Performance evaluation of various techiques for handling interrupts in gigabit networking environment

Salman A. AlQahtani, Khalid Salah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Multimedia applications over high-speed networks can generate heavy load conditions. When the network end system is involved in processing this high network traffic, its performance depends critically on how its tasks are scheduled. The polices and mechanism that schedule incoming network traffic and other tasks should guarantee acceptable system throughput reasonable latency and jitter (variance in delay), reasonable system availability, fair allocation of CPU resources among multimedia traffic reception, packets transmission, protocol processing, application processing and over all system stability, without imposing excessive overhead, especially in case of high traffic load. In this study we compare different schemes for handling interrupts in Gigabit networking environment (high-speed network interface) then we compare the performance measures of hard timer and soft timer polling schemes used for high-speed network interface with high traffic load. In addition to the throughput performance metric in which most of the literatures focus on only, other performance metrics such as CPU availability, loss ratio, packet delay are defined and studied. A simulation is used to study the impact of interrupt overhead caused by high-speed network traffic on operating system (OS) performance. The performance evaluations, which are performed using a discrete event simulation, indicate that under conditions of high traffic load, the polling system offers increased throughput and reduced latency for traffics.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1396-1403
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2006


  • High-speed networks
  • Interrupts
  • NIC
  • Operating system
  • Performance evaluation


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