Fermilab Computing Division

CS Document 5473-v1

WireCAP: a Novel Packet Capture Engine for Commodity NICs in High-speed Networks

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Wenji Wu
Updated by:
Wenji Wu
Document Created:
12 Nov 2014, 14:49
Contents Revised:
12 Nov 2014, 14:49
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12 Nov 2014, 14:51
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Packet capture is an essential function for many network applications. However, packet drop is a major problem with packet capture in high-speed networks.
This paper presents WireCAP, a novel packet capture engine for commodity network interface cards (NICs) in high-speed networks. WireCAP provides lossless zero-copy packet capture and delivery services by exploiting multi-queue NICs and multicore architectures. WireCAP introduces two new mechanisms—the ring-buffer-pool mechanism and the buddy-group-based offloading mechanism—to address the packet drop problem of packet capture in high-speed network. WireCAP is efficient. It also facilitates the design and operation of a user-space packet-processing application. Experiments have demonstrated that WireCAP achieves better packet capture performance when compared to existing packet capture engines.
In addition, WireCAP implements a packet transmit function that allows captured packets to be forwarded, potentially after the packets are modified or inspected in flight. Therefore, WireCAP can be used to support middlebox-type applications. Thus, at a high level, WireCAP provides a new packet I/O framework for commodity NICs in high-speed networks.
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