The XEN + DPDK Alternative to Polling

High performance I/O from a NIC

XEN and DPDK can be complementary. Clearly an EAL can be used within a VM running on top of the XEN hypervisor to provide high performance I/O from a NIC. However XEN and DPDK can also be alternatives for implementing a solution to the same problem. Consider a system that needs to perform the following sequence of functions

Using DPDK in a single VM, this could be decomposed as follows:


The solution can be implemented natively on top of XEN in multiple VMs like this:



The world of using virtual machines to implement virtualized network functions is still new. Each application is different, either administratively, functionally, or in performance requirements and therefore each will need an implementation that addresses its specific requirements. DPDK and XEN are two of the tools that can assist with these design problems.

If you need help designing and implementing your VNFs call Northforge Innovations. This is what we do.

By Larry S.

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