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Profiling I/O interrupts in modern architectures

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3 Author(s)
Schaelicke, L. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Utah Univ., Salt Lake City, UT, USA ; Davis, A. ; McKee, S.A.

As applications grow increasingly communication-oriented, interrupt performance quickly becomes a crucial component of high performance I/O system design. At the same time, accurately measuring interrupt handler performance is difficult with the traditional simulation, instrumentation, or statistical sampling approaches. One of the most important components of interrupt performance is cache behavior. This paper presents a portable method for measuring the cache effects of I/O interrupt handling using hardware performance counters. The method is demonstrated on two commercial platforms with different architectures, the SGI Origin 200 and the Sun Ultra-1. This case study uses the methodology to measure the overhead of the two most common forms of interrupts: disk and network interrupts. It demonstrates that the method works well and is reasonably robust. In addition, the results show that network interrupts have larger cache footprints than disk interrupts, and behave very differently on both platforms, due to significant differences in OS organization

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Modeling, Analysis and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunication Systems, 2000. Proceedings. 8th International Symposium on

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