96
5.6
Evaluation Methodology
To evaluate the performance implication of the NIC caching schemes on cluster 
based Web servers, we develop a simulator to model a Web server, the proposed NIC
caching scheme, and the underlying communication mechanism (based on the Virtual
Interface Architecture specification [30]). Using the simulator, we are able to investigate
several issues which were not possible to explore in the real implementation.
5.6.1
Simulation Platform
Our simulator models a distributed Web server with the NIC caching schemes,
based on the parameters obtained from the real implementation [28]. The simulator,
written in CSIM, consists of four major components; 1) a Web server module, 2) an
underlying communication module, 3) NIC modules, and 4) a client module. The Web
server module is modeled as an event driven Web server like PRESS [23]. The Web server
program has event queues corresponding to each request processing step; (i) accept client
connection, (ii) read request, (iii) find file, (iv) send response header, (v) read file and
(vi) send data. If there is a request to process in one of the event queues, the Web server
handles it and puts it to the next event queue.
For intra cluster communication, we implement the VIA communication module
(following the VIA specification [30] logically), which supports most of the VIA func 
tionalities including blocking communication, non blocking communication, Completion
Queue (CQ), and receive/send queues. In addition, our module provides a doorbell
mechanism, used by applications to initiate any communication. The NIC module in












  

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