21 May, 2011

Unix domain sockets vs TCP Sockets

Posted by

Here are two interesting links I found comparing the features and performance differences between using Unix Domain Sockets and TCP Loopback Sockets

http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-performance/2005-February/001143.html

Excerpt: IP sockets over localhost are basically looped back network on-the-wireIP. There is intentionally “no special knowledge” of the fact that the connection is to the same system, so no effort is made to bypass the normal IP stack mechanisms for performance reasons. For example, transmission over TCP will always involve two context switches to get to the remote socket, as you have to switch through the netisr, which occurs following the “loopback” of the packet through the synthetic loopback interface. Likewise, you get all the overhead of ACKs, TCP flow control, encapsulation/decapsulation, etc. Routing will be performed in order to decide if the packets go to the localhost. Large sends will have to be broken down into MTU-size datagrams, which also adds overhead for large writes. It’s really TCP, it just goes over a loopback interface by virtue of a special address, or discovering that the address requested is served locally rather than over an ethernet (etc).

UNIX domain sockets have explicit knowledge that they’re executing on the same system. They avoid the extra context switch through the netisr, and a sending thread will write the stream or datagrams directly into the receiving socket buffer. No checksums are calculated, no headers are inserted, no routing is performed, etc. Because they have access to the remote socket buffer, they can also directly provide feedback to the sender when it is filling, or more importantly, emptying, rather than having the added overhead of explicit acknowledgement and window changes. The one piece of functionality that UNIX domain sockets don’t provide that TCP does is out-of-band data. In practice, this is an issue for almost noone.

http://osnet.cs.binghamton.edu/publications/TR-20070820.pdf

Excerpt: It was hypothesized that pipes would have the highest throughtput due to its limited functionality, since it is half-duplex, but this was not true. For almost all of the data sizes transferred, Unix domain sockets performed better than both TCP sockets and pipes, as can be seen in Figure 1 below. Figure 1 shows the transfer rates for the IPC mechanisms, but it should be noted that they do not represent the speeds obtained by all of the test machines. The transfer rates are consistent across the machines with similar hardware conīŦgurations though. On some machines, Unix domain sockets reached transfer rates as high as 1500 MB/s.

Tags: , , ,


No comments yet.


Leave a comment

(required)

(required)

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free