Implementation and Performance Evaluation of Embedded IPsec in Microkernel OS

Hamad, Mohammad; Prevelakis, Vassilis

The rapid development of the embedded systems and the wide use of them in many sensitive fields require safeguarding their communications. Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) is widely used to solve network security problems by providing confidentiality and integrity for the communications in the network, but it introduces communication overhead. This overhead becomes a critical factor with embedded systems because of their low computing power and limited resources. In this research, we studied the overhead of using embedded IPsec in constrained resource systems, which run microkernel operating system (OS), in terms of the network latency and throughput. To conduct our experiment first, we ran the test with an unmodified network stack, and then we ran the same test with the modified network stack which contains the IPsec implementation. Later, we compared the results obtained from these two sets of experiments to examine the overhead. Our research demonstrated that the overhead imposed by IPsec protocols is small and well within the capabilities of even low cost microcontrollers such as the one used in the Raspberry Pi computer.


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