By Topic

Evaluating standard-based self-virtualizing devices: A performance study on 10 GbE NICs with SR-IOV support

Sign In

Cookies must be enabled to login.After enabling cookies , please use refresh or reload or ctrl+f5 on the browser for the login options.

Formats Non-Member Member
$33 $13
Learn how you can qualify for the best price for this item!
Become an IEEE Member or Subscribe to
IEEE Xplore for exclusive pricing!
close button

puzzle piece

IEEE membership options for an individual and IEEE Xplore subscriptions for an organization offer the most affordable access to essential journal articles, conference papers, standards, eBooks, and eLearning courses.

Learn more about:

IEEE membership

IEEE Xplore subscriptions

1 Author(s)
Jiuxing Liu ; IBM T. J. Watson Research Center 19 Skyline Drive, Hawthorne, NY 10532

Virtual machine (VM) technologies have made much progress in improving the efficiency of virtualizing CPU and memory. However, achieving high performance for I/O virtualization remains a challenge, especially for high speed networking devices such as 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) NICs, and commonly used software-based I/O virtualization approaches usually suffer significant performance degradation compared with native hardware. One promising approach to address the performance issue of I/O virtualization is to use single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) devices which have been standardized by the PCI-SIG. With SR-IOV, a PCI Express (PCIe) device can present itself as multiple virtual devices. By dedicating a virtual device to a single VM, it is possible for the VM to access the virtual device hardware directly, thus reducing overheads such as context/control switches and extra memory copies. However, SR-IOV comes with its limitations such as requiring special hardware support and increased complexity in achieving VM tasks such as checkpointing, migration, and record/reply. Therefore, it is very important for us to fully understand the performance benefit of SR-IOV before adopting it. Unfortunately, there exists little previous work which provides such information. In this paper, we present a detailed performance evaluation of a 10 GbE SR-IOV PCIe device from Neterion in the KVM (Kernelbased Virtual Machine) virtualization environment. Our focus is not just performance metrics such as bandwidth and latency, but also other aspects of the system such as CPU utilization, memory access, VM exits, and host/guest interrupts. We have also studied several important factors that affect networking performance in both virtualized and native systems. These include issues such as the MTU size, the use of a single processor versus multiple processors, IRQ affinity, and IRQ distribution. Our experiments show that the hardware-based SR-IOV approach provides superior performance to the- - software-based approach in KVM. SR-IOV can achieve close to line rate TCP communication (9.3 Gbps) for both transmitting (Tx) and receiving (Rx) with the standard 1500 byte Ethernet MTU, although it does consume more CPU cycles than the native (non-virtualized) case. Overall, our evaluation demonstrates that the SR-IOV approach has great potential to achieve high performance I/O in a virtualized environment.

Published in:

Parallel & Distributed Processing (IPDPS), 2010 IEEE International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

19-23 April 2010