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need some info on scalability of linux kernel w.r.t multicore machines

Posted by lgeorge 
I'm doing a study of scalability of the linux kernel, w.r.t. multicore machines, for eg in a 32 or 64 core machine, how scalable the kernel is. My aim is to identify the possible heavily contended kernel data structures and how the contention is being handled now and check whether there are any areas of improvement possible. I've seen that the RCU mechanism is being heavily used in the kernel, for eg for concurrent hash table operations and so on. I've seen some techniques used in "the art of multiprocessor programming" which describes data structures and related operations specifically for multi core/multi processsor machines. I don't think any of these are being used in the kernel for multicore support. Could someone please elaborate on the advantages of using the RCU approach, i.e is the extra overhead of a copy operation really necessary. Also if someone has any pointer on any related study, i.e on the scalability of the kernel on 32, 64-core or more machines, please provide the same. I tried googling but without much success.
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