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The FreeBSD SMPng Network Stack - Adapting the FreeBSD Network Stack for Threaded, Multi-Processor Operation

FreeBSD 5.3 was the first production release of FreeBSD to ship with the initial results of the multi-year SMPng Project. SMPng is a substantial change to the BSD kernel architecture to improve kernel concurrency and preemption by moving to finer-grained synchronization primitives. As part of this work, the FreeBSD network stack was modified to no longer require the Giant lock for correctness, allowing user processees and multiple kernel threads to execute in the network stack in parallel. The use of finer grained synchronization requires careful consideration of competing concerns, however: the cost of additional synchronization balanced with improved concurrency and reduced latency.

This paper/talk discuss the architectural goals, implementation process, performance measurements, and refinement associated with the Netperf project, as well as future directions for continued performance improvement. While oriented at developers with kernel or application threading experience, the talk may also be interesting to users wanting to learn about system performance optimization and operating system design trade-offs.

speaker: Robert Watson

location: SITE H0104

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