TCPIP Network Stack Performance in Linux Kernel 2.4 and 2.5

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Executive Summary

This paper discusses the findings on how well the Linux 2.4 and 2.5 TCPIP stack scales with multiple network interfaces and with the SMP network workloads on 100/1000 Mb Ethernet networks. The paper identifies three hotspots in the Linux TCPIP stack: inter-processor cache disruption on SMP environments, inefficient copy routines, and poor TCPIP stack scaling as network bandwidth increases. The analysis shows that the L2 cache_lines_out rate (thereby memory cycles per instruction-mCPI) is high in the TCPIP code path leading to poor SMP Network Scalability. The paper examines a solution that enhances data cache effectiveness and therefore improves the SMP scalability.

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