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SubjectGigabit Linux Server Bottlenecks
Hello:

I hope no one minds the cross posting.

I'm a new subscriber to these lists, trying to do some research
on
Gigabit Ethernet. My company develops Etherent silicon (MACs mainly),
and we are in the process of developing a Gigabit Ethernet MAC. We are
trying to get an understanding of what features we could add to our next
Gigabit Ethernet product in order to maximize performance. I have some
experience with Linux (I've written the Linux device drivers for our
10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet MACs), but my overall Linux experience is
not great (only been working with Linux for about 1 year now).

We feel that Gigabit Ethernet can put a large load on a host
system
(i.e. server) processor just from processing Ethernet frames, and TCP/IP
datagrams. We have some ideas on what we could do to offload the host
processor and improve performance, and I was hoping list subscribers
could help me with the following questions:

0) I'm unsure if this list is the best place for feedback. If it is
not, any suggestions on other lists or information sources?
1) Is there much experience out there with Gigabit Ethernet
in Linux servers? If so, which Gigabit Ethernet products (NICs,
switches, routers) are utilitzed?
2) Where does the performance (IP throughput for example) peak for
a Gigabit enabled Linux server? What is the average throughput?
3) What are the main bottlenecks with regard to network performance
(IP throughput) for Gigabit enabled servers? By bottlenecks I
mean what datagram or fram processing requirements take up the
most CPU time when processing streams of Gigabit speed data?
4) How popular are IPSec, and/or other network security protocols (SSL
for example) in Gigabit Linux servers?
5) If a NIC was available which could provide hardware functions such
as TCP segmentation, encryption/de-cryption, IP datagram signature
calculation (i.e. MD5, SHA-1), and/or other datagram processing
functions, are there any distributions of Linux today which could
take advantage of these off load functions or would the Linux
networking code have to be largely re-written?

Thanks again for reading through this post. Any input or
pointers to
information would be greatly appreciated.

--
Craig Rich
Senior Systems Engineer mailto:craig_rich@sundanceti.com
Sundance Technology Inc. http://www.sundanceti.com
1485 Saratoga Avenue tel: 408 873 4117 x107
Suite 200 fax: 408 996 7064
San Jose, CA, USA 95129

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