Major Network Performance Regressions In Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 6 January 2013 at 07:10 AM EST. 7 Comments
Affecting the latest Linux kernel release, Linux 3.7, are "multiple apparently unrelated network performance issues." The major network performance problems were reported by a well-known Linux kernel developer.

Willy Tarreau, a Linux kernel developer and the one that was the maintainer of the Linux 2.4 kernel series, wrote a new mailing list thread to kernel developers on Saturday that was entitled "Major network performance regression in 3.7." The problems also seem unresolved by the current Linux 3.8 kernel.

Tarreau basically is seeing multiple network performance issues in the stable 3.7 kernel. The problems are so bad he's doubting they even come from the Linux network stack. For anyone into Linux networking that want to know all of the technical details concerning these regressions, see the mailing list thread.

Among the possibilities talked about in response to these performance regressions within the Linux kernel is that interrupts are being spread on multiple CPUs and that is resulting in out-of-order problems with the Linux TCP stack and the Myri network card / driver not liking high order pages, but Willy Tarreau then said he thinks this might actually be a problem with the Linux memory allocation.

At the time of publishing the post, these Linux network performance regressions are still being investigated. Update: Since the original posting of this article, a few updates on the network problems have been posted to the kernel thread.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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