Enabling NFV to Deliver on its Promise

Network functions virtualization (NFV) is paving the way for more open, flexible, and economical networking and communications equipment based on general-purpose computing platforms instead of traditional proprietary, purpose-built products. However, this transition hinges on increasing performance and minimizing the latencies associated with virtualization on general-purpose platforms, particularly for interrupt-intensive, packet processing workloads. Designed for such demanding networking applications, platforms based on the Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v3 product family incorporate several technologies that can significantly reduce virtualization latency or its impact.

This paper reviews memory management features and inter-VM (virtual machine) communication schemes that can be applied to dramatically improve performance and determinism for packet processing workloads in virtualized environments.