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This paper presents analysis of the Windows kernel network stack and designs a novel high-performance NDIS driver platform called IRLstack whose goal is to enable large-scale Internet measurements that require sending billions of packets and managing millions of outstanding connections on inexpensive commodity hardware available to any research lab. The authors' results show that with just 75% of one modern CPU core, IRLstack can saturate a gigabit link with SYN packets (i.e., 1:48M pps) and achieve 3.52 Gbps (i.e., 5.25 Mpps) with a quad-core CPU. IRLstack's transmission performance exceeds that of Winsock by a factor of 92-174, batch-mode WinPcap by a factor of 4.7-6.7, and the latest optimized PF RING/TNAPI Linux kernel by up to 30%.
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