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List Archive: gentoo-performance
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To: <gentoo-performance@g.o>
From: "Jeff Adams" <jbadams@...>
Subject: Need to configure a system with low latency response to network packets
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2003 12:35:23 -0700

I'd like to configure a gentoo based box to process network packets and then
generate reply network packets with very low latency.

Think of it as a web server that obtains incoming CGI requests, chews on
them a little bit and then has to spit back an answer ASAP.  The biggest
difference from my CGI scenario above is that the network packets are binary
data and not clear text.

I have been told to use the new Intel 800MHZ FSB systems as they are
supposedly fast and the built-in gigabit Ethernet is smart enough to take
some of the packet processing load off of the CPU.

If anybody has a different opinion on the hardware to use, I'd be
appreciative of your input.

The biggest question for me is which kernel sources and scheduler to use?
I've been told to use the gaming sources as they are optimized for low
latency. Does the gaming kernels translate to low network latency as well?
What kernels do high performance web servers use?  Should I go with a 2.4
kernel or the 2.5 series?

Finally under BSD I used the kqueue and zero copy subsystems to minimize
latency.  What parallel features in gentoo should I look towards?  I've seen
the POSIX AIO routines, but I wonder if this is a valid approach.

Any and all input would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Jeff Adams

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