UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Service migration in a gigabit network Petrus, Margaret A.S.


Migrating services to the network adaptor makes use of the idle processing power in the adaptor that would otherwise be wasted if it was just used for sending and receiving messages. In addition, by moving some functionality to the network adaptor, decisions can be made without involving the host. This would prevent unnecessary memory copies, I/O traversals, interruptions of the host and the associated context switches. Thus the host can use its processing power, without interruption, for more useful work. The Emu system has made possible the complete implementation of the Emerald interpreter on the network processor. The choice of an object oriented distributed interpreter makes the applications that run on the system more modular and compact because the language takes care of all the gory details. Emu has introduced runtime extension of the functionalities on the network processor and an approach for utilizing idle network processing power. However, intelligent delegation of processing to the network processor is required, because the network processor is slower than the central processor. Communication-intensive applications which require low latency and high throughput would benefit from the interpreter on the network adaptor in the Emu system. Emu has paved the way for other similar systems to be built. It has demonstrated that it is possible to take full advantage of the programmable NIC to increase system throughput. It has shown that with intelligent choice of applications, idle network processing power can be utilized without sacrificing performance.

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