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    RE: iSCSI: No Framing

    In answer to your questions:
    Agilent is planning to implement framing. We view both FIM and 
    COWS as having about the same utility so we would implement 
    whichever one went into the standard. 
    A smoothing buffer on the chip is feasible wrt your point 2. 
    There are some configurations that would use external memory.
    Also, one concern is that the very situation where one would
    need large window size for efficiency - high bandwidth long
    distance communication - is where out of order receipt becomes
    increasingly likely so the amount of memory for this situation
    could push up cost to an excessive extent.
    Reducing the amount of traffic that has to be shunted to an 
    external memory affects the bandwidth that needs to be provided
    for that memory. If we can handle most PDUs internally then the
    external memory doesn't have to be as wide and as fast. For 
    instance, if a drop means that the iSCSI PDU with the drop 
    is put into external memory then that takes less memory bandwidth
    than if a drop means the whole data stream for that session will
    be going into the buffer until the hole is filled.
    This decision also effects latency after a drop and required 
    backplane bandwidth.
    Let's say one is on a 10 Gbit/s extreme long distance WAN 
    connection and that there is a drop. If the round trip delay
    for getting the whole filled is 100 ms, then without framing,
    one could have about 1 Gbit stored in the local buffer memory 
    by the time the hole is filled. One will have to process all 
    of this through iSCSI and across the backplane before one can
    deal with the new traffic coming in. If the backplane data rate
    is closely sized to the external data rate, an extra 100 ms latency 
    has just been inserted into the path until traffic slacks off.
    (Congestion control might mitigate this to the extent that one
    is talking to just one source, but with multiple sessions, one
    will still have to keep up.) To get the buffer emptied to make
    space for further drops and to get the latency back down, one
    will have to size the backplane bandwidth wider and have the
    iSCSI engine process at a higher data rate.
    With FIM or COWS, one can end the incident with much less data
    in the buffer as one processes PDUs after the hole while waiting
    for it to be filled. Then, when the hole is filled one just has
    to process a small amount of data to catch up.
    Pat Thaler
    -----Original Message-----
    From: WENDT,JIM (HP-Roseville,ex1) []
    Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 10:47 PM
    Subject: iSCSI: No Framing
    So, it would be good to hear from several iSCSI 
    NIC/chip implementors who:
    - have or plan to implement FIM or COWS (or some 
    other framing mechanism) and take advantage of it to 
    minimize demands on on-NIC buffer memory 
    - believe that all-buffers-on-chip solutions are 
    feasible and valid (wrt the points above, including 
    - can quantify the memory/pin/power/space cost 
    savings for all-buffers-on-chip solutions


Last updated: Mon Feb 04 17:17:58 2002
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