C++ Socket Server – Unable to saturate CPU

boost::asio is not as thread-friendly as you would hope – there is a big lock around the epoll code in boost/asio/detail/epoll_reactor.hpp which means that only one thread can call into the kernel’s epoll syscall at a time. And for very small requests this makes all the difference (meaning you will only see roughly single-threaded performance).

Note that this is a limitation of how boost::asio uses the Linux kernel facilities, not necessarily the Linux kernel itself. The epoll syscall does support multiple threads when using edge-triggered events, but getting it right (without excessive locking) can be quite tricky.

BTW, I have been doing some work in this area (combining a fully-multithreaded edge-triggered epoll event loop with user-scheduled threads/fibers) and made some code available under the nginetd project.

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