The paper MegaPipe: A New Programming Interface for Scalable Network I/O (video, slides) hits the common theme that if you want to go faster you need a better car design, not just a better driver. So that's why the authors started with a clean-slate and designed a network API from the ground up with support for concurrent I/O, a requirement for achieving high performance while scaling to large numbers of connections per thread, multiple cores, etc. What they created is MegaPipe, "a new network programming API for message-oriented workloads to avoid the performance issues of BSD Socket API."
The result: MegaPipe outperforms baseline Linux between 29% (for long connections) and 582% (for short connections). MegaPipe improves the performance of a modiﬁed version of memcached between 15% and 320%. For a workload based on real-world HTTP traces, MegaPipe boosts the throughput of nginx by 75%.
What's this most excellent and interesting paper about?