USENIX 2005 Annual Technical Conference, General Track Abstract
Pp. 209222 of the Proceedings
Server Network Scalability and TCP Offload
Doug Freimuth, Elbert Hu, Jason LaVoie, Ronald Mraz, Erich Nahum, Prashant Pradhan, and John Tracey, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
Server network performance is increasingly dominated by poorly scaling
operations such as I/O bus crossings, cache misses and interrupts.
Their overhead prevents performance from scaling even with increased
CPU, link or I/O bus bandwidths. These operations can be reduced by
redesigning the host/adapter interface to exploit additional
processing on the adapter. Offloading processing to the adapter is
beneficial not only because it allows more cycles to be applied but also
of the changes it enables in the host/adapter interface. As opposed to
other approaches such as RDMA, TCP offload provides benefits without
requiring changes to either the transport protocol or API.
We have designed a new host/adapter interface that exploits offloaded
processing to reduce poorly scaling operations. We have implemented a
prototype of the design including both host and adapter software
components. Experimental evaluation with simple network benchmarks
indicates our design significantly reduces I/O bus crossings and holds
promise to reduce other poorly scaling operations as well.
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