Linux Kernel Tuning: failed to alloc buffer for rx queue


If we put enough pressure over the ENA network driver, we’ll start seeing these “failed to alloc buffer for rx queue” messages on the ‘dmesg‘ output.

[56459.833033] ena 0000:00:05.0 eth0: failed to alloc buffer for rx queue 4
[56459.836477] ena 0000:00:05.0 eth0: refilled rx qid 4 with only 85 buffers (from 168)

This message will raise when the napi handler fails to refill new Rx descriptors, typically due to lack of memory. This situation might lead to performance decrease, given that some requests would have to be rescheduled. 

The code handling these situations can be found here.

The solution for this is related to a memory increase on “min_free_kbytes” kernel parameter. As example:

vm.min_free_kbytes = 1048576

Place the following commands in /etc/sysctl.conf. And load the new setting with:

sysctl -p

It is recommended to have at least 512MB, with a minimum of 128MB for constrained environment. On large instance types running stress jobs (e.g. 64+ vCores + 256GiB + RAM), this value can typically be set to 10MB.

 

 

 

 

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