Asia-Pacific Network Operations and Management Symposium
eVNF - Hybrid Virtual Network Functions with Linux eXpress Data Path
Nguyen Van Tu, Jae-Hyoung Yoo, James Won-Ki Hong,
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One challenge of Network Function Virtualization (NFV) is to provide high throughput and low-latency services. In this paper, we propose eVNF - a hybrid architecture to build and accelerate Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) with eXpress Data Path (XDP). XDP is a framework in Linux kernel that enables high-performance and programmable network process- ing. However, the programmability of XDP is limited to ensure kernel safety, thus causing difficulties in applying XDP to NFV. eVNF solves this problem by taking a hybrid approach: leave the simple but critical tasks inside the kernel with XDP, and let complex tasks be processed outside XDP (e.g., in user-space). eVNF allows building VNFs with both speed and flexibility. We used eVNF architecture to build three VNFs: Firewall (eFW), Deep Packet Inspection (eDPI), and Load Balancer (eLB); then tested them in service function chains. Our experiments showed that eVNF can significantly improve service throughput as well as reduce latency and CPU usage.