The co-location of server applications with computation intensive OS functions and network protocols, as well as the conventional, host-mediated DMA transfer significantly limit the efficiency and overall performance of network-based servers. The operating system for such a distributed system should be designed to exploit the computational resources present in Cluster of Intelligent Devices (CID). Our goal is to develop Split-OS, a new operating system architecture that will realize the potential of these intelligent devices by splitting the OS functionality between the host and the intelligent devices or switches.
As part of Split-OS, we have developed TCP Servers, where TCP/IP processing is offloaded to a processor in an SMP system and on a dedicated node in a cluster over RDMA.
Split-OS is an operating system architecture for Internet servers, based on functionality splitting across a Cluster of Intelligent Devices (CID). The key ingredient in our approach is the combination of intelligent devices and non- intrusive Remote Memory Communication (RMC). The Split-OS project aims to investigate the impact of these new I/O interconnect technologies on the operating system architecture of the next generation of servers.
We refer to cluster of intelligent devices (CID) to designate a server architecture based on intelligent devices interconnected by an RMC infrastructure. Intelligent devices (also called programmable or active devices) are devices that include their own programmable processors and memory. An RMC architecture supports remote memory operations such as remote read, remote write or remote atomic operations. These operations are low overhead because they are performed without host involvement on the remote site. RMC is supported by certain SAN interconnects such as the Virtual Interface Architecture (VIA) and by the InfiniBand (IB) Architecture, the new switched-based I/O interconnect for servers.
Impact of Next-Generation I/O Architectures on the Design and Performance of Network Servers.
. Proceedings of the Workshop on Novel Uses of System Area Networks, February 2002.
Split-OS: An Operating System Architecture for Clusters of Intelligent Devices
Kalpana Banerjee, Aniruddha Bohra, Suresh Gopalakrishnan, Murali Rangarajan and Liviu Iftode. Work-in-Progress Session at the 18th Symposium on Operating Systems Principles, Chateau Lake Louise, Banff, Canada, October 2001.