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Displaying posts with tag: Kernel (reset)
Finding out the MySQL performance regression due to kernel mitigation for Meltdown CPU vulnerability

Update: I included the results for when PCID is disabled, for comparison, as a worse case scenario.

After learning about Meltdown and Spectre, I waited patiently to get a fix from my OS vendor. However, there were several reports of performance impact due to the kernel mitigation- for example on the PostgresQL developers mailing list there was reports of up to 23% throughput loss; Red Hat engineers report a regression range of 1-20%, but setting OLTP systems as the worse type of workload. As it will be highly dependent on the hardware and workload, I decided of doing some test myself for the …

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Meltdown and Spectre: CPU Security Vulnerabilities

In this blog post, we examine the recent revelations about CPU security vulnerabilities.

The beginning of the new year also brings to light fresh and new CPU security vulnerabilities. Today’s big offenders originate on the hardware side – more specifically, the CPU. The reported hardware kernel bugs allow for direct access to data held in the computer/server’s memory, which in turn might leak sensitive data. Some of the most popular CPUs affected by these bugs are Intel, AMD and ARM.

The most important thing to know is that this vulnerability is not exploitable remotely, and requires that someone execute the malicious code locally. However, take extra precaution when running in virtualized environments (see below for more information).

A full overview (including a technical, in-depth …

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vm.swappiness and OOM in RHEL6

The behavior of vm.swappiness was always a bit confusing for novice linux users, as setting vm.swappiness to 0 would not completely disable swapping in the system during a memory crunch. vm.swappiness would only affect the agressiveness of swapping.

Following upstream commit tried to give more control to parameter. This commit tried to avoid swapping completely when vm.swappiness is set to 0.

commit fe35004fbf9eaf67482b074a2e032abb9c89b1dd
Author: Satoru Moriya
Date: Tue May 29 15:06:47 2012 -0700
mm: avoid swapping out with swappiness==0

With above commit, setting vm.swappiness to “0” instructs the kernel not to initiate swapping until the amount of free and file-backed pages is less than the high water mark in a memory zone. In other words, it tries to reclaim as much memory that can be reclaimed, before swapping starts.
This greatly reduced the chances of swapping.

When this …

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Live Kernel Patching - Why You Should NOT Use It

Just under a year ago on my old blog I discussed and even demoed the new Linux live kernel patching solutions. I was reviewing these technologies out of my own curiosity as well as HP's Advanced Technology Group having an interest. I think these technologies are great, I am personally more of a fan of the user experience of RedHat's kpatch solution but any solution is a great technical achievement.

Having said this I believe that the use case for this technology is quite narrow. Last time I looked into these technologies only patches that affected the code of functions could be modified. Changing structs and data definitely didn't work and I suspect that changing function declarations was also dangerous. There is also a performance …

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LKML: Live patching for 3.20

Building on the original kSplice idea and combining the efforts of the work done at Red Hat and SuSE, common infrastructure is now ready to be put into the Linux 3.20 mainline kernel – Red Hat and SuSE have already committed to using this.

I still reckon it’s freaky trickery, but heck – it works, and it’s great for server environments that have no redundancy (I prefer to fix that issue!) and can’t afford any downtime.

OOM relation to vm.swappiness=0 in new kernel

I have recently been involved in diagnosing the reasons behind OOM invocation that would kill the MySQL server process. Of course these servers were primarily running MySQL. As such the MySQL server process was the one with the largest amount of memory allocated.

But the strange thing was that in all the cases, there was no swapping activity seen and there were enough pages in the page cache. Ironically all of these servers were CentOS 6.4 running kernel version 2.6.32-358. Another commonality was the fact that vm.swappiness was set to 0. This is a pretty much standard practice and one that is applied on nearly every server that runs MySQL.

Looking into this further I realized that there was a change introduced in kernel 3.5-rc1 that altered the swapping behavior when “vm.swappiness=0″.

Below is the description of the commit that changed “vm.swappiness=0″ behavior, together with the diff:

$ git …
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on swapping and kernels

There is much more to write about all the work we do at Facebook with memory management efficiency on our systems, but there was this one detour investigation in the middle of 2012 that I had to revisit recently courtesy of Wikipedia.

There are lots of factors that make machines page out memory segments into disk, thus slowing everything down and locking software up – from file system cache pressure to runaway memory leaks to kernel drivers being greedy. But certain swap-out scenarios are confusing – systems seem to have lots of memory available, with proper settings file system cache should not cause swapping, and obviously in production environment all the memory leaks are ironed out.

And yet in mid-2012 we noticed that our new kernel machines were swapping out for no obvious reason. When it comes to swapping, MySQL community will always point to Jeremy’s post on …

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Storage caching options in Linux 3.9 kernel

dm-cache is (albeit still classified “experimental”) is in the just released Linux 3.9 kernel. It deals with generic block devices and uses the device mapper framework. While there have been a few other similar tools flying around, since this one has been adopted into the kernel it looks like this will be the one that you’ll be seeing the most in to the future. It saves sysadmins the hassle of compiling extra stuff for a system.

A typical use is for an SSD to cache a HDD. Similar to a battery backed RAID controller, the objective is to insulate the application from latency caused by the mechanical device, the most laggy part of which is seek time (measured in milliseconds). Giventhe  relatively high storage capacity of an SSD (in the hundreds of GBs), this allows you to mostly disregard the mechanical latency for writes and that’s very useful for database systems such as MariaDB.

That covers writes (for the moment), but …

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Activity of the ZFS ARC

Disk I/O is still a common source of performance issues, despite modern cloud environments, modern file systems and huge amounts of main memory serving as file system cache. Understanding how well that cache is working is a key task while investigating disk I/O issues. In this post, I’ll show the activity of the ZFS file system Adaptive Replacement Cache (ARC).

There are often more statistics available than you realize (or have been documented), which may certainly be true with the ARC. Apart from showing these statistics, I’ll also show how to extend observability using dynamic tracing (DTrace). These tracing techniques are also applicable to any kernel subsystem. This is an advanced topic, where I’ll sometimes dip into kernel code.


For background on the ZFS ARC, see the paper ARC: A Self-Tuning, Low Overhead …

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SAP Netweaver 7.0, ERP 6.0, CRM 5.0, CRM 2007, SCM 5.0, SCM 5.1, SRM 5.0 are support for ABAP stack on Solaris 11

using one of the two databases

  • Oracle
  • MaxDB 

with SAP Kernel 7.20_ext are supported on Solaris 11. The details are documented in the SAP note 1643799 (access for SAP customers only).

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