Solaris Resource Manager 1.3 System Administration Guide

CPU Resources Not Controlled by Solaris Resource Manager

Solaris Resource Manager only controls CPU use by processes in the SHR scheduling class. If excessive demands are made at higher priority by other scheduling classes, especially real-time (RT) and system (SYS), then SHR can only schedule with the residual CPU resource.

The use of the RT class conflicts with the Solaris Resource Manager software's ability to control the system. Real-time processes get complete access to the system, specifically so they can deliver real-time response (generally on the order of a few hundred microseconds). Processes running in the SHR class by definition have lower priority than anything running in real time, and Solaris Resource Manager has no control over RT processes. Real-time processes can easily consume all available resources, leaving Solaris Resource Manager nothing left to allocate to remaining processes.

One notable system service that runs entirely in the SYS class is the NFS server. Solaris Resource Manager cannot control the NFS daemons, because they run in SYS. The Solaris Resource Manager product's ability to allocate processor resources may be reduced on systems offering extensive NFS service.

While processes are executing kernel code (inside a system call), the usual time-slice preemption rules do not apply. Most system calls will only do a reasonable amount of work before they reach a preemption point. However, if the system is under high load from more intensive system calls, this can result in reduced overall responsiveness and is outside the control of a scheduling class.

If the system is short of available real memory, then the resulting I/O bottleneck as the page fault rate increases and process swapping increases leads to increased kernel consumption of CPU. Large amounts of time spent waiting on I/O may indicate lost CPU capacity. Again, this is outside the scope of a scheduling class to control.

The SHR scheduling class is a time-sharing (TS) scheduler. It uses the same global priority range as the TS and the interactive (IA) schedulers. It is not appropriate to mix the use of SHR with TS and IA except during the transition of moving all processes into or out of the SHR class. System operation with a mix of processes in SHR and TS classes will result in reduced quality of scheduling behavior in both classes. For this reason, Solaris Resource Manager prevents non-root processes from moving themselves or others to the TS or IA classes. The RT class uses an alternate priority range and may be used with the SHR class in the same way as the TS and IA classes.

If processes run by superuser contain code that uses the priocntl(2) system call directly instead of using the setpriority(3C) library routine to adjust process priorities, then the target processes may be moved into another scheduling class (typically TS). The setpriority library routine code accounts for the fact that the priocntl interface to SHR is binary compatible with that of TS and thus avoids the problem. The -c option of ps(1) or the -d option of priocntl(1) can be used to display the scheduling class of processes.

The same difficulty arises with superuser privilege processes that explicitly use priocntl(2) to manage the scheduling class membership of processes.