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Towards Performance Guarantees for Virtualized Network Functions
KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Communication Systems, CoS, Network Systems Laboratory (NS Lab).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0932-1831
KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Communication Systems, CoS, Network Systems Laboratory (NS Lab).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6427-4612
KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Communication Systems, CoS, Network Systems Laboratory (NS Lab).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3172-076X
2017 (English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

The trend of consolidating network functions from specialized hardware to software running on virtualization servers brings significant advantages for reducing costs and simplifying service deployment.  However, virtualization techniques have significant limitations when it comes to networking as there is no support for guaranteeing that network functions meet their service requirements. In this paper, we present a design for providing service guarantees to virtualized network functions based on rate control. The design is a combination of rate regulation through token bucket filters and the regular scheduling mechanisms in operating systems.  It has the attractive property that traffic profiles are maintained throughout a series of network functions, which makes it well suited for service function chaining.

We discuss implementation alternatives for the design, and demonstrated how it can be implemented on two virtualization platforms: LXC containers and with the KVM hypervisor. To evaluate the design, we conduct experiments where we measure throughput and latency using IP forwarders as virtual network functions. Two significant factors for performance are investigated: the design of token buckets and the packet clustering effect that comes from scheduling. We implement a token bucket filter at the network device level, which is found to give better performance than the regular token bucket in Linux traffic control. The clustering effect adds burstiness, which in turn increases latency and limits the traffic profiles that can be supported. The effect is significant with KVM, but not with LXC. Finally, we demonstrate how performance guarantees are achieved for multiple virtual routers under different scenarios.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Telecommunications
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-206862OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-206862DiVA: diva2:1094237
Note

QC 20170510

Available from: 2017-05-09 Created: 2017-05-09 Last updated: 2017-05-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Performance, Isolation and Service Guarantees in Virtualized Network Functions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Performance, Isolation and Service Guarantees in Virtualized Network Functions
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A network is generally a collection of different hardware-based network devices carrying out various network functions, (NF). These NF implementations are special purpose and expensive. Network function virtualization (NFV) is an alternative which uses software-based implementation of NFs in inexpensive commodity servers. However, it is challenging to achieve high networking performance due to bottlenecks in software, particularly in a virtualized environment where NFs are implemented inside the virtual machines (VM). The performance isolation is yet another challenge, which means that the load on one VM should not affect the performance of other VMs. However, it is difficult to provide performance isolation due to resource contention in a commodity server. Furthermore, different NFs may require different service guarantees which are difficult to ensure due to the non-deterministic performance behavior of a commodity server.

In this thesis we investigate how the challenges of performance, isolation and service guarantees can be addressed for virtual routers (VR), as an example of a virtualized NF. It is argued that the forwarding path of a VR can be modified in an efficient manner in order to improve the forwarding performance. When it comes to performance isolation, poor isolation is observed due to shared network queues and CPU sharing among VRs. We propose a design with SR-IOV, which allows reserving a network queue and CPU core for each VR. As a result, the resource contention is reduced and strong performance isolation is achieved. Finally, it is investigated how average throughput and bounded packet delay can be guaranteed to VRs. We argue that a classic rate-controlled service discipline can be adapted in a virtual environment to achieve service guarantees. We demonstrate that firm service guarantees can be achieved with little overhead of adding token bucket regulator in the forwarding path of a VR.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. 59 p.
Keyword
NFV, virtual router, service guarantee, scheduling, rate control
National Category
Telecommunications
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-206830 (URN)978-91-7729-380-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-06-14, Sal C, kistagången 16, Kista, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20170511

Available from: 2017-05-11 Created: 2017-05-09 Last updated: 2017-06-16Bibliographically approved

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