Open vSwitch gets massive performance increase

Open vSwitch (OVS) is a key open-source project and the de-facto industry standard for providing connectivity in virtualization deployments. Ericsson and other key contributors have now made significant enhancements to OVS resulting in more than 160% performance increase compared to OVS 2.5.

Almost any software can be deployed in cloud already today. However it’s not trivial to scale, deliver high performance and connectivity to millions of users. Telco virtual network functions (VNFs) are critical workloads and require high performance switching in an industrial grade cloud infrastructure. This is also true for other applications in the financial, retail and manufacturing sectors.

The Telecom Industry is currently shifting to NFV and SDN as a key enabler to increase agility, speed and efficiency to deliver new and innovative services in a dynamic business environment. The applications supporting a large number of users, connections and services rely on OVS to forward the traffic to the rest of the network. OVS is a critical element for successful NFV deployments. Ericsson and other industry leaders have been participating in key open-source projects (such as OpenDaylight and OPNFV) to make innovation available faster to the market.

One good example of this innovative collaboration is Open vSwitch where Ericsson have been working within the OVS community to further improve the OVS DPDK datapath performance. The current results indicate that all optimizations together provide a performance increase of more than 160% over OVS 2.5. A single CPU core is able to forward 3.2 Mpps (Million packet per Second) between a VM and the physical network, even with a complex L3-VPN OpenFlow pipeline and VXLAN encapsulation. With this performance improvements, OVS is on par in terms of throughput with alternative data path technology such as FD.IO/VPP.

OVS-Performance-2.gif

Ericsson will participate at the Open vSwitch 2016 Fall Conference in San Jose, CA on November 7-8 2016, where the main optimizations steps will be presented. Some key enhancements were already incorporated in OVS 2.6. Others have been posted and accepted on the ovs-dev mailing list since then. The remaining patches will be submitted in the near future.

This great result is an example on how Open Source can be a catalyst for innovation and make essential technology available to the IT industry, further enabling Service Providers and Enterprise IT to deploy new use cases.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
Patrick Jestin
Patrick is SDN Strategic Product Manager at Ericsson in Stockholm, Sweden.
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