Direct Deposit Communication in CORBA over Gigabit Ethernet

Michael Keller

Diploma Thesis Winter 1999/2000
Supervisors: Christian Kurmann, Prof. T. Stricker
Institute for Computer Systems, ETH Zürich


Today, the bandwidth of computer networks is increasing steadily. As the operating systems and applications used in these networks are not offering special support for highspeed networking, there is no simple and portable solution to make use of the bandwidth offered to increase the communication performance between the applications. Usually, the only solution available is to provide methods to directly access the network hardware inside the application. The disadvantage of this solution is that it leads to highly platform dependent applications that often cannot be adapted to be used outside the cluster they have been developed for.


The goal of this diploma thesis was to show a more elegant approach to solve the problem shown above. The strategy chosen was to integrate the means of highspeed network access into a development environment for distributed applications (Middleware). The modifications done should allow an application programmer to transfer data over a highspeed network only by using a modified set of constructs available in the standard development environment.

More specifically this was achieved by integrating an interface to a performance optimized TCP/IP stack with adapted Gigabit Ethernet drivers into the CORBA 2.3 compliant MICO Object Request Broker (ORB) and environment. Further, a special data type was created. This data type can be used the same way for inter - object communication as the standard CORBA data type it was derived from, but outside the scope of the programmer it is treated in a performance optimised way, thus allowing high speed network communication.

Network performance benchmarks that were done with the modified MICO ORB showed that its data throughput was similiar to the troughput of the bare TCP/IP stack it was based on. This means that for the use of Gigabit Ethernet a performance gain of up to 1000\% aginst the unmodified version of MICO. For large data transfers a throughput of about 500 Mbit/sec was measured.

[ CS-Department | Up ]

ETH Zürich: Department of Computer Science

Comments to Christian Kurmann <>
Date 03-10-1999