> > 
> > This patch depends on ("netfilter: nf_tables: do not remove elements if
> > set backend implements .abort") which will take time to propagate to
> > nf-next. This also slightly clashes with a other existing pending
> > patches for nf-next floating in the mailing list, but that should be
> > easy to fix with a rebase.
> > 
> > I started with an initial patch to make the const updates, but it is
> > triggering more churning than expected (since follow up patch will again
> > update the same line when changing from struct nft_set_elem to void).
> > I believe this patch should be relatively easy to review, but maybe
> > that is just my bias.
> > 
> > Main issue is (and it was still before patch) is that this opaque
> > object from the nf_tables frontend is void *, which makes it harder for
> > the compiler to catch stupid mistakes such as passing elem instead of
> > elem.priv or even &trans->elem, that is, type checking is defeated so
> > careful inspection is needed. Instrumention and existing tests also help
> > catch issues of course.
> The void * is bad, and I dislike that this gets spread.
> Could you add a "struct nft_set_elem_priv" that serves
> as a proxy object?
> All the priv elements would include it as first member,
> so we can pass that around instead of void *?

This is a great idea, I am preparing a v2.

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