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I have a number of windows processes that pass messages between them hat a high rate using tcp to local host. Aside from testing on actual hardware how can I assess what my hardware limit will be.

These applications are not doing CPU intensive work, mostly decomposing and combining messages, scanning over them for special flag in the data etc.. The message size is typically 3k and the rate is typically ~10k messages per second. ~30MB per second between processing stages. There may be 10 or more stages depending.

For this type of application, what should I look to for assessing performance? What do I look for in a server performance wise? What are the key contributors to performance on a system using localhost TCP for messaging?

I am currently running an XEON L5408 with 32 GB ram. But I am assuming cache is more important than actual ram size as I am barely touching the ram.

For the curious, this is the system I am analyzing: CP6014.

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Get rid of TCP, used named pipes. Those actually create shared memory to pass data on the same computer - TCP has to go through the complete stack including putting stuff into packets. –  TomTom Jan 13 '11 at 22:26
    
Unfortunately, I do not have that option. However, I am more interested in understanding the performance limits. –  JeffV Jan 13 '11 at 22:54
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