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2011 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo (2011)
July 11, 2011 to July 15, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-61284-348-3
pp: 1-6
Ingo Kofler , Inst. of Inf. Technol. (ITEC), Alpen-Adria-Univ. Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria
Robert Kuschnig , Inst. of Inf. Technol. (ITEC), Alpen-Adria-Univ. Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria
Hermann Hellwagner , Inst. of Inf. Technol. (ITEC), Alpen-Adria-Univ. Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria
Wireless router platforms based on the Linux operating system are becoming popular in consumers' home networks. The transmission of multimedia data or their use as media-aware network elements imposes high traffic and computational loads on these devices. Thus, it is interesting to evaluate the networking and processing capabilities of such home router platforms in order to assess their usefulness for improved multimedia services such as in-network H.264/SVC video stream adaptation. This paper presents a performance evaluation of three home router platforms representative for low-end, mid-range, and high-end devices. The scope of the evaluation is the performance of the Linux networking stack on these routers; results for both application-layer (TCP and UDP) transmission and kernel-level (UDP) traffic routing are given. The results show that both TCP and UDP throughputs are significantly below (less than half of) the outgoing (wired) links' nominal capacities and depend very much on the sizes of the transmitted data blocks. This clearly indicates that the networking performance is limited by the platforms' processing capabilities and the lack of mechanisms that offload networking tasks from the CPUs. This behaviour cannot be observed on today's PC systems and has to be considered when deploying multimedia services on these network devices. Furthermore, a detailed analysis of the Linux networking stack reveals that the performance is heavily impacted by the netfilter code, even when no packet filtering or network address translation is being performed. Considerable performance gains can be achieved when this netfilter code is bypassed.
network address translation, networking performance, Linux-based home router platforms, multimedia services, wireless router platforms, media-aware network elements, H.264/SVC video stream adaptation, application-layer, TCP, UDP, kernel-level traffic routing, packet filtering

H. Hellwagner, R. Kuschnig and I. Kofler, "Evaluating the networking performance of Linux-based home router platforms for multimedia services," 2011 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo(ICME), Barcelona, 2011, pp. 1-6.
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