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Towards high performance virtual routers on commodity hardware

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNConference contribution/Paperpeer-review

Publication date2008
Host publicationCoNEXT '08: Proceedings of the 2008 ACM CoNEXT Conference
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-1-60558-210-8
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Modern commodity hardware architectures, with their multiple multi-core CPUs and high-speed system interconnects, exhibit tremendous power. In this paper, we study performance limitations when building both software routers and software virtual routers on such systems. We show that the fundamental performance bottleneck is currently the memory system, and that through careful mapping of tasks to CPU cores, we can achieve forwarding rates of 7 million minimum-sized packets per second on mid-range server-class systems, thus demonstrating the viability of software routers. We also find that current virtualisation systems, when used to provide forwarding engine virtualisation, yield aggregate performance equivalent to that of a single software router, a tenfold improvement on current virtual router platform performance. Finally, we identify principles for the construction of high-performance software router systems on commodity hardware, including full router virtualisation support.