SPDX-License-Identifier: Apache-2.0
Copyright (c) 2019-2020 Intel Corporation

HugePage support in OpenNESS


Memory is allocated to application processes in terms of pages and by default, 4K pages are supported. For applications dealing with larger datasets, using 4K pages may lead to performance degradation and overhead because of translation lookaside buffer (TLB) misses. To address this, modern CPUs support HugePages which are typically 2M and 1G. This helps avoid TLB miss overhead and therefore improves performance.

Both applications and network functions can improve performance using HugePages. Huge page support, added to Kubernetes* v1.8, enables the discovery, scheduling, and allocation of huge pages as a native, first-class resource. This support addresses low latency and deterministic memory access requirements.

Details of HugePage support on OpenNESS

OpenNESS deployment enables hugepages by default and provides parameters for tuning hugepages:

  • hugepage_size - size, which can be either 2M or 1G
  • hugepage_amount - amount

By default, these variables have values:

Mode Machine type hugepage_amount hugepage_size Comments
Network Edge Controller 1024 2M  
  Node 1024 2M  

Find below a guide on changing these values. Customizations must be made before OpenNESS deployment.

Variables for hugepage customization can be placed in several files:

  • group_vars/controller_group/10-default.yml and group_vars/edgenode_group/10-default.yml will affect Edge Controller and Edge Nodes in every mode
  • host_vars/<inventory_host_name>.yml will only affect the <inventory_host_name> host present in inventory.ini (in all modes)
  • Hugepages can be also specified for mode and machine type, (e.g., hugepages for On-Premises Edge Node can be set in network_edge.yml in a play for Edge Nodes:
    # network_edge.yml
    - hosts: edgenode_group
        hugepage_amount: "5000"

    NOTE: Due to Ansible’s* variable precedence, configuring hugepages in network_edge.yml is not recommended because it overrides customization in group_vars and host_vars. The usage is summarized in the following table:

File Network Edge Native On Premises Edge Controller Edge Node Comment
group_vars/controller_group/10-default.yml yes yes yes    
group_vars/edgenode_group/10-default.yml yes yes   yes - every node  
host_vars/<inventory_host_name>.yml yes yes yes yes affects machine specified in inventory.ini with name <inventory_host_name>
network_edge.yml yes   vars under hosts: controller_group vars under hosts: edgenode_group - every node not recommended

Note that variables have precedence:

  1. not recommended: network_edge.yml will always take precedence for files from this list (overrides every other var)
  2. host_vars/
  3. group_vars/edgenode_group/10-default.yml and group_vars/controller_group/10-default.yml
  4. group_vars/all/10-default.yml
  5. default/main.yml in roles’ directory


Changing size and amount of the hugepages for both controller and nodes

Change the following lines in the group_vars/edgenode_group/10-default.yml or group_vars/controller_group/10-default.yml:

  • To set 1500 of the hugepages with the page size of 2 MB (which is the default value) for the Edge Controller:
    # group_vars/controller_group/10-default.yml
    hugepage_size: "2M"
    hugepage_amount: "1500"
  • To set 10 of the hugepages with the page size of 1GB for the Edge Nodes:
    # group_vars/edgenode_group/10-default.yml
    hugepage_size: "1G"
    hugepage_amount: "10"

Customizing hugepages for specific machine

To specify the size or amount only for a specific machine, hugepage_size and/or hugepage_amount can be provided in host_vars/<host_name_from_inventory>.yml (i.e., if host is named node01, then the file is host_vars/node01.yml). For example:

# host_vars/node01.yml

hugepage_size: "2M"
hugepage_amount: "1500"