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Spectre & Meltdown patching in relation to Spectrum Protect

Posted by Stefan Folkerts 
Stefan Folkerts
Spectre & Meltdown patching in relation to Spectrum Protect
January 22, 2018 11:59PM
Hi,

Has anybody seen any information from IBM in relation to Spectre & Meltdown
patching for Spectrum Protect servers?
We have a customer who has found that systems that do lot's of small IO's
that performance can drop 50% on intel systems, these were seen with
synthetic benchmarks, not actual load.

So this was certainly not a Spectrum Protect load but I was thinking that
Spectrum Protect might fall into the category that can experience some sort
of performance drop when patched for Spectre and Meltdown.

Does anybody know what is the impact of these patches on Spectrum Protect
systems?

Will the blueprints need to be adjusted for instance or is there some
percentage of lower performance we should expect after patching and does it
vary per platform?

Regards,
Stefan
This message was imported via the External PhorumMail Module
Hi Stefan,

IBM is still evaluating this. Once there is something to share, I will
post it.


Del

----------------------------------------------------

"ADSM: Dist Stor Manager" <ADSM-L@VM.MARIST.EDU> wrote on 01/23/2018
02:29:17 AM:

> From: Stefan Folkerts <stefan.folkerts@GMAIL.COM>
> To: ADSM-L@VM.MARIST.EDU
> Date: 01/23/2018 02:30 AM
> Subject: Spectre & Meltdown patching in relation to Spectrum Protect
> Sent by: "ADSM: Dist Stor Manager" <ADSM-L@VM.MARIST.EDU>
>
> Hi,
>
> Has anybody seen any information from IBM in relation to Spectre &
Meltdown
> patching for Spectrum Protect servers?
> We have a customer who has found that systems that do lot's of small
IO's
> that performance can drop 50% on intel systems, these were seen with
> synthetic benchmarks, not actual load.
>
> So this was certainly not a Spectrum Protect load but I was thinking
that
> Spectrum Protect might fall into the category that can experience some
sort
> of performance drop when patched for Spectre and Meltdown.
>
> Does anybody know what is the impact of these patches on Spectrum
Protect
> systems?
>
> Will the blueprints need to be adjusted for instance or is there some
> percentage of lower performance we should expect after patching and does
it
> vary per platform?
>
> Regards,
> Stefan
>
This message was imported via the External PhorumMail Module
Skylar Thompson
Re: Spectre & Meltdown patching in relation to Spectrum Protect
January 23, 2018 06:59AM
Content preview: Hi Stefan, My understanding is that Meltdown and Spectre took
advantage of having the kernel in the same address space as each user-space
process. Previously this was done to reduce the number of cache and TLB misses
around system calls, but at least for Linux, the mitigation involves removing
the kernel from each process's address space. This means that every system
call potentially involves cache/TLB invalidation, so applications that are
heavy on system calls like TSM are likely to see more of a performance impact
than entirely CPU-bound applications. [...]

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Hi Stefan,

My understanding is that Meltdown and Spectre took advantage of having the
kernel in the same address space as each user-space process. Previously
this was done to reduce the number of cache and TLB misses around system
calls, but at least for Linux, the mitigation involves removing the kernel
from each process's address space. This means that every system call
potentially involves cache/TLB invalidation, so applications that are
heavy on system calls like TSM are likely to see more of a performance
impact than entirely CPU-bound applications.

That said, we've applied the RHEL6 patches and haven't had trouble meeting
our backup windows. We did buy TSM servers with more CPU than we thought we
would need, which might help given that TSM is multi-threaded --- each
thread might run more slowly but at least we have other CPUs that can run
other threads.

We're almost an entirely Linux x86_64 shop, so I don't know the impact on other
platforms.

On Tue, Jan 23, 2018 at 08:29:17AM +0100, Stefan Folkerts wrote:
> Hi,
>
> Has anybody seen any information from IBM in relation to Spectre & Meltdown
> patching for Spectrum Protect servers?
> We have a customer who has found that systems that do lot's of small IO's
> that performance can drop 50% on intel systems, these were seen with
> synthetic benchmarks, not actual load.
>
> So this was certainly not a Spectrum Protect load but I was thinking that
> Spectrum Protect might fall into the category that can experience some sort
> of performance drop when patched for Spectre and Meltdown.
>
> Does anybody know what is the impact of these patches on Spectrum Protect
> systems?
>
> Will the blueprints need to be adjusted for instance or is there some
> percentage of lower performance we should expect after patching and does it
> vary per platform?
>
> Regards,
> Stefan

--
-- Skylar Thompson (skylar2@u.washington.edu)
-- Genome Sciences Department, System Administrator
-- Foege Building S046, (206)-685-7354
-- University of Washington School of Medicine
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