Optimizing kernel compilation / alignments for network performance

Rafał Miłecki zajec5 at gmail.com
Fri May 6 00:47:41 PDT 2022

On 5.05.2022 18:46, Felix Fietkau wrote:
> On 05.05.22 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.
>> 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.
> I just took a quick look at the driver. It allocates and maps rx buffers that can cover a packet size of BGMAC_RX_MAX_FRAME_SIZE = 9724.
> This seems rather excessive, especially since most people are going to use a MTU of 1500.
> My proposal would be to add support for making rx buffer size dependent on MTU, reallocating the ring on MTU changes.
> This should significantly reduce the time spent on flushing caches.

Oh, that's important too, it was changed by commit 8c7da63978f1 ("bgmac:
configure MTU and add support for frames beyond 8192 byte size"):

It lowered NAT speed with bgmac by 60% (362 Mbps → 140 Mbps).

I do all my testing with
#define BGMAC_RX_MAX_FRAME_SIZE			1536

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