2006 USENIX Annual Technical Conference Abstract
Pp. 9196 of the Proceedings
An Evaluation of Network Stack Parallelization Strategies in Modern Operating Systems
Paul Willmann, Scott Rixner, and Alan L. Cox, Rice University
As technology trends push future microprocessors toward chip
multiprocessor designs, operating system network stacks must
be parallelized in order to keep pace with improvements in
network bandwidth. There are two competing strategies for stack parallelization.
Message-parallel network stacks use concurrent threads
to carry out network operations on independent messages (usually packets),
whereas connection-parallel stacks map operations to groups of connections
and permit concurrent processing on independent connection groups.
Connection-parallel stacks can use either locks or threads to serialize
access to connection groups.
This paper evaluates these parallel stack organizations
using a modern operating system and
chip multiprocessor hardware.
Compared to uniprocessor kernels, all parallel stack organizations incur additional locking
overhead, cache inefficiencies, and scheduling overhead.
However, the organizations balance these
leading to variations in peak performance and connection scalability.
Lock-serialized connection-parallel organizations reduce the locking overhead of
organizations by using many connection groups and eliminate the expensive thread handoff
mechanism of thread-serialized connection-parallel organizations. The resultant
organization outperforms the others, delivering 5.4 Gb/s of TCP
throughput for most connection loads and providing a 126% throughput improvement versus a uniprocessor for
the heaviest connection loads.
- View the full text of this paper in HTML and PDF. Listen to the presentation in MP3 format.
Until June 2007, you will need your USENIX membership identification in order to access the full papers. The Proceedings are published as a collective work, © 2006 by the USENIX Association. All Rights Reserved. Rights to individual papers remain with the author or the author's employer. Permission is granted for the noncommercial reproduction of the complete work for educational or research purposes. USENIX acknowledges all trademarks within this paper.
- If you need the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it from Adobe's site.