Category: NFV

Data Plane Quirks in Virtual Network Devices

Have you noticed an interesting twist in the ICMP Redirects saga: operating systems of some network devices might install redirect entries and use them for control plane traffic – an interesting implementation side effect of the architecture of most modern network devices.

A large majority of network devices run on some variant of Linux or *BSD operating system, the only true exception being ancient operating systems like Cisco IOS1. The network daemons populate various routing protocol tables and compute the best routes that somehow get merged into a single routing table that might still be just a data structure in some user-mode process.

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Quick link: User-Space Network I/O on x86 Servers

Robert Graham published another great blog post explaining why you need user-space handling of network traffic for multigigabit performance on x86 servers. A must-read if you’re interested in performance of software-based packet forwarding.

Want more? Listen to Snabb Switch Deep Dive and PF_RING Deep Dive podcasts.

Need product details? I collected some performance data points in the NFV webinar.

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Can Virtual Routers Compete with Physical Hardware?

One of the participants of the Carrier Ethernet LinkedIn group asked a great question:

When we install a virtual-router of any vendor over an ordinary sever (having general-purpose microprocessor), can it really compete with a physical-router having ASICs, Network Processors…?

Short answer: No … and here’s my longer answer (cross-posted to my blog because not all of my readers participate in that group).

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