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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.


Yari Adan

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.