Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 16th Mar 2008 21:51 UTC, submitted by Oliver
Benchmarks "In May 2007 I ran some benchmarks of Dragonfly 1.8 to evaluate progress of its SMP implementation, which was the original focus of the project when it launched in 2003 and is still widely believed to be an area in which they had made concrete progress. This was part of a larger cross-OS multiprocessor performance evaluation comparing improvements in FreeBSD to Linux, NetBSD and other operating systems. The 2007 results showed essentially no performance increase from multiple processors on dragonfly 1.8, in contrast to the performance of FreeBSD 7.0 which scaled to 8 CPUs on the benchmark. Recently Dragonfly 1.12 was released, and the question was raised on the dragonfly-users mailing list of how well the OS performs after a further year of development. I performed several benchmarks to study this question."
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Makes sense.
by CaptainPinko on Mon 17th Mar 2008 01:41 UTC
CaptainPinko
Member since:
2005-07-21

DF BSD is a fork of FreeBSD 4.8, and a lot of work has been done in FreeBSD to remove the GKL(? Giant Kernel Lock), which I AFAIK was not ported to the DF kernel because Matt Dillion believed that this was the wrong approach. I wonder what he has to say in regards to recent benchmark improvements by FreeBSD?

I believe it would probably something along the lines that DragonflyBSD is really still in alpha (while it maybe usable for some people for daily use, it has implemented all its promised features yet of a transparent cluster). And that as long as the focus is on completing the core feature set, performance improvements are not being worked on beyond an as-needed basis.

Though I wonder: with these performance issues how will DF deal when it comes to work on them when the clustering is complete? Or perhaps it doesn't matter? Maybe the future of DF is in its niche of clustering where perhaps it will be unchallengeable, and then be adequate at the rest?

After all, OpenBSD isn't used for super-computing but has managed to find itself a nice niche in security conscious jobs.

Edited 2008-03-17 01:42 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Makes sense.
by Lazarus on Mon 17th Mar 2008 02:29 in reply to "Makes sense."
Lazarus Member since:
2005-08-10

"DF BSD is a fork of FreeBSD 4.8, and a lot of work has been done in FreeBSD to remove the GKL(? Giant Kernel Lock), which I AFAIK was not ported to the DF kernel because Matt Dillion believed that this was the wrong approach."

They inherited the MP lock from FreeBSD 4.8 and it is basically where all SMP for any OS gets started (one giant lock protecting the entire kernel for one thread at a time). Matt has / had issues with the way that threading was being implemented in FreeBSD, and moreso the all out (over)use of fine grained locks sprinkled about the kernel to replace the Giant lock.

"I wonder what he has to say in regards to recent benchmark improvements by FreeBSD?"

From what I've seen of his writings WRT DF scalability ATM, he would not be suprised.

"I believe it would probably something along the lines that DragonflyBSD is really still in alpha (while it maybe usable for some people for daily use, it has implemented all its promised features yet of a transparent cluster). And that as long as the focus is on completing the core feature set, performance improvements are not being worked on beyond an as-needed basis."

Basically zero optimization has occured in DF to date, as much of the kernel still requires the MP lock, and from the release notes for 1.12 he claims that the biggest part of the kernel that needs more attention for SMP is anything I/O related. Large parts of the kernel have been mostly MP safe for a while (for example large parts of the network stack), but they end up needing to grab the MP lock because of the non-MP safe code.

"Though I wonder: with these performance issues how will DF deal when it comes to work on them when the clustering is complete? Or perhaps it doesn't matter?"

Optimization isn't likey to be a big issue until the kernel is mostly MP safe, and the core clustering work is done, however issues like the possible namecache flakyness encountered by Kris would definately be dealt with as soon as the problem can be tracked down.

Before release 1.10, the DF folks spent a bit of time yanking out mounted USB memory sticks and fixing bugs they found in so doing. That isn't related to either SMP or clustering, and I'm offering it only as an example of the fact that they will take the time to correct obvious problems.

"Maybe the future of DF is in its niche of clustering where perhaps it will be unchallengeable, and then be adequate at the rest?"

Well, DF is a general purpose OS, that has an additional goal to allow native SSI clustering at the kernel level. Clustering is still a ways off, but I find the system usable in the general purpose sense.

That said, as much as I like the DF project, I don't ever see it being widely deployed. Its just a case of Windows and Linux etc being "good enough" for most people.

"After all, OpenBSD isn't used for super-computing but has managed to find itself a nice niche in security conscious jobs."

Perhaps DF will come to fill such a niche roll. Time will tell.

Reply Parent Score: 14

RE[2]: Makes sense.
by CaptainPinko on Mon 17th Mar 2008 03:47 in reply to "RE: Makes sense."
CaptainPinko Member since:
2005-07-21

It's a shame that one cannot moderate after having posted, for I would have moderated you up for such a well-written, informative post.

Reply Parent Score: 3