Ian Hameroff

A Simple Exchange of Ideas


Coming Soon: "SNP for Scalable Networking Pack"

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All weekend long I tried to think of a witty way to capitalize on the recent release of the film "V for Vendetta".  Sadly, this was the best I could come up with...sorry.  It's worth noting that I am trying to do something with "WinHEC", like "What the WinHEC is going on here?"

Nevertheless, one of the technologies I'm spending a lot of time on these days is the soon-to-be-released Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Scalable Networking Pack (also known as SNP).  The Scalable Networking Pack will provide a number of architectural innovations to Windows Server 2003 (Service Pack 1 or later) to provide support for the latest generation of networking offload hardware. 

More specifically, we are talking about:

These innovations come by way of our Scalable Networking initiative for Windows. The initiative seeks to deliver solutions for reducing the potential CPU overhead related to network packet processing.

Much in the same way AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) or even the 487 floating-point co-processor helped usher in greater scalability for graphics and "intensive" calculations (respectively), the Scalable Networking initiative focuses on "offloading" the processing of network traffic to a "co-processor" of sorts, freeing up the main CPU(s) for other application related tasks.  At the same time, we are improving the way inbound network traffic can be dynamically load-balanced across multiple CPUs (or cores) and improving memory bandwidth latency associated with networking workloads.

The net/net: with the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Scalable Networking Pack, and the supported hardware from one of our many OEM and/or IHV partners, customers will be able to realize greater network-based application scalability on Windows Server 2003 and with their existing Server hardware investments. 

Trust me, this is neat stuff and there's a whole lot more to come over the next few months!

As for "V", I thought it was Win-HEC of a movie!  Okay, that was lame.

  • Ian has long awaited news (no precise date but it's imminent) - this has been a very frequent question...

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