Online Cache Modeling for Commodity Multicore Processors
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Citation (published version)West, Rich; Zaroo, Puneet; Waldspurger, Carl; Zhang, Xiao. "Online Cache Modeling for Commodity Multicore Processors", Technical Report BUCS-TR-2010-015, Computer Science Department, Boston University, July 2, 2010. [Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2144/3793]
Modern chip-level multiprocessors (CMPs) contain multiple processor cores sharing a common last-level cache, memory interconnects, and other hardware resources. Workloads running on separate cores compete for these resources, often resulting in highly-variable performance. It is generally desirable to co-schedule workloads that have minimal resource contention, in order to improve both performance and fairness. Unfortunately, commodity processors expose only limited information about the state of shared resources such as caches to the software responsible for scheduling workloads that execute concurrently. To make informed resource-management decisions, it is important to obtain accurate measurements of per-workload cache occupancies and their impact on performance, often summarized by utility functions such as miss-ratio curves (MRCs). In this paper, we first introduce an efficient online technique for estimating the cache occupancy of individual software threads using only commonly-available hardware performance counters. We derive an analytical model as the basis of our occupancy estimation, and extend it for improved accuracy on modern cache configurations, considering the impact of set-associativity, line replacement policy, and memory locality effects. We demonstrate the effectiveness of occupancy estimation with a series of CMP simulations in which SPEC benchmarks execute concurrently on multiple cores. Leveraging our occupancy estimation technique, we also introduce a lightweight approach for online MRC construction, and demonstrate its effectiveness using a prototype implementation in the VMware ESX Server hypervisor. We present a series of experiments involving SPEC benchmarks, comparing the MRCs we construct online with MRCs generated offline in which various cache sizes are enforced via static page coloring.