Gigabit Networking: Linux Kernel Module Suite with Support for TOE and GNIC

N. Kushwaha, S.-C. Oh, Sun-Wook Kim, and Seong-Woon Kim (Korea)


Gigabit Networking, Operating System support, TCP/IP Offload Engine, Linux Kernel Module.


The current de facto standard for inter networking is the TCP/IP protocol suite to transmit data over Local Area Networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs) and the Internet. As network speed rises to Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, host CPU can become severe bottleneck in high speed computing as TCP/IP processing places a heavy burden on host CPU. It has been known that CPU horsepower in today’s server is just sufficient enough to handle TCP/IP processing, leaving no CPU cycles for critical business applications. Recently TCP/IP Offload Engine (TOE) technology, which processes TCP/IP on a network adapter instead of host CPU, has become an important approach to this problem. In this paper, we present Linux kernel module suite with dual support for TOE and general NIC. Linux kernel module suite is a 2-tier design architecture having TOE Switch Module (TSM) and TOE Protocol Module (TPM). The TOE adapter along with TOE based Linux kernel module suite offloads the processing of TCP/IP protocol from host & enhances the network data transmission i.e. increases the throughput and lowers client response time. Experimental results also show that the TOE Linux kernel module suite imposes fewer loads on the host CPU.

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