The virtualization of network functions is promising significant cost reductions for network operators. Running multiple network functions on a standard x86 server instead of dedicated appliances can increase the utilization of the underlying hardware, while reducing the maintenance and management costs of such functions. 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-DPDK, SR-IOV, and FD.io VPP. Running multiple VNFs in parallel on a standard x86 host is a common use-case for cloudbased networking services. 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.

Additional Metadata
Keywords FD.io VPP, Hypervisors, KVM, NFV, OVS, OVS-DPDK, SR-IOV, Virtualized system architectures, VNF performance
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1145/3184407.3184437
Conference 5th International Conference in Software Engineering Research and Innovation, CONISOFT 2017
Citation
Pitaev, N. (Nikolai), Falkner, M. (Matthias), Leivadeas, A. (Aris), & Lambadaris, I. (2018). Characterizing the performance of concurrent virtualized network functions with OVS-DPDK, FD.IO VPP and SR-IOV. In ICPE 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 ACM/SPEC International Conference on Performance Engineering (pp. 285–292). doi:10.1145/3184407.3184437