[Beowulf] big read triggers migration and slow memory IO?

mathog mathog at caltech.edu
Thu Jul 9 12:33:13 PDT 2015

On 09-Jul-2015 11:54, James Cuff wrote:
> Super long shot...
> http://blog.jcuff.net/2015/04/of-huge-pages-and-huge-performance-hits.html

That is a real possibility, as that is set to "always" now.  Will test 
that next.

One more really confusing factoid.  It isn't just having a lot of file 
cache in use and little free memory.  That situation was obtained in 
another manner:

echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches #as root
ls -1 KTEMP[123]* \
  | extract -fmt 'echo [1,]; dd if=[1,] of=/dev/null bs=8192' \
  | execinput

This drove the system to this state:

cat /proc/meminfo | head -11
MemTotal:       529231456 kB
MemFree:        17662616 kB
Buffers:            9100 kB
Cached:         507229304 kB
SwapCached:          668 kB
Active:         36112532 kB
Inactive:       471255356 kB
Active(anon):       1528 kB
Inactive(anon):   132680 kB
Active(file):   36111004 kB
Inactive(file): 471122676 kB

Run the test and - no problem, fast loading of the large array.
And it stayed fast for a couple more tests on different nodes which 
pushed MemFree down to its "floor" as before.  Then mysteriously it 
became slow again.

How does this situation differ from the preceding one?  Beats the heck 
out of me.  The only real difference is that the pages were all cached 
on one cpu, whereas in the generator case they were cached on 40 
different cpus.


David Mathog
mathog at caltech.edu
Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech

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