Computer Science ETDs

Publication Date



Computing applications demand good performance from networking systems. This includes high-bandwidth communication using protocols with sophisticated features such as ordering, reliability, and congestion control. Much of this protocol processing occurs in software, both on desktop systems and servers. Multi-processing is a requirement on today's computer architectures because their design does not allow for increased processor frequencies. At the same time, network bandwidths continue to increase. In order to meet application demand for throughput, protocol processing must be parallel to leverage the full capabilities of multi-processor or multi-core systems. Existing parallelization strategies have performance difficulties that limit their scalability and their application to single, high-speed data streams. This dissertation introduces a new approach to parallelizing network protocol processing without the need for locks or for global state. Rather than maintain global states, each processor maintains its own copy of protocol state. Therefore, updates are local and don't require fine-grained locks or explicit synchronization. State management work is replicated, but logically independent work is parallelized. Along with the approach, this dissertation describes Dominoes, a new framework for implementing replicated processing systems. Dominoes organizes the state information into Domains and the communication into Channels. These two abstractions provide a powerful, but flexible model for testing the replication approach. This dissertation uses Dominoes to build a replicated network protocol system. The performance of common protocols, such as TCP/IP, is increased by multiprocessing single connections. On commodity hardware, throughput increases between 15-300% depending on the type of communication. Most gains are possible when communicating with unmodified peer implementations, such as Linux. In addition to quantitative results, protocol behavior is studied as it relates to the replication approach.




Replication, Networking, Network Protocols, Multicore

Document Type


Degree Name

Computer Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Computer Science

First Advisor

Bridges, Patrick

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dorian, Arnold

Second Committee Member

Jed, Crandall

Third Committee Member

Nasir, Ghani

Project Sponsors

Intel and Sun Microsystems