CERCS logo Application-Programmable Routers and Interconnects

Overview Our research concerns network-level support for middleware and/or applications -- we are trying to understand how to make network devices into commodities that can readily support the wide range of business, science, and engineering applications for which they are being used. Our goal is to map certain middleware- or application-level services to network devices, thereby creating the service-aware networks needed by end users. We use Intel's IXP programmable network processors and through experimentation with sample applications derived from our interactions with science and commercial end users, we aim to attain a hardware/software platform which can be easily configured and programmed to meet applications' requirements.
We use Stream Handlers -- composable, parameterizable, computational units to represent higher level services at the network level in an application-specific manner. Next, we develop the SPLITS software architecture for handler deployment and execution, realized for standard Linux OS kernels and for the IXP programmable communication processor. With SPLITS, middleware- and application-level services can be `split' into multiple stream handlers that are efficiently and jointly executed by the host (at OS kernel or at application-level) and the attached network processor. Services realized with SPLITS include application-specific data mirroring as used in operational information systems, the efficient processing of XML-structured data as needed at the `edges' of network infrastructures, and graphics services that perform per-client customizations of graphical displays.


Resources IXP Lab: Intel: Related Work:

Karsten Schwan
CCB 216, 404 894 2589