Exploiting NIC architectural support for enhancing IP-based protocols on high-performance networks

Hyun Wook Jin, Pavan Balaji, Chuck Yoo, Jin Young Choi, Dhabaleswar K. Panda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


While a number of user-level protocols have been developed to reduce the gap between the performance capabilities of the physical network and the performance actually available, their compatibility issues with the existing sockets-based applications and IP-based infrastructure has been an area of major concern. To address these compatibility issues while maintaining a high performance, a number of researchers have been looking at alternative approaches to optimize the existing traditional protocol stacks. Broadly, previous research has broken up the overheads in the traditional protocol stack into four related aspects, namely: (i) compute requirements and contention, (ii) memory contention, (iii) I/O bus contention and (iv) system resources' idle time. While previous research dealing with some of these aspects exists, to the best of our knowledge, there is no work which deals with all these issues in an integrated manner while maintaining backward compatibility with existing applications and infrastructure. In this paper, we address each of these issues, propose solutions for minimizing these overheads by exploiting the emerging architectural features provided by modern Network Interface Cards (NICs) and demonstrate the capabilities of these solutions using an implementation based on UDP/IP over Myrinet. Our experimental results show that with our implementation of UDP, termed as E-UDP, can achieve up to 94% of the theoretical maximum bandwidth. We also present a mathematical performance model which allows us to study the scalability of our approach for different system architectures and network speeds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1348-1365
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Parallel and Distributed Computing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported in part by Department of Energy’s Grant #DE-FC02-01ER25506, National Science Foundation’s Grants #CCR-0204429, and #CCR-0311542 and the Post-doctoral Fellowship Program of Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF). The authors thank Sundeep Narravula and Karthikeyan Vaidyanathan for helping to improve the performance model.


  • Clusters
  • Myrinet
  • Overhead pipelining
  • Protocol offload
  • UDP/IP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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