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Improving Network Performance in Multi-Core Systems

White Paper: Intel® Ethernet Controllers Improving Network Performance in Multi-Core Systems Responding to Next-Generation Datacenter Needs

Today’s resource-intensive applications running on Intel® multi-core processor-based platforms are driving the need not only for greater networking bandwidth, but also for more efficient processing of network data. The lower power usage and greater processing capabilities of these systems has IT departments relying on them to handle more data than ever before. And with the growth of server virtualization and consolidation, high-volume data transactions, real-time technologies such as VoIP and video on demand, and the increase to 10GbE bandwidth, the processing demands on the CPU will continue to grow. Intel's next generation of Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet controllers support a number of features that are optimized for new Intel multi-core processor based platforms and satisfy the networking requirements of the next-generation datacenter.

Technologies such as Receive-Side Scaling (RSS), Extended Message Signaled Interrupts (MSI-X), multiple queues, and Virtual Machine Device Queues (VMDq) distribute network processing across multiple processor cores, thereby lowering CPU utilization and increasing application responsiveness. These technologies also provide significant performance improvements in virtualized server environments. This improved performance includes not only increased bandwidth, but also lower CPU utilization levels and decreased latency. In previous-generation platforms, application data requests were associated with a single processor and handled sequentially, raising CPU utilization levels and lowering system performance under heavy network loads. Figure 1 shows a typical network data flow scenario in a previous-generation platform.

Read the full Improving Network Performance in Multi-Core Systems White Paper.

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