Efficient Operating System Support for Group Unicast

Martin Karsten, Jialin Song, Michael Kwok, and Tim Brecht

A common requirement of many Internet services is to send exactly the same data to a number of hosts at the same time. Without IP-level multicast, this form of group communication is realized by unicasting the data to each desired host. Although this approach is portable and easy to implement, it is extremely inefficient for the sending host. In this paper, we propose a kernel-based technique to efficiently facilitate unicast send operations for group communication with only minimal additions to the sending operating system interface and implementation. We present the design and prototype implementation of our approach and experimentally demonstrate the significant performance improvements it provides. Additionally, we conduct experiments to decompose the processing costs in the network stack and show that the biggest cost reductions are not necessarily due to reduced memory copying.

NOSSDAV 2005 - International Workshop on Network and Operating Systems Support for Digital Audio and Video

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