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A pass-through server such as an NFS server backed by an iSCSI storage server only passes data between the storage server and NFS clients. Ideally it should require at most one data copying operation on sending or receiving, as in normal IP routers. In practice, pass-through servers actually incur multiple data copying operations because they are implemented using a layered architecture where each layer has its own internal data representation. This paper describes the design, implementation and evaluation of a novel network-centric buffer caching scheme called NCache that minimizes data copying overhead in pass-through servers without requiring significant changes to their existing implementation.
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