Linux Symposium, July 13th - 17th, 2009, Montreal, Canada
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Montreal, Canada
July 13-17, 2009

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Scaling software on multi-core through co-scheduling of related tasks

Srivatsa Vaddagiri (vatsa@in.ibm.com)

Multi-core platforms pose interesting challenges for software in how they efficiently utilize vast number of compute resources. One particular challenge relates to thread scheduling. In many scenarios, threads of an application (ex: threads serving the same application container or database instance) work together closely, accessing shared locks and data. Scheduling such related threads in different cache domains (ex: in different nodes or chips) will lead to more cache synchronization overheads, thereby hurting performance. The existing interface to solve this problem (sched_setaffinity) is inflexible. We talk about the need for a more flexible interface that allows applications to provide hints about related threads and how the CPU scheduler could use those hints to do a best-effort job of co-scheduling related threads. Positive results obtained with early experiments of benchmarks like SPECJbb will be described.



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