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On network CoProcessors for scalable, predictable media services

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4 Author(s)
Krishnamurthy, R. ; Center for Exp. Res. in Comput. Syst., Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA, USA ; Schwan, K. ; West, R. ; Rosu, M.C.

This paper presents the embedded realization and experimental evaluation of a media stream scheduler on network interface (NI) CoProcessor boards. When using media frames as scheduling units, the scheduler is able to operate in real-time on streams traversing the CoProcessor, resulting in its ability to stream video to remote clients at real-time rates. This paper presents a detailed evaluation of the effects of placing application or kernel-level functionality, like packet scheduling on NIs, rather than the host machines to which they are attached. The main benefits of such placement are: 1) that traffic is eliminated from the host bus and memory subsystem, thereby allowing increased host CPU utilization for other tasks, and 2) that NI-based scheduling is immune to host-CPU loading, unlike host-based media schedulers that are easily affected even by transient load conditions. An outcome of this work is a proposed cluster architecture for building scalable media servers by distributing schedulers and media stream producers across the multiple NIs used by a single server and by clustering a number of such servers using commodity network hardware and software.

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Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 7 )