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What we know

  • STP is a protocol that improves network latency by preallocating buffer space on the receiving end. With zero-copy buffers, the CPU load even in high-bandwidth transfers is minimal.
  • STP supports implementation in hardware at the NIC level to improve performance. SGI claims that without this, performance is little better than plain TCP/IP.
  • STP uses regular AF_INET sockets, using the IP_PROTOSTP flag.
  • Example code

What we need to know

  • Test SGI's claim as to whether the software implementation of STP isn't better than TCP.
  • Figure out whether any of our NICs can support STP in hardware. Alteon Tigon NICs already have a driver in the patch.
  • Test out simple data transfer with STP sockets.
  • Port 2.4 patch forward to 2.6.
  • Add support for STP to LAM-MPI.