Evaluating the Performance of Network Protocol Processing on Multi-core Systems

| multicore | network

Matthew Faulkner and Andrew Brampton and Stephen Pink

In proceedings of the International Conference on Advanced Information Networking and Applications (AINA)

This paper won the IEEE Best Paper award


Improvements at the physical network layer have enabled technologies such as 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Single core end-systems are unable to fully utilise these networks, due to limited clock cycles. Using a Multi-core architecture is one method which increases the number of available cycles, and thus allow networks to be fully utilised. However, using these systems creates a new set of challenges for network protocol processing, for example, deciding how best to utilise many cores for high network performance. This paper examines different ways the cores of a multi-core system can be utilised, and, by experimentation, we show that in an eight core system deciding which cores to use is important. In one test, there was a 40% discrepancy in CPU utilisation depending on which cores were used. This discrepancy results from the resources each core shares, an example being the multi-hierarchy CPU caches, and to which bus the processors are connected.

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