Patchwork [13/13] Threadlets: Add documentation

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Submitter Arun Bharadwaj
Date Jan. 4, 2011, 5:28 a.m.
Message ID <20110104052829.15887.62016.stgit@localhost6.localdomain6>
Download mbox | patch
Permalink /patch/77382/
State New
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Arun Bharadwaj - Jan. 4, 2011, 5:28 a.m.
Signed-off-by: Arun R Bharadwaj <arun@linux.vnet.ibm.com>
Signed-off-by: Gautham R Shenoy <gautham.shenoy@gmail.com>
---
 docs/async-support.txt |  141 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 1 files changed, 141 insertions(+), 0 deletions(-)
 create mode 100644 docs/async-support.txt

Patch

diff --git a/docs/async-support.txt b/docs/async-support.txt
new file mode 100644
index 0000000..9f22b9a
--- /dev/null
+++ b/docs/async-support.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,141 @@ 
+== How to use the threadlets infrastructure supported in Qemu ==
+
+== Threadlets ==
+
+Q.1: What are threadlets ?
+A.1: Threadlets is an infrastructure within QEMU that allows other subsystems
+     to offload possibly blocking work to a queue to be processed by a pool
+     of threads asynchronously.
+
+Q.2: When would one want to use threadlets ?
+A.2: Threadlets are useful when there are operations that can be performed
+     outside the context of the VCPU/IO threads inorder to free these latter
+     to service any other guest requests.
+
+Q.3: I have some work that can be executed in an asynchronous context. How
+     should I go about it ?
+A.3: One could follow the steps listed below:
+
+     - Define a function which would do the asynchronous work.
+	static void my_threadlet_func(ThreadletWork *work)
+	{
+	}
+
+     - Declare an object of type ThreadletWork;
+	ThreadletWork work;
+
+
+     - Assign a value to the "func" member of ThreadletWork object.
+	work.func = my_threadlet_func;
+
+     - Submit the threadlet to the global queue.
+	submit_threadletwork(&work);
+
+     - Continue servicing some other guest operations.
+
+Q.4: I want to my_threadlet_func to access some non-global data. How do I do
+     that ?
+A.4: Suppose you want my_threadlet_func to access some non-global data-object
+     of type myPrivateData. In that case one could follow the following steps.
+
+     - Define a member of the type ThreadletWork within myPrivateData.
+	typedef struct MyPrivateData {
+		...;
+		...;
+		...;
+		ThreadletWork work;
+	} MyPrivateData;
+
+	MyPrivateData my_data;
+
+     - Initialize myData.work as described in A.3
+	myData.work.func = my_threadlet_func;
+	submit_threadletwork(&myData.work);
+
+     - Access the myData object inside my_threadlet_func() using container_of
+       primitive
+	static void my_threadlet_func(ThreadletWork *work)
+	{
+		myPrivateData *mydata_ptr;
+		mydata_ptr = container_of(work, myPrivateData, work);
+
+		/* mydata_ptr now points to myData object */
+	}
+
+Q.5: Are there any precautions one must take while sharing data with the
+     Asynchronous thread-pool ?
+A.5: Yes, make sure that the helper function of the type my_threadlet_func()
+     does not access/modify data when it can be accessed or modified in the
+     context of VCPU thread or IO thread. This is because the asynchronous
+     threads in the pool can run in parallel with the VCPU/IOThreads as shown
+     in the figure.
+
+     A typical workflow is as follows:
+
+              VCPU/IOThread
+                   |
+                   | (1)
+                   |
+                   V
+                Offload work              (2)
+      |-------> to threadlets -----------------------------> Helper thread
+      |            |                                               |
+      |            |                                               |
+      |            | (3)                                           | (4)
+      |            |                                               |
+      |         Handle other Guest requests                        |
+      |            |                                               |
+      |            |                                               V
+      |            | (3)                                  Signal the I/O Thread
+      |(6)         |                                               |
+      |            |                                              /
+      |            |                                             /
+      |            V                                            /
+      |          Do the post <---------------------------------/
+      |          processing               (5)
+      |            |
+      |            | (6)
+      |            V
+      |-Yes------ More async work?
+                   |
+                   | (7)
+	           No
+                   |
+                   |
+                   .
+                   .
+
+    Hence one needs to make sure that in the steps (3) and (4) which run in
+    parallel, any global data is accessed within only one context.
+
+Q.6: I have queued a threadlet which I want to cancel. How do I do that ?
+A.6: Threadlets framework provides the API cancel_threadlet:
+       - int cancel_threadletwork(ThreadletWork *work)
+
+     The API scans the ThreadletQueue to see if (work) is present. If it finds
+     work, it'll dequeue work and return 0.
+
+     On the other hand, if it does not find the (work) in the ThreadletQueue,
+     then it'll return 1. This can imply two things. Either the work is being
+     processed by one of the helper threads or it has been processed. The
+     threadlet infrastructure currently _does_not_ distinguish between these
+     two and the onus is on the caller to do that.
+
+Q.7: Apart from the global pool of threads, can I have my own private Queue ?
+A.7: Yes, the threadlets framework allows subsystems to create their own private
+     queues with associated pools of threads.
+
+     - Define a PrivateQueue
+       ThreadletQueue myQueue;
+
+     - Initialize it:
+       threadlet_queue_init(&myQueue, my_max_threads, my_min_threads);
+       where my_max_threads is the maximum number of threads that can be in the
+       thread pool and my_min_threads is the minimum number of active threads
+       that can be in the thread-pool.
+
+     - Submit work:
+       submit_threadletwork_to_queue(&myQueue, &my_work);
+
+     - Cancel work:
+       cancel_threadletwork_on_queue(&myQueue, &my_work);