[v3] docs: block: Create blk-mq documentation
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André Almeida June 19, 2020, 8:01 p.m. UTC
Create a documentation providing a background and explanation around the
operation of the Multi-Queue Block IO Queueing Mechanism (blk-mq).

The reference for writing this documentation was the source code and
"Linux Block IO: Introducing Multi-queue SSD Access on Multi-core
Systems", by Axboe et al.

Signed-off-by: André Almeida <andrealmeid@collabora.com>
---
Changes from v2:
- More fixed typos
- Once again, reworked the definition of `blk_mq_hw_ctx` in "Hardware
  dispatch queues" section

Changes from v1:
- Fixed typos
- Reworked blk_mq_hw_ctx

Hello,

This commit was tested using "make htmldocs" and the HTML output has
been verified.

Thanks,
	André
---
 Documentation/block/blk-mq.rst | 155 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 Documentation/block/index.rst  |   1 +
 2 files changed, 156 insertions(+)
 create mode 100644 Documentation/block/blk-mq.rst

Comments

Jens Axboe June 19, 2020, 8:56 p.m. UTC | #1
On 6/19/20 2:01 PM, André Almeida wrote:
> Create a documentation providing a background and explanation around the
> operation of the Multi-Queue Block IO Queueing Mechanism (blk-mq).
> 
> The reference for writing this documentation was the source code and
> "Linux Block IO: Introducing Multi-queue SSD Access on Multi-core
> Systems", by Axboe et al.
> 
> Signed-off-by: André Almeida <andrealmeid@collabora.com>
> ---
> Changes from v2:
> - More fixed typos
> - Once again, reworked the definition of `blk_mq_hw_ctx` in "Hardware
>   dispatch queues" section
> 
> Changes from v1:
> - Fixed typos
> - Reworked blk_mq_hw_ctx
> 
> Hello,
> 
> This commit was tested using "make htmldocs" and the HTML output has
> been verified.
> 
> Thanks,
> 	André
> ---
>  Documentation/block/blk-mq.rst | 155 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>  Documentation/block/index.rst  |   1 +
>  2 files changed, 156 insertions(+)
>  create mode 100644 Documentation/block/blk-mq.rst
> 
> diff --git a/Documentation/block/blk-mq.rst b/Documentation/block/blk-mq.rst
> new file mode 100644
> index 000000000000..d1b8f04a822d
> --- /dev/null
> +++ b/Documentation/block/blk-mq.rst
> @@ -0,0 +1,155 @@
> +.. SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-2.0
> +
> +================================================
> +Multi-Queue Block IO Queueing Mechanism (blk-mq)
> +================================================
> +
> +The Multi-Queue Block IO Queueing Mechanism is an API to enable fast storage
> +devices to achieve a huge number of input/output operations per second (IOPS)
> +through queueing and submitting IO requests to block devices simultaneously,
> +benefiting from the parallelism offered by modern storage devices.
> +
> +Introduction
> +============
> +
> +Background
> +----------
> +
> +Magnetic hard disks have been the de facto standard from the beginning of the
> +development of the kernel. The Block IO subsystem aimed to achieve the best
> +performance possible for those devices with a high penalty when doing random
> +access, and the bottleneck was the mechanical moving parts, a lot slower than
> +any layer on the storage stack. One example of such optimization technique
> +involves ordering read/write requests according to the current position of the
> +hard disk head.
> +
> +However, with the development of Solid State Drives and Non-Volatile Memories
> +without mechanical parts nor random access penalty and capable of performing
> +high parallel access, the bottleneck of the stack had moved from the storage
> +device to the operating system. In order to take advantage of the parallelism
> +in those devices' design, the multi-queue mechanism was introduced.
> +
> +The former design had a single queue to store block IO requests with a single
> +lock. That did not scale well in SMP systems due to dirty data in cache and the
> +bottleneck of having a single lock for multiple processors. This setup also
> +suffered with congestion when different processes (or the same process, moving
> +to different CPUs) wanted to perform block IO. Instead of this, the blk-mq API
> +spawns multiple queues with individual entry points local to the CPU, removing
> +the need for a lock. A deeper explanation on how this works is covered in the
> +following section (`Operation`_).
> +
> +Operation
> +---------
> +
> +When the userspace performs IO to a block device (reading or writing a file,
> +for instance), blk-mq takes action: it will store and manage IO requests to
> +the block device, acting as middleware between the userspace (and a file
> +system, if present) and the block device driver.
> +
> +blk-mq has two group of queues: software staging queues and hardware dispatch
> +queues. When the request arrives at the block layer, it will try the shortest
> +path possible: send it directly to the hardware queue. However, there are two
> +cases that it might not do that: if there's an IO scheduler attached at the
> +layer or if we want to try to merge requests. In both cases, requests will be
> +sent to the software queue.
> +
> +Then, after the requests are processed by software queues, they will be placed
> +at the hardware queue, a second stage queue were the hardware has direct access
> +to process those requests. However, if the hardware does not have enough
> +resources to accept more requests, blk-mq will places requests on a temporary
> +queue, to be sent in the future, when the hardware is able.
> +
> +Software staging queues
> +~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> +
> +The block IO subsystem adds requests (represented by struct
> +:c:type:`blk_mq_ctx`) in the software staging queues in case that they weren't

This reads a bit funny, did you want to put the blk_mq_ctx thing after
the "software staging queues"? Right now it looks like the requests are
of that type, which of course isn't true.

> +sent directly to the driver. A request is a collection of BIOs. They arrived at

I'd say "one or more BIOs", as there can be just one.

> +IO Schedulers
> +^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> +
> +There are several schedulers implemented by the block layer, each one following
> +a heuristic to improve the IO performance. They are "pluggable" (as in plug
> +and play), in the sense of they can be selected at run time using sysfs. You
> +can read more about Linux's IO schedulers `here
> +<https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/latest/block/index.html>`_. The scheduling
> +happens only between requests in the same queue, so it is not possible to merge
> +requests from different queues, otherwise there would be cache trashing and a
> +need to have a lock for each queue. After the scheduling, the requests are
> +eligible to be sent to the hardware. One of the possible schedulers to be
> +selected is the NOOP scheduler, the most straightforward one, that implements a
> +simple FIFO, without performing any reordering. This is useful in the following

NOOP is a relic from the single queue days, the basic "doesn't do much"
scheduler is NONE these days. And it doesn't provide FIFO ordering,
requests will basically just end up in whatever software queue the
process is running on. When someone runs the hardware queue, the
software queues mapped to that hardware queue will be drained in
sequence according to their mapping (generally from 0..N, if 0..N are
mapped to that hardware queue).
Randy Dunlap June 19, 2020, 9:09 p.m. UTC | #2
On 6/19/20 1:56 PM, Jens Axboe wrote:
> On 6/19/20 2:01 PM, André Almeida wrote:
>> Create a documentation providing a background and explanation around the
>> operation of the Multi-Queue Block IO Queueing Mechanism (blk-mq).
>>
>> The reference for writing this documentation was the source code and
>> "Linux Block IO: Introducing Multi-queue SSD Access on Multi-core
>> Systems", by Axboe et al.
>>
>> Signed-off-by: André Almeida <andrealmeid@collabora.com>
>> ---
>> Changes from v2:
>> - More fixed typos
>> - Once again, reworked the definition of `blk_mq_hw_ctx` in "Hardware
>>   dispatch queues" section
>>
>> Changes from v1:
>> - Fixed typos
>> - Reworked blk_mq_hw_ctx
>>
>> Hello,
>>
>> This commit was tested using "make htmldocs" and the HTML output has
>> been verified.
>>
>> Thanks,
>> 	André
>> ---
>>  Documentation/block/blk-mq.rst | 155 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>>  Documentation/block/index.rst  |   1 +
>>  2 files changed, 156 insertions(+)
>>  create mode 100644 Documentation/block/blk-mq.rst

LGTM.
Acked-by: Randy Dunlap <rdunlap@infradead.org>


thanks.
André Almeida June 20, 2020, 12:16 a.m. UTC | #3
On 6/19/20 5:56 PM, Jens Axboe wrote:
> On 6/19/20 2:01 PM, André Almeida wrote:
>> Create a documentation providing a background and explanation around the
>> operation of the Multi-Queue Block IO Queueing Mechanism (blk-mq).
>>
>> The reference for writing this documentation was the source code and
>> "Linux Block IO: Introducing Multi-queue SSD Access on Multi-core
>> Systems", by Axboe et al.
>>
>> Signed-off-by: André Almeida <andrealmeid@collabora.com>
>> ---
>> Changes from v2:
>> - More fixed typos
>> - Once again, reworked the definition of `blk_mq_hw_ctx` in "Hardware
>>   dispatch queues" section
>>
>> Changes from v1:
>> - Fixed typos
>> - Reworked blk_mq_hw_ctx
>>
>> Hello,
>>
>> This commit was tested using "make htmldocs" and the HTML output has
>> been verified.
>>
>> Thanks,
>> 	André
>> ---
>>  Documentation/block/blk-mq.rst | 155 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>>  Documentation/block/index.rst  |   1 +
>>  2 files changed, 156 insertions(+)
>>  create mode 100644 Documentation/block/blk-mq.rst
>>
>> diff --git a/Documentation/block/blk-mq.rst b/Documentation/block/blk-mq.rst
>> new file mode 100644
>> index 000000000000..d1b8f04a822d
>> --- /dev/null
>> +++ b/Documentation/block/blk-mq.rst
>> @@ -0,0 +1,155 @@
>> +.. SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-2.0
>> +
>> +================================================
>> +Multi-Queue Block IO Queueing Mechanism (blk-mq)
>> +================================================
>> +
>> +The Multi-Queue Block IO Queueing Mechanism is an API to enable fast storage
>> +devices to achieve a huge number of input/output operations per second (IOPS)
>> +through queueing and submitting IO requests to block devices simultaneously,
>> +benefiting from the parallelism offered by modern storage devices.
>> +
>> +Introduction
>> +============
>> +
>> +Background
>> +----------
>> +
>> +Magnetic hard disks have been the de facto standard from the beginning of the
>> +development of the kernel. The Block IO subsystem aimed to achieve the best
>> +performance possible for those devices with a high penalty when doing random
>> +access, and the bottleneck was the mechanical moving parts, a lot slower than
>> +any layer on the storage stack. One example of such optimization technique
>> +involves ordering read/write requests according to the current position of the
>> +hard disk head.
>> +
>> +However, with the development of Solid State Drives and Non-Volatile Memories
>> +without mechanical parts nor random access penalty and capable of performing
>> +high parallel access, the bottleneck of the stack had moved from the storage
>> +device to the operating system. In order to take advantage of the parallelism
>> +in those devices' design, the multi-queue mechanism was introduced.
>> +
>> +The former design had a single queue to store block IO requests with a single
>> +lock. That did not scale well in SMP systems due to dirty data in cache and the
>> +bottleneck of having a single lock for multiple processors. This setup also
>> +suffered with congestion when different processes (or the same process, moving
>> +to different CPUs) wanted to perform block IO. Instead of this, the blk-mq API
>> +spawns multiple queues with individual entry points local to the CPU, removing
>> +the need for a lock. A deeper explanation on how this works is covered in the
>> +following section (`Operation`_).
>> +
>> +Operation
>> +---------
>> +
>> +When the userspace performs IO to a block device (reading or writing a file,
>> +for instance), blk-mq takes action: it will store and manage IO requests to
>> +the block device, acting as middleware between the userspace (and a file
>> +system, if present) and the block device driver.
>> +
>> +blk-mq has two group of queues: software staging queues and hardware dispatch
>> +queues. When the request arrives at the block layer, it will try the shortest
>> +path possible: send it directly to the hardware queue. However, there are two
>> +cases that it might not do that: if there's an IO scheduler attached at the
>> +layer or if we want to try to merge requests. In both cases, requests will be
>> +sent to the software queue.
>> +
>> +Then, after the requests are processed by software queues, they will be placed
>> +at the hardware queue, a second stage queue were the hardware has direct access
>> +to process those requests. However, if the hardware does not have enough
>> +resources to accept more requests, blk-mq will places requests on a temporary
>> +queue, to be sent in the future, when the hardware is able.
>> +
>> +Software staging queues
>> +~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>> +
>> +The block IO subsystem adds requests (represented by struct
>> +:c:type:`blk_mq_ctx`) in the software staging queues in case that they weren't
> 
> This reads a bit funny, did you want to put the blk_mq_ctx thing after
> the "software staging queues"? Right now it looks like the requests are
> of that type, which of course isn't true.
> 

Oops, good catch.

>> +sent directly to the driver. A request is a collection of BIOs. They arrived at
> 
> I'd say "one or more BIOs", as there can be just one.
> 

Done.

>> +IO Schedulers
>> +^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> +
>> +There are several schedulers implemented by the block layer, each one following
>> +a heuristic to improve the IO performance. They are "pluggable" (as in plug
>> +and play), in the sense of they can be selected at run time using sysfs. You
>> +can read more about Linux's IO schedulers `here
>> +<https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/latest/block/index.html>`_. The scheduling
>> +happens only between requests in the same queue, so it is not possible to merge
>> +requests from different queues, otherwise there would be cache trashing and a
>> +need to have a lock for each queue. After the scheduling, the requests are
>> +eligible to be sent to the hardware. One of the possible schedulers to be
>> +selected is the NOOP scheduler, the most straightforward one, that implements a
>> +simple FIFO, without performing any reordering. This is useful in the following
> 
> NOOP is a relic from the single queue days, the basic "doesn't do much"
> scheduler is NONE these days. And it doesn't provide FIFO ordering,
> requests will basically just end up in whatever software queue the
> process is running on. When someone runs the hardware queue, the
> software queues mapped to that hardware queue will be drained in
> sequence according to their mapping (generally from 0..N, if 0..N are
> mapped to that hardware queue).
> 

Thanks for the feedback. I replaced this part of the text with a basic
explanation about NONE scheduler based on your words.

v4 on the way.

Patch
diff mbox series

diff --git a/Documentation/block/blk-mq.rst b/Documentation/block/blk-mq.rst
new file mode 100644
index 000000000000..d1b8f04a822d
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/block/blk-mq.rst
@@ -0,0 +1,155 @@ 
+.. SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-2.0
+
+================================================
+Multi-Queue Block IO Queueing Mechanism (blk-mq)
+================================================
+
+The Multi-Queue Block IO Queueing Mechanism is an API to enable fast storage
+devices to achieve a huge number of input/output operations per second (IOPS)
+through queueing and submitting IO requests to block devices simultaneously,
+benefiting from the parallelism offered by modern storage devices.
+
+Introduction
+============
+
+Background
+----------
+
+Magnetic hard disks have been the de facto standard from the beginning of the
+development of the kernel. The Block IO subsystem aimed to achieve the best
+performance possible for those devices with a high penalty when doing random
+access, and the bottleneck was the mechanical moving parts, a lot slower than
+any layer on the storage stack. One example of such optimization technique
+involves ordering read/write requests according to the current position of the
+hard disk head.
+
+However, with the development of Solid State Drives and Non-Volatile Memories
+without mechanical parts nor random access penalty and capable of performing
+high parallel access, the bottleneck of the stack had moved from the storage
+device to the operating system. In order to take advantage of the parallelism
+in those devices' design, the multi-queue mechanism was introduced.
+
+The former design had a single queue to store block IO requests with a single
+lock. That did not scale well in SMP systems due to dirty data in cache and the
+bottleneck of having a single lock for multiple processors. This setup also
+suffered with congestion when different processes (or the same process, moving
+to different CPUs) wanted to perform block IO. Instead of this, the blk-mq API
+spawns multiple queues with individual entry points local to the CPU, removing
+the need for a lock. A deeper explanation on how this works is covered in the
+following section (`Operation`_).
+
+Operation
+---------
+
+When the userspace performs IO to a block device (reading or writing a file,
+for instance), blk-mq takes action: it will store and manage IO requests to
+the block device, acting as middleware between the userspace (and a file
+system, if present) and the block device driver.
+
+blk-mq has two group of queues: software staging queues and hardware dispatch
+queues. When the request arrives at the block layer, it will try the shortest
+path possible: send it directly to the hardware queue. However, there are two
+cases that it might not do that: if there's an IO scheduler attached at the
+layer or if we want to try to merge requests. In both cases, requests will be
+sent to the software queue.
+
+Then, after the requests are processed by software queues, they will be placed
+at the hardware queue, a second stage queue were the hardware has direct access
+to process those requests. However, if the hardware does not have enough
+resources to accept more requests, blk-mq will places requests on a temporary
+queue, to be sent in the future, when the hardware is able.
+
+Software staging queues
+~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+
+The block IO subsystem adds requests (represented by struct
+:c:type:`blk_mq_ctx`) in the software staging queues in case that they weren't
+sent directly to the driver. A request is a collection of BIOs. They arrived at
+the block layer through the data structure struct :c:type:`bio`. The block
+layer will then build a new structure from it, the struct :c:type:`request`
+that will be used to communicate with the device driver. Each queue has its
+own lock and the number of queues is defined by a per-CPU or per-node basis.
+
+The staging queue can be used to merge requests for adjacent sectors. For
+instance, requests for sector 3-6, 6-7, 7-9 can become one request for 3-9.
+Even if random access to SSDs and NVMs have the same time of response compared
+to sequential access, grouped requests for sequential access decreases the
+number of individual requests. This technique of merging requests is called
+plugging.
+
+Along with that, the requests can be reordered to ensure fairness of system
+resources (e.g. to ensure that no application suffers from starvation) and/or to
+improve IO performance, by an IO scheduler.
+
+IO Schedulers
+^^^^^^^^^^^^^
+
+There are several schedulers implemented by the block layer, each one following
+a heuristic to improve the IO performance. They are "pluggable" (as in plug
+and play), in the sense of they can be selected at run time using sysfs. You
+can read more about Linux's IO schedulers `here
+<https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/latest/block/index.html>`_. The scheduling
+happens only between requests in the same queue, so it is not possible to merge
+requests from different queues, otherwise there would be cache trashing and a
+need to have a lock for each queue. After the scheduling, the requests are
+eligible to be sent to the hardware. One of the possible schedulers to be
+selected is the NOOP scheduler, the most straightforward one, that implements a
+simple FIFO, without performing any reordering. This is useful in the following
+scenarios: when scheduling will be performed in a next step somewhere in the
+stack, like block device controllers; the actual sector position of blocks are
+transparent for the host, meaning it hasn't enough information to take a proper
+decision; or the overhead of reordering is higher than the handicap of
+non-sequential accesses.
+
+Hardware dispatch queues
+~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+
+The hardware queue (represented by struct :c:type:`blk_mq_hw_ctx`) is a struct
+used by device drivers to map the device submission queues (or device DMA ring
+buffer), and are the last step of the block layer submission code before the
+low level device driver taking ownership of the request. To run this queue, the
+block layer removes requests from the associated software queues and tries to
+dispatch to the hardware.
+
+If it's not possible to send the requests directly to hardware, they will be
+added to a linked list (:c:type:`hctx->dispatch`) of requests. Then,
+next time the block layer runs a queue, it will send the requests laying at the
+:c:type:`dispatch` list first, to ensure a fairness dispatch with those
+requests that were ready to be sent first. The number of hardware queues
+depends on the number of hardware contexts supported by the hardware and its
+device driver, but it will not be more than the number of cores of the system.
+There is no reordering at this stage, and each software queue has a set of
+hardware queues to send requests for.
+
+.. note::
+
+        Neither the block layer nor the device protocols guarantee
+        the order of completion of requests. This must be handled by
+        higher layers, like the filesystem.
+
+Tag-based completion
+~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+
+In order to indicate which request has been completed, every request is
+identified by an integer, ranging from 0 to the dispatch queue size. This tag
+is generated by the block layer and later reused by the device driver, removing
+the need to create a redundant identifier. When a request is completed in the
+drive, the tag is sent back to the block layer to notify it of the finalization.
+This removes the need to do a linear search to find out which IO has been
+completed.
+
+Further reading
+---------------
+
+- `Linux Block IO: Introducing Multi-queue SSD Access on Multi-core Systems <http://kernel.dk/blk-mq.pdf>`_
+
+- `NOOP scheduler <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noop_scheduler>`_
+
+- `Null block device driver <https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/latest/block/null_blk.html>`_
+
+Source code documentation
+=========================
+
+.. kernel-doc:: include/linux/blk-mq.h
+
+.. kernel-doc:: block/blk-mq.c
diff --git a/Documentation/block/index.rst b/Documentation/block/index.rst
index 026addfc69bc..86dcf7159f99 100644
--- a/Documentation/block/index.rst
+++ b/Documentation/block/index.rst
@@ -10,6 +10,7 @@  Block
    bfq-iosched
    biodoc
    biovecs
+   blk-mq
    capability
    cmdline-partition
    data-integrity