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Linux Fast Path Using Application-Specific Fast Path

Linux Fast Path Using Application-Specific Fast Path

Linux Fast Path (LFP) is a term used to describe a paradigm where an alternate data path is created within the Linux networking stack that enables faster processing of data packets. This alternate data path is specific to only particular application packet types which are deemed important by the network service provider. Hence, what it really implies is that performance efficiency improvements can be gained for certain applications by being able to treat these particular application packets in a different way. This is termed as Application Specific Fast Path. The Linux kernel achieves this improvement as it runs a special piece of code to attain this Fast Path with direct access to the hardware so it can bypass layers of generic software present in the stack. Also, it’s able to leverage the hardware more efficiently and typically in a customized fashion for certain applications. Although there are pros and cons involved with every technique developed for attaining performance improvements, the cost benefit analysis works in favor of the Linux-based ASFP.

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