Tuesday, April 24, 2012

IPv6 Performance Analysis Project Completed

Earlier this year the FreeBSD Foundation announced that together with iXsystems it had awarded Bjoern Zeeb a grant to analyze the performance of FreeBSD's Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) stack.

FreeBSD is well known as a network stack reference and research platform. With the expanding installed base of IPv6 systems throughout the world, more focus was brought to making sure that the IPv6 subsystem remained at performance parity with its IPv4 counterpart.

"'IP feature parity' is what our users expect.  Closing the gap between IPv6 and IPv4 in terms of performance has become more important as IPv6 is seeing a significant increase in public deployments", says Bjoern Zeeb. "This will help to keep the resource usage at the same level as traffic patterns shift towards IPv6."

One feature that received special attention was hardware assisted offload support: Large/TCP Segment Offload (LSO/TSO) and Large Receive Offload (LRO).  Getting the basic support done was very important, as it allows FreeBSD, together with network card vendors, to further improve performance. IPv6 Extension Headers can be taken into account when defining new interfaces and improved basic network packet data types will ease offload implementations in all network card drivers in the future.

Having offload support in the network stack immediately helps loopback performance. Turning on "offloading" for IPv6 avoids expensive calculation and validation of upper layer (TCP and UDP) checksums.

With IPv6, TCP performance is now basically on par with IPv4 in the offloading case, allowing 10 Gbps line speed connections. This is a huge step forward.  UDP throughput has increased and is closer to the level of IPv4. Changes to locking allowing better parallelism, which is a step in the right direction.

Initial numbers showing the differences of the work can be found here.

"I'd love to thank the FreeBSD Foundation and iXsystems for sponsoring the project and hope that it will help the community deploying IPv6" closes Bjoern.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Auditdistd Project Completed

The auditdistd project is complete. Pawel Jakub Dawidek provides the following report regarding the project:

I'm happy to report that the auditdistd project I was working under sponsorship from the FreeBSD Foundation is complete.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Report from AsiaBSDCon

The FreeBSD Foundation was a Platinum Sponsor of AsiaBSDCon which was held in Tokyo, Japan from March 22-25. Hiroki Sato, the General Chair of the conference, provided the following status report.

AsiaBSDCon 2012, the 7th BSD conference in Asia, was held on March 22-25, 2012, in Tokyo, Japan.  This conference consists of 4 days: a 2-day tutorial/meeting session and a 2-day paper session.  There were 8 tutorials (6 in English and 2 in Japanese) and the number of students were 4-20 for each.  The paper session had 11 papers and 1 keynote. The number of attendees was 105.

This year's keynote was "Embedded Technology and BSD UNIX in Japan" by Shozo Takeoka, the founder of AXE, Inc., a vendor which provides custom-ordered network equipment based on BSD, middleware for cellphones, embedded BSD, and embedded Linux to major home appliance and digital camera manufacturers in Japan.

In the 2-day meeting session George Neville-Neil and I held a half-day Vendor Summit.  About 30 people attended the session and talks were given in English and Japanese by George (past Vendor Summmit), myself (Foundation), Brooks Davis (toolchain), Michal Dubiel (Semihalf), Masaru Oki (Internet Initiative Japan), and Shozo Takeoka (what and why of BSD-BA).  Shozo Takeoka, myself, and others are planning to set up an organization "BSD-BA (BSD Business Association)", a Japanese BSD consortium.

Overall, everything went well.  And it is notable that there have been several moves to improve the situation of Japanese vendors using BSD.  I am also working towards this goal and will keep the Foundation up-to-date.

The tentative date for the next AsiaBSDCon is March 14-17, 2013.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Foundation at ILF

The Foundation will be accepting donations at the FreeBSD booth at Indiana LinuxFest in Indianapolis, IN on Saturday, April 14th. This conference is free to attend, so if you are in the area drop by the booth to say hi, check out the cool swag, and discuss the Foundation's latest projects.

Accepting Project Proposals

The FreeBSD Foundation is soliciting the submission of proposals for work relating to any of the major subsystems or infrastructure within the FreeBSD operating system. Proposals will be evaluated based on desirability, technical merit, and cost-effectiveness. Details regarding the proposal process are contained in the Proposals Call for Submission PDF which is available for download here.

Important dates: 

March 12: Call for proposals begins

April 30: Deadline for proposal submission      

May 30th: Notification of acceptance/denial