IO_uring Gets Network Overhead Reduction By 3~4%

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 17 March 2022 at 05:19 AM EDT. 6 Comments
After revolutioning Linux storage I/O, the kernel's IO_uring interface is continuing to be buffed into shape for handling Linux networking needs too.

In recent months there has been work on IO_uring network zero-copy send and other efforts around making IO_uring appealing for network use-cases on Linux. Linux block subsystem maintainer and lead IO_uring developer Jens Axboe has been involved in this networking effort and on Wednesday announced more optimizations.

Axboe's new patch series achieves a 3~4% reduction for network-related workloads with IO_uring. That performance test is based on a model of Thrift's network handling.
Networked workloads are intensive on the poll arming side, as most receive operations will be triggered async by poll. For that kind of poll triggering, we have allocated req->apoll dynamically and that serves as our poll entry. This means that the poll->events and poll->head are not part of the io_kiocb cachelines, and hence often not hot in the completion path. When profiling workloads, io_poll_check_events() shows up as hotter than it should be, exactly because we have to pull in this cacheline separately.

Cache state in the io_kiocb itself instead, which avoids pulling in unnecessary data in the poll task_work path. This reduces overhead by about 3-4%.

Given all the interest and promising efforts around IO_uring, it will be fun to see where it ends up by year's end.
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