Optimizing kernel compilation / alignments for network performance

Rafał Miłecki zajec5 at gmail.com
Fri May 6 00:44:35 PDT 2022

On 5.05.2022 18:04, Andrew Lunn wrote:
>> you'll see that most used functions are:
>> v7_dma_inv_range
>> __irqentry_text_end
>> l2c210_inv_range
>> v7_dma_clean_range
>> bcma_host_soc_read32
>> __netif_receive_skb_core
>> arch_cpu_idle
>> l2c210_clean_range
>> fib_table_lookup
> There is a lot of cache management functions here. Might sound odd,
> but have you tried disabling SMP? These cache functions need to
> operate across all CPUs, and the communication between CPUs can slow
> them down. If there is only one CPU, these cache functions get simpler
> and faster.
> It just depends on your workload. If you have 1 CPU loaded to 100% and
> the other 3 idle, you might see an improvement. If you actually need
> more than one CPU, it will probably be worse.

It seems to lower my NAT speed from ~362 Mb/s to 320 Mb/s but it feels
more stable now (lower variations). Let me spend some time on more

FWIW during all my tests I was using:
echo 2 > /sys/class/net/eth0/queues/rx-0/rps_cpus
that is what I need to get similar speeds across iperf sessions

echo 0 > /sys/class/net/eth0/queues/rx-0/rps_cpus
my NAT speeds were jumping between 4 speeds:
273 Mbps / 315 Mbps / 353 Mbps / 425 Mbps
(every time I started iperf kernel jumped into one state and kept the
  same iperf speed until stopping it and starting another session)

echo 1 > /sys/class/net/eth0/queues/rx-0/rps_cpus
my NAT speeds were jumping between 2 speeds:
284 Mbps / 408 Mbps

> I've also found that some Ethernet drivers invalidate or flush too
> much. If you are sending a 64 byte TCP ACK, all you need to flush is
> 64 bytes, not the full 1500 MTU. If you receive a TCP ACK, and then
> recycle the buffer, all you need to invalidate is the size of the ACK,
> so long as you can guarantee nothing has touched the memory above it.
> But you need to be careful when implementing tricks like this, or you
> can get subtle corruption bugs when you get it wrong.

That was actually bgmac's initial behaviour, see commit 92b9ccd34a90
("bgmac: pass received packet to the netif instead of copying it"):

I think it was Felix who suggested me to avoid skb_copy*() and it seems
it improved performance indeed.

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