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The OpenOnload User-level Network Stack

Google Tech TalksFebruary, 7 2008ABSTRACTThe architecture of conventional networked systems has remained largelyconstant for many years now. However, some specialised application domainshave adopted alternative architectures. For example, the HPC communityuses message passing libraries which perform network processing inuser-space in conjunction with the features of user-accessible networkinterfaces. Such user-level networking reduces networking overheadsconsiderably without sacrificing the security and resource managementfunctionality that the operating system normally provides.Supporting user-level TCP/UDP/IP networking for a more general set ofapplications poses considerable challenges, including: intercepting systemcalls, binary compatability with existing applications, maintainingsecurity, supporting fork() and exec(), passing sockets through Unix domainsockets and advancing the protocol when the application is not scheduled.This talk presents the OpenOnload architecture for user-level networking.We describe our solutions to the challenges outlined above, and noveltechniques to reduce CPU overhead, avoid lock contention, minimiseinterrupt overheads and improve cache efficiency. Finally we presentperformance results of the OpenOnload stack including protocol compliance,and plans for further work within the open source community.Speaker: Steven PopeSteven Pope is a CTO at Solarflare Communications. Previously heco-founded Level 5 Networks and prior to that was a post-doctorateresearcher in the field of high-speed networks and operating systemsat Olivetti Research Labs, which later became AT&T LaboratoriesCambridge. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University ofCambridge.Speaker: David RiddochDavid Riddoch is Chief Software Architect at SolarflareCommunications. David joined Solarflare with the merger of Solarflarewith Level 5 Networks in April 2006. David co-founded Level 5Networks in July 2002. Previously, David was the architect and leaddeveloper of the software for the CLAN high performance networkproject at AT&T Laboratories Cambridge. David holds a first classdegree in computer science and a Ph.D. in high performance networkingfrom the University of Cambridge.
Length: 01:34:29


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