IX: A Protected Dataplane Operating System for High Throughput and Low Latency

The conventional wisdom is that aggressive networking requirements, such as high packet rates for small messages and microsecond-scale tail latency, are best addressed outside the kernel, in a user-level networking stack. We present IX, a dataplane operating system that provides high I/O performance, while maintaining the key advantage of strong protection offered by existing kernels. IX uses hardware virtualization to separate management and scheduling functions of the kernel (control plane) from network processing (dataplane). The dataplane architecture builds upon a native, zero-copy API and optimizes for both bandwidth and latency by dedicating hardware threads and networking queues to dataplane instances, processing bounded batches of packets to completion, and by eliminating coherence traffic and multi-core synchronization. We demonstrate that IX outperforms Linux and state-of-the-art, user-space network stacks significantly in both throughput and end-to-end latency. Moreover, IX improves the throughput of a widely deployed, key-value store by up to 3.6x and reduces tail latency by more than 2x.


Published in:
Proceedings of the 11th USENIX Symposium on Operating System Design and Implementation (OSDI)
Presented at:
11th Symposium on Operating System Design and Implementation (OSDI), Broomfield, CO, USA, October 6-8, 2014
Year:
2014
Publisher:
USENIX
Keywords:
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 Record created 2014-09-11, last modified 2018-10-01

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