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Using netAuth authentication

This section describes the case of a server in which the process for user $U_i$ satisfies all of the requests from $U_i$, for a particular service (as described in Section 5). There does not exist a comparable scenario in UNIX. Hence, we report the latencies observed on the client side in Table 3.

Table 3: Elapse times observed on the client side to perform a connect-send-recv. All times are in microseconds. The netAuth connections are established with user authentication. Successive netAuth connections are to the same per-user server process created by the first connection on the server. The UNIX connections are established without user authentication.
Connection netAuth Linux
  (with auth.) (w/o auth.)
first 4200 147
successive 67 147

For the first connection, using netAuth authentication mechanisms, a new connection results in the following set of actions: (1) on the client, the kernel requests an authenticator from the user-space daemon; (2) the client generates the authenticator and sends it to the server where it is verified; (3) there is a RTT for sending the authenticator to the server and receiving response from the server; (4) there may be context-switch times (between client process and authentication daemon); and (5) there may scheduling delays. The costliest operation by far is the cryptographic signing of the authenticator.

All subsequent connections on behalf of the same user run much faster because they re-use the same server process and fast authentications. In comparison, the elapse time for the UNIX case is the same for all cases because there are no schemes for a client to re-use a previously created per-user process. The values for UNIX shown in the Table are without authentication overhead.

Manigandan Radhakrishnan 2008-05-13