1999 Linux Symposium
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intelligent i/o for linux

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Intelligent I/O Capabilities for Linux

In today's computing environment servers are being tasked with I/O intensive applications such as database backed web sites. I/O loads will only continue to increase. Unfortunately, today's system architectures were not designed to scale. Testing has shown that heavily loaded machines can easily spend much of their time handling low level I/O transaction details instead of data processing. To solve this I/O scalability issue, the I2O software architecture was created by a consortium of OEMs, OSVs, and IHVs. I2O provides a high performance message based I/O subsystem.

The concept of intelligent I/O devices is not new, but I2O is revolutionary in that it completely OS and device vendor neutral. I2O abstracts device interfaces to specific device classes, and all devices of the same class require only one driver on the OS. Support for the I2O architecture is included in the 2.4 kernel. We will discuss the I2O specification, the Linux implementation, and the future of intelligent I/O devices.

Deepak Saxena

Deepak Saxena is a software engineer for MontaVista Software working on embedded Linux ports and drivers. He has been there for about three months and previous to that was at Intel Corporation where he worked on developing the I2O stack for the Linux 2.4 kernel and developing embedded network drivers. He has been using Linux on and off since 1993 and has been playing with the kernel for about two years. His favorite editor is vi.


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