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[Xen-devel] revisit the super page support in HVM restore

To: Keir Fraser <keir.fraser@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [Xen-devel] revisit the super page support in HVM restore
From: "Zhai, Edwin" <edwin.zhai@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 15:08:46 +0800
Cc: xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "Zhai, Edwin" <edwin.zhai@xxxxxxxxx>
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We had ever discussed the super page support in HVM restore, and the
conclusion was:

"If pseudo-phys page is not yet populated in target domain, AND it is
first page of a 2MB extent, AND no other pages in that extent are yet
populated, AND the next pages in the save-image stream populate that
extent in order, THEN allocate a superpage. If the next 511 pages (to
make the 2MB extent) are split across a batch boundary, we have to
optimistically allocate a superpage in the 1st batch, and then break
it into several 4K pages in the 2nd batch."

I once had a patch for it(sleep in my machine for a long time), but
the logic is a little bit complicated:
We need a "requried_pfn" to indicate the expected pfn num in the pfn
list transferred from source machine(set it to invalid when not
tracking 2M page), and the pseudo-code is as following:

for ( i = 0; i < nr_mfns; i++ )
   if ( pfn_list[i] is START of a 2M page )
       /* case 1 */
       populate previous collected pfn buffer;
       start a new tracking for this 2M page
           required_pfn = pfn_list[i] + 1;
           start collecting pfn buffer;
   else if ( pfn_list[i] == required_pfn )
       /* case 2: this pfn comes in order inside the 2M page */
       continue tracking this 2M page
           add this pfn into collected pfn buffer;
   else if ( required_pfn is VALID)
        * case 3: this pfn comes out of order inside the 2M page
        * (not start && not required && in tracking)
       populate previous collected pfn buffer;
       start a new tracking for the following 4K pages
           required_pfn = INVALID;
           start collecting pfn buffer;
        * case 4: series of 4K pages
        * (not start && not required && not in tracking)
       continue this series of 4K pages
           add this pfn into collected pfn buffer;
This is not the end of the story: for the populating action in case 1
& 3, we need tell if it's a super page or not. Also need know if the
page has been already populated, and if populated as a normal page or
super page.

Furthermore, we need decide if need break previous allocated 2M page
in case 1 & 3, so need set some flags for it and keep some info when
allocating 2M page.

There are other actions, considerations...

I had spent some time on this patch, but still got some minor bugs:(
Do you have any idea for optimizing this logic?

We have 2 concerns for this method:
1. The code is complicated and bug prone.
2. The target machine at most has the same 2M pages as source machine,
even owning more available big bulk of memory.

So how about this new method:
* Not tracking each of pfn inside 2M page, but trying best to allocate
 2M pages if the 2M page covering this pfn is not allocated.
* There may be holes inside new allocated 2M pages that are not synced in
 this batch, but we don't care and assume these missing pfns will
 come in future.

This new method is simple as the super page support for PV guest is
already there.

Thanks for any comments,


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