Visual Studio 2010 Hardware Requirements

Soma’s been talking about the upcoming Visual Studio 2010 release on his blog, which means I’m starting to get questions about what type of hardware you’re going to need to run VS2010 on. Unfortunately, I can’t give you an official answer yet (other than to say, it depends on what you’re doing – obviously building…

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PDC2008 preConference Workshop

Over the past several weeks, I have been working overtime developing a presentation on web application performance to be given at the upcoming Professional Developer’s Conference (PDC), which is next week in Los Angeles. This is partly why I have been remiss about blogging this month. At least, that is my excuse, and I am…

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Mainstream NUMA and the TCP/IP stack: Final Thoughts

This is a continuation of Part IV of this article posted here.  Note that a final version of a white paper tying this series of five blog entries together (and a Powerpoint presentation on the subject) are attached. For many years, the effort to improve network performance on Windows and other platforms focused on reducing…

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Mainstream NUMA and the TCP/IP stack, Part IV: Parallelizing TCP/IP

This is a continuation of Part III of this article posted here.  In the many-core era, the host processor overhead associated with processing TCP/IP interrupts is not a capacity problem, since CPU cycles on the host computer are plentiful and becoming more plentiful all the time. The problem is that the individual processors themselves are…

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Performance improvements in Service Pack 1 for VS 2008 and .NET FX 3.5

We just announced the release of Service Pack 1 for VS 2008 and .NET FX 3.5.  A major push for this release was continuing to enhance performance and reliability, as Soma noted in his most recent blog entry. I want to take a minute to drill into the major performance improvements you will find in…

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Mainstream NUMA and the TCP/IP stack, Part III: A look back at older strategies to scale high-speed networking

This is a continuation of Part II of this article posted here. By necessity, both the hardware and the software devoted to processing network traffic need to evolve in the many-core era to become multiprocessor-oriented. On servers that have NUMA architectures, that multiprocessing support needs to acquire a NUMA flavoring. The technology that allows network…

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Mainstream NUMA & the TCP/IP stack: Part 2: Programming ccNUMA machines

This is a continuation of Part I of this article posted here. In Part 1 of this article, we looked at the capacity issues that are driving architectural changes in the TCP/IP networking stack. While network interfaces are increasing in throughput capacity, processor speeds in the multi-core era are not keeping pace. Meanwhile, the TCP/IP…

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Lessons from the test lab: investigating a pleasant surprise

This post describes our recent investigation into an interesting performance problem: benchmarks that we were surprised to find running significantly faster than we expected on new hardware. Along the way we discuss useful benchmarking tools, how to validate results, and why it pays to know exactly what hardware you’re running on. This all started in…


Mainstream NUMA and the TCP/IP stack: Part I.

One of the intriguing aspects of the onset of the many-core processor era is the necessity of using parallel programming techniques to reap the performance benefits of this and future generations of processor chips. Instead of significantly faster processors, we are getting more of them packaged on a single chip. To build the cost-effective mid-range…