New KB 912222 article titled "The Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Scalable Networking Pack release“ delivers refresh for Windows 2003 and Windows XP (x64 only) TCP\IP stack. This update is delivering three new features:
- TCP Chimney offload
- Receive Side Scaling (RSS)
- Network Direct Memory Access (NetDMA)
which are all about accelerating Windows TCP\IP stack.
TCP Chimney offload is mechanism which allows Windows system to take advantages of NIC hardware with built-in support for TCP\IP sessions processing.
RSS allows Windows system to take advantage of multiple processors available in system for incoming packets handling. Before this update all incoming network packets, even in multiprocessor systems were processed only on 1'st processor (that's the way it worked 🙂 ). RSS takes away this limitation.
And last thing NetDMA allows TCP\IP stack to use DMA instead of CPU interrupts for data handling.
As always careful testing before deployment are strongly advised, but this improvements can speed up TCP\IP in Windows 2003 a little :).