From: Michael S. Tsirkin on
On Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 04:28:26AM -0800, Shirley Ma wrote:
> This is a patch-set for deferring skb allocation based on Rusty and
> Michael's inputs.

Shirley, some advice on packaging patches
that I hope will be helpful:

You did try to split up the patch logically,
and it's better than a single huge patch, but it
can be better. For example, you add static functions
in one patch and use them in another patch,
this works well for new APIs which are documented
so you can understand from the documentation
what function should do, but not for internal, static functions:
one ends up looking at usage, going back to implementation,
back to usage, each time switching between patches.

One idea on how to split up the patch set better:
- add new "destroy" API and supply documentation
- switch current implementation over to use destroy API
- split current implementation into subfunctions
handling mergeable/big cases
- convert functions to use deferred allocation
[would be nice to convert mergeable/big separately,
but I am not sure this is possible while keeping
patchset bisectable]

Some suggestions on formatting:
- keep patch names short, and prefix with module name,
not patchset name, so that git summaries look nicer. E.g.
Defer skb allocation -- add destroy buffers function for virtio
Would be better "virtio: add destroy buffers function".
- please supply commit message with some explanation
and motivation that will help someone looking
at git history, without background from mailing list.
"Add "destroy" vq API that returns all posted
buffers back to caller. This makes it possible
to avoid tracking buffers in callers to free
them on vq teardown. Will be used by deferred
skb allocation patch.".
- Use "---" to separate description from text,
and generally make patch acceptable to git am.
It is a good idea to use git to generate patches,
for example with git format-patch.
I usually use it with --numbered --thread --cover-letter.

> Guest virtio_net receives packets from its pre-allocated vring
> buffers, then it delivers these packets to upper layer protocols
> as skb buffs. So it's not necessary to pre-allocate skb for each
> mergable buffer, then frees it when it's useless.
> This patch has deferred skb allocation when receiving packets for
> both big packets and mergeable buffers. It reduces skb pre-allocations
> and skb_frees.

E.g. the above should go into commit message for the virtio net
part of patchset.

> A destroy function has been created to push virtio free buffs to vring
> for unused pages, and used page private to maintain page list.
> This patch has tested and measured against 2.6.32-rc7 git. It is built
> again 2.6.32 kernel.

I think you need to base your patch on Dave's net-next,
it's too late to put it in 2.6.32, or even 2.6.33.
It also should probably go in through Dave's tree because virtio part of
patch is very small, while most of it deals with net/virtio_net.

> Tests have been done for small packets, big packets
> and mergeable buffers.
> The single netperf TCP_STREAM performance improved for host to guest.
> It also reduces UDP packets drop rate.

BTW, any numbers? Also, 2.6.32 has regressed as compared to 2.6.31.
Did you try with Sridhar Samudrala's patch from net-next applied
that reportedly fixes this?

> Thanks
> Shirley
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