nanoProtean: Scalable system software for a gigabit active router

D. Craig, H. Kim, R. Sivakumar, V. Bharghavan, C. Polychronopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We introduce nanoProtean, a new router operating system and execution environment that reduces system overhead, making it possible to process the packets produced by gigabit networks. The overhead decreases as the offered load per packet increases due to the following features in nanoProtean (i) a completely preemptable operating system, (ii) efficient management of the system's job queue, and (iii) system support for fine-grain sharing of processing time amongst packets. These features are a result of a novel integration of efficient thread scheduling for multi-processors and interrupt handling. Experimental analysis used to test our systems scalability uses a technique to emulate processing requests generated in real-time at 802.3z (gigabit) line speeds and greater. Our results demonstrate 2 Gbps routing with MAE-East tables on two processors, and system overheads decreasing from 3.6μs per packet to 1.64μs per packet on one processor. By reducing system overhead, we also demonstrate that nanoProtean enables active networking in a router supporting gigabit connections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-59
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes
Event20th Annual Joint Conference on the IEEE Computer and Communications Societies (IEEE INFOCOM 2001) - Anchorage, AK, United States
Duration: 2001 Apr 222001 Apr 26


  • Active networks
  • Nonblocking priority scheduling
  • Preemptable context switch
  • Scalable systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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