Framework for hardware accelerated virtio networking for NFVs

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One Line Summary

Framework is aimed at addressing performance bottlenecks associated with Vhost-net networking using hardware offloads


Virtio networking offers a flexible mechanism for sharing I/O interface among virtual machines. Despite the flexibility, there are performance challenges associated with virtio/vhost-net for virtual network functions. While handling high traffic rates, the vhost-net backend can become a bottleneck, leading to system saturation and in turn impacting virtual network function functionality.
It’s possible to address the performance bottlenecks associated with vhost-net using hardware offloads.

In this talk we present a framework for leveraging hardware features like packet parsing, classification and distribution (zero copy Rx/Tx) for accelerating vhost-net networking. We would also like to share initial results from a proof of concept based on this framework. The framework tries to address the challenges associated with both north-south and east-west based traffic for network virtual functions.


virtio, network virtualization, nfv, Vhost-net, Hardware accelerated I/O virtualization


  • Varun Sethi

    Freescale Semiconductor


    Varun Sethi is a Software Architect at Freescale Semiconductor and has been involved in virtualization software development for embedded Power Architecture SOCs. He has contributed to the KVM port for BookE.HV platforms and the e500mc core. He is the author for Freescale PAMU (IOMMU) driver. He’s working on enhancements for the ARM SMMU driver for Freescale Layerscape platforms. Varun is also looking at Virtio performance analysis and optimizations. He has made presentations on KVM and Virtio optimizations at KVM Forum (2012/2014). He has also conducted talks, on dependability in case of virtualized platforms at the IEEE DSN conference. He has a publication on KVM optimizations for BookE platforms without hardware virtualization assists, at ASPLOS 2013. He has conducted a joint talk on network virtualization at the Linux foundation collaboration summit.