Network Function Virtualization promises to reduce the overall operational and capital expenses experienced by the network operators. Running multiple network functions on top of a standard x86 server instead of dedicated appliances can increase the utilization of the underlying hardware and reduce the maintenance and management costs. However, total cost of ownership calculations are typically a function of the attainable network throughput, which in a virtualized system is highly dependent on the overall system architecture-in particular the input/output (I/O) path. In this paper, we investigate the attainable performance of an x86 host running multiple Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) under different I/O architectures: OVS, SRIOV and VPP. We show that the system throughput in a multi-VNF environment differs significantly from deployments where only a single VNF is running on a server, while different I/O architectures can achieve different levels of performance.

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Conference 2017 IEEE Conference on Network Softwarization, NetSoft 2017
Pitaev, N. (Nikolai), Falkner, M. (Matthias), Leivadeasy, A. (Aris), & Lambadaris, I. (2017). Multi-VNF performance characterization for virtualized network functions. In 2017 IEEE Conference on Network Softwarization: Softwarization Sustaining a Hyper-Connected World: en Route to 5G, NetSoft 2017. doi:10.1109/NETSOFT.2017.8004221