Most of the work on VM network performance has focused so far on bulk TCP traffic, which covers classical applications of virtualization. Completely new ``paravirtualized devices'' (Xenfront, VIRTIO, vmxnet) have been designed and implemented to improve network throughput. We expect virtualization to become widely used also for different workloads: packet switching devices and middleboxes, Software Defined Networks, etc.. These applications involve very high packet rates that are problematic not only for the hypervisor (which emulates network interfaces) but also for the host itself (which switches packets between guests and physical NICs). In this paper we provide three main results. First, we demonstrate how rates of millions of packets per second can be achieved even within VMs, with limited but targeted modifications on device drivers, hypervisors and the host's virtual switch. Secondly, we show that emulation of conventional NICs (e.g., Intel e1000) is perfectly capable of achieving such packet rates, without requiring completely different device models. Finally, we provide sets of modifications suitable for different use cases (acting only on the guest, or only on the host, or on both) which can improve the network throughput of a VM by 20 times or more. These results are important because they enable a new set of applications within virtual machines. In particular, we achieve guest-to-guest UDP speeds of over 1~Mpps with short frames (and 6~Gbit/s with 1500-byte frames) using a conventional e1000 device, and socket-based sender/receivers. This matches the speed of the OS on bare metal. Furthermore, we reach over 5~Mpps when guests use the netmap API. Our work requires only small changes to device drivers (about 100 lines, both for FreeBSD and Linux version of e1000), similarly small modifications to the hypervisor (we have a QEMU prototype available) and the use of the VALE switch as a network backend. Relevant changes are being incorporated and/or distributed as external patches for FreeBSD, QEMU and Linux.

Speeding up packet I/O in virtual machines

RIZZO, LUIGI;LETTIERI, GIUSEPPE;MAFFIONE, VINCENZO
2013

Abstract

Most of the work on VM network performance has focused so far on bulk TCP traffic, which covers classical applications of virtualization. Completely new ``paravirtualized devices'' (Xenfront, VIRTIO, vmxnet) have been designed and implemented to improve network throughput. We expect virtualization to become widely used also for different workloads: packet switching devices and middleboxes, Software Defined Networks, etc.. These applications involve very high packet rates that are problematic not only for the hypervisor (which emulates network interfaces) but also for the host itself (which switches packets between guests and physical NICs). In this paper we provide three main results. First, we demonstrate how rates of millions of packets per second can be achieved even within VMs, with limited but targeted modifications on device drivers, hypervisors and the host's virtual switch. Secondly, we show that emulation of conventional NICs (e.g., Intel e1000) is perfectly capable of achieving such packet rates, without requiring completely different device models. Finally, we provide sets of modifications suitable for different use cases (acting only on the guest, or only on the host, or on both) which can improve the network throughput of a VM by 20 times or more. These results are important because they enable a new set of applications within virtual machines. In particular, we achieve guest-to-guest UDP speeds of over 1~Mpps with short frames (and 6~Gbit/s with 1500-byte frames) using a conventional e1000 device, and socket-based sender/receivers. This matches the speed of the OS on bare metal. Furthermore, we reach over 5~Mpps when guests use the netmap API. Our work requires only small changes to device drivers (about 100 lines, both for FreeBSD and Linux version of e1000), similarly small modifications to the hypervisor (we have a QEMU prototype available) and the use of the VALE switch as a network backend. Relevant changes are being incorporated and/or distributed as external patches for FreeBSD, QEMU and Linux.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/291739
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 36
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 26
social impact