Virtualization challenges on data-plane applications
The telecommunications sector desires to take advantage of virtualized environments. This represents a challenge to the involved companies, as that migration is non-trivial.
A common characteristic of this software is big I/O usage (network and storage) and hogging memory access.
Only a careful design will allow us to avoid a strong penalty, due to the aforementioned topics, when running virtualized. At Ericsson we had to migrate a data-plane application, in the Gbps-per-node range, to a virtualized environment. Based on this experience, we will cover the concepts we used to exceed the requested performance.
Our goal for I/O was to design a zero-copy solution. To achieve this we used several techniques. Among them: SR-IOV, Poll Mode Driver, Divide and Conquer, ...
After a detailed profiling of memory access on the system we will manage to reduce at the minimum the memory footprint and increase the locality of the accessed data.
We are a pair of senior software designers working on the Packet Core division at Ericsson, tasked with ensuring the capacity of our product for more than two years.