Performance Analysis
In this section, we conduct an in depth performance evaluation of the NIC caching
scheme to examine various design issues. The performance of the exclusive and inclusive
caching schemes is analyzed based on experiments using the CSE, UCB and PSU work 
loads. Particularly, we focus on identifying the characteristics of the workload which
have significant impacts on performance. We also examine the impacts of bandwidth in
intra cluster communications, number of server nodes in the cluster, and update interval
of cache replacement on the performance of a cluster based web server.
The Exclusive NIC Caching Scheme
The exclusive NIC caching scheme uses the NIC memory as an extension to the
main memory cache in the main memory. The scheme aims at reducing the number
of disk accesses by increasing the cache hit ratio. As the NIC memory is used as an
extended cache in a cluster based Web server, the data items/files in the NIC cache can
be accessed by local and remote Web servers. However, when a Web server fetches data
from the NIC cache, it takes a longer latency time than fetching data from the main
memory cache. This is because the the connection between a Web server and a client is
through the TCP/IP (via the Ethernet NIC). Thus, the data has to be transferred from
the Intelligent NIC memory to the main memory, and then to the Ethernet NIC. On the
other hand, when data is accessed from the remote nodes in a cluster, the connection
between the nodes is through intelligent NICs. The access latency to the local NIC



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