From: J. Bruce Fields [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Fri 6/6/2008 11:09 AM
To: Weathers, Norman R.
Cc: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Problems with large number of clients and reads
On Tue, Jun 03, 2008 at 01:50:01PM -0500, Norman Weathers wrote:
> Hello all,
> We are having some issues with some high throughput servers of ours.
> Here is the issue, we are using a vanilla 126.96.36.199 kernel on a node
> with 2 Dual Core Intels (3 GHz) and 16 GB of ram. The files that are
> being served are around 2 GB each, and there are usually 3 to 5 of them
> being read, so once read they fit into memory nicely, and when all is
> working correctly, we have a perfectly filled cache, with almost no disk
> When we have large NFS activity (say, 600 to 1200 clients) connecting to
> the server(s), they can get into a state where they are using up all of
> memory, but they are dropping cache. slabtop is showing 13 GB of memory
> being used by the size-4096 slab object. We have two ethernet channels
> bonded, so we see in excess of 240 MB/s of data flowing out of the box,
> and all of the sudden, disk activity has risen to 185 MB/s. This
> happens if we are using 8 or more nfs threads. If we limit the threads
> to 6 or less, this doesn't happen. Of course, we are starving clients,
> but at least the jobs that my customers are throwing out there are
> progressing. The question becomes, what is causing the memory to be
> used up by the slab size-4096 object? Why when all of the sudden a
> bunch of clients ask for data does this object grow from 100 MB to 13
> GB? I have set the memory settings to something that I thought was
> Here is some more of the particulars:
> sysctl.conf tcp memory settings:
> # NFS Tuning Parameters
> sunrpc.udp_slot_table_entries = 128
> sunrpc.tcp_slot_table_entries = 128
> vm.overcommit_ratio = 80
> net.ipv4.tcp_rmem = 8192 262144 524288
> net.ipv4.tcp_wmem = 8192 262144 524288
> # Enable tcp_low_latency
> Here is a current reading from a slabtop of a system where this error is
> 3007154 3007154 100% 4.00K 3007154 1 12028616K size-4096
> Note the size of the object cache, usually it is 50 - 100 MB (I have
> another box with 32 threads and the same settings which is bouncing
> between 50 and 128 MB right now).
> I have a lot of client boxes that need access to these servers, and
> would really benefit from having more threads, but if I increase the
> number of threads, it pushes everything out of cache, forcing re-reads,
> and really slows down our jobs.
> Any thoughts on this?
>I'd've thought that suggests a leak of memory allocated by kmalloc().
>Does the size-4096 cache decrease eventually, or does it stay that large
>until you reboot?
I would agree that it "looks" like a memory leak. If I restart NFS, the size-4096 cache
goes from 12 GB to under 50 MB, but then depending upon how hard the box is utilized, it
starts to climb back up. I have seen it climb back up to 3 or 4 GB right after the
restart, but that is much better because the regular disk cache will grow from the 2 GB
that it was pressured into back to 5 or 8 GB, so all of the files have been reread into
memory and things are progressing smoothly. It is weird. I really think that this has
to do with a lot of connections happening at once, because I can run slabtop and see a
node that is running full out, but only have a couple hundred megs of the size-4096 slab
being used, and then turn around and see another node that is pushing out 245 MB/s and
all of the sudden using over 12 GB of the size-4096. It is very odd... If I lower the
number of threads from a usable 64 to a low of 3 threads, I have less of a chance of the
servers going haywire, to the point of being so loaded they may crash or you cannot
contact them over the network (fortunately, I have serial on these boxes so that I can
get on the nodes if they reach that point). If I run 8 threads, and with enough
clients, I can bring down one of these servers. size-4096 goes through the roof, and
depending on the hour of the day, the server can either crash or becomes unresponsive.