HPN-SSH: A High-Performance SSH/SCP
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 30 August 2013 at 09:40 AM EDT. 5 Comments
HPN-SSH is a high performance SSH/SCP implementation coming out of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. The code to HPN-SSH is released as a patch-set atop OpenSSH.

HPN-SSH comes from researchers at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) as a high performance version of SSH/SCP. The abstract on the paper regarding this work states, "SCP and the underlying SSH2 protocol implementation in OpenSSH is network performance limited by statically defined internal flow control buffers. These buffers often end up acting as a bottleneck for network throughput of SCP, especially on long and high bandwith network links. Modifying the ssh code to allow the buffers to be defined at run time eliminates this bottleneck. We have created a patch that will remove the bottlenecks in OpenSSH and is fully interoperable with other servers and clients. In addition HPN clients will be able to download faster from non HPN servers, and HPN servers will be able to receive uploads faster from non HPN clients. However, the host receiving the data must have a properly tuned TCP/IP stack. Please refer to this tuning page for more information. The amount of improvement any specific user will see is dependent on a number of issues. Transfer rates cannot exceed the capacity of the network nor the throughput of the I/O subsystem including the disk and memory speed. The improvement will also be highly influenced by the capacity of the processor to perform the encryption and decryption. Less computational expensive ciphers will often provide better throughput than more complex ciphers."

HPN-SSH is implemented atop OpenSSH as patches. Those wanting to give it a try or to read more into this academia research project, visit PSC.edu.
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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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