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Distributed PC Based Routers: Bottleneck Analysis and Architecture Proposal

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  • Computer Science
  • Design
  • Mathematics


Distributed PC Based Routers: Bottleneck Analysis and Architecture Proposal A. J. Khan lIT Bombay R. Birke Politecnico Di Torino D. Manjunath lIT Bombay A. Sahoo lIT Bombay A. Bianco Politecnico Di Torino Abstract- Recent research in the different functional areas of modern routers have made proposals that can greatly increase the efficiency of these machines. Most of these proposals can be implemented quickly and often efficiently in software. We wish to use personal computers as forwarders in a network to utilize the advances made by researchers. We therefore examine the ability of a personal computer to act as a router. We analyze the performance of a single general purpose computer and show that I/O is the primary bottleneck. We then study the performance of distributed router composed of multiple general purpose computers. We study the performance of a star topology and through experimental results we show that although its performance is good, it lacks flexibility in its design. We compare it with a multistage architecture. We conclude with a proposal for an architecture that provides us with a forwarder that is both flexible and scalable. I. INTRODUCTION The changing requirements in routers demands flex- ibility in its design. The functions performed by a router at different time scales have varied over the years. Current routers are the fourth generation in their evolution [1]. Modem routers are no longer passive forwarders of traffic. The hardware and software in routers have been creatively designed to keep up with the new requirements imposed on them [2]. These include supporting firewalls, encryption capabilities, QoS, per- user forwarding rules, very deep packet inspection, Vir- tual Private Networks, Network Address Translation and more. These advances have been in the architecture, the algorithms and the functionalities offered by the routers. Most of these research proposals can be implemented in software and hardware. We believe that implementa- tion in softwa

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