Overview

VPP performance test results are reported for a range of processors. For description of physical testbeds used for VPP performance tests please refer to Physical Testbeds.

Logical Topologies

CSIT VPP performance tests are executed on physical testbeds described in Physical Testbeds. Based on the packet path thru server SUTs, three distinct logical topology types are used for VPP DUT data plane testing:

  1. NIC-to-NIC switching topologies.

  2. VM service switching topologies.

  3. Container service switching topologies.

NIC-to-NIC Switching

The simplest logical topology for software data plane application like VPP is NIC-to-NIC switching. Tested topologies for 2-Node and 3-Node testbeds are shown in figures below.

logical-2n-nic2nic
logical-3n-nic2nic

Server Systems Under Test (SUT) run VPP application in Linux user-mode as a Device Under Test (DUT). Server Traffic Generator (TG) runs T-Rex application. Physical connectivity between SUTs and TG is provided using different drivers and NIC models that need to be tested for performance (packet/bandwidth throughput and latency).

From SUT and DUT perspectives, all performance tests involve forwarding packets between two (or more) physical Ethernet ports (10GE, 25GE, 40GE, 100GE). In most cases both physical ports on SUT are located on the same NIC. The only exceptions are link bonding and 100GE tests. In the latter case only one port per NIC can be driven at linerate due to PCIe Gen3 x16 slot bandwidth limiations. 100GE NICs are not supported in PCIe Gen3 x8 slots.

Note that reported VPP DUT performance results are specific to the SUTs tested. SUTs with other processors than the ones used in FD.io lab are likely to yield different results. A good rule of thumb, that can be applied to estimate VPP packet thoughput for NIC-to-NIC switching topology, is to expect the forwarding performance to be proportional to processor core frequency for the same processor architecture, assuming processor is the only limiting factor and all other SUT parameters are equivalent to FD.io CSIT environment.

VM Service Switching

VM service switching topology test cases require VPP DUT to communicate with Virtual Machines (VMs) over vhost-user virtual interfaces.

Two types of VM service topologies are tested in CSIT-2009:

  1. “Parallel” topology with packets flowing within SUT from NIC(s) via VPP DUT to VM, back to VPP DUT, then out thru NIC(s).

  2. “Chained” topology (a.k.a. “Snake”) with packets flowing within SUT from NIC(s) via VPP DUT to VM, back to VPP DUT, then to the next VM, back to VPP DUT and so on and so forth until the last VM in a chain, then back to VPP DUT and out thru NIC(s).

For each of the above topologies, VPP DUT is tested in a range of L2 or IPv4/IPv6 configurations depending on the test suite. Sample VPP DUT “Chained” VM service topologies for 2-Node and 3-Node testbeds with each SUT running N of VM instances is shown in the figures below.

logical-2n-vm-vhost
logical-3n-vm-vhost

In “Chained” VM topologies, packets are switched by VPP DUT multiple times: twice for a single VM, three times for two VMs, N+1 times for N VMs. Hence the external throughput rates measured by TG and listed in this report must be multiplied by N+1 to represent the actual VPP DUT aggregate packet forwarding rate.

For “Parallel” service topology packets are always switched twice by VPP DUT per service chain.

Note that reported VPP DUT performance results are specific to the SUTs tested. SUTs with other processor than the ones used in FD.io lab are likely to yield different results. Similarly to NIC-to-NIC switching topology, here one can also expect the forwarding performance to be proportional to processor core frequency for the same processor architecture, assuming processor is the only limiting factor. However due to much higher dependency on intensive memory operations in VM service chained topologies and sensitivity to Linux scheduler settings and behaviour, this estimation may not always yield good enough accuracy.

Container Service Switching

Container service switching topology test cases require VPP DUT to communicate with Containers (Ctrs) over memif virtual interfaces.

Three types of VM service topologies are tested in CSIT-2009:

  1. “Parallel” topology with packets flowing within SUT from NIC(s) via VPP DUT to Container, back to VPP DUT, then out thru NIC(s).

  2. “Chained” topology (a.k.a. “Snake”) with packets flowing within SUT from NIC(s) via VPP DUT to Container, back to VPP DUT, then to the next Container, back to VPP DUT and so on and so forth until the last Container in a chain, then back to VPP DUT and out thru NIC(s).

  3. “Horizontal” topology with packets flowing within SUT from NIC(s) via VPP DUT to Container, then via “horizontal” memif to the next Container, and so on and so forth until the last Container, then back to VPP DUT and out thru NIC(s).

For each of the above topologies, VPP DUT is tested in a range of L2 or IPv4/IPv6 configurations depending on the test suite. Sample VPP DUT “Chained” Container service topologies for 2-Node and 3-Node testbeds with each SUT running N of Container instances is shown in the figures below.

logical-2n-container-memif
logical-3n-container-memif

In “Chained” Container topologies, packets are switched by VPP DUT multiple times: twice for a single Container, three times for two Containers, N+1 times for N Containers. Hence the external throughput rates measured by TG and listed in this report must be multiplied by N+1 to represent the actual VPP DUT aggregate packet forwarding rate.

For a “Parallel” and “Horizontal” service topologies packets are always switched by VPP DUT twice per service chain.

Note that reported VPP DUT performance results are specific to the SUTs tested. SUTs with other processor than the ones used in FD.io lab are likely to yield different results. Similarly to NIC-to-NIC switching topology, here one can also expect the forwarding performance to be proportional to processor core frequency for the same processor architecture, assuming processor is the only limiting factor. However due to much higher dependency on intensive memory operations in Container service chained topologies and sensitivity to Linux scheduler settings and behaviour, this estimation may not always yield good enough accuracy.

Performance Tests Coverage

Performance tests measure following metrics for tested VPP DUT topologies and configurations:

  • Packet Throughput: measured in accordance with RFC 2544, using FD.io CSIT Multiple Loss Ratio search (MLRsearch), an optimized binary search algorithm, producing throughput at different Packet Loss Ratio (PLR) values:

    • Non Drop Rate (NDR): packet throughput at PLR=0%.

    • Partial Drop Rate (PDR): packet throughput at PLR=0.5%.

  • One-Way Packet Latency: measured at different offered packet loads:

    • 90% of discovered PDR throughput.

    • 50% of discovered PDR throughput.

    • 10% of discovered PDR throughput.

    • Minimal offered load.

  • Maximum Receive Rate (MRR): measure packet forwarding rate under the maximum load offered by traffic generator over a set trial duration, regardless of packet loss. Maximum load for specified Ethernet frame size is set to the bi-directional link rate, unless there is a known limitation preventing Traffic Generator from achieving the line rate.

CSIT-2009 includes following VPP data plane functionality performance tested across a range of NIC drivers and NIC models:

Functionality

Description

ACL

L2 Bridge-Domain switching and IPv4and IPv6 routing with iACL and oACL IP address, MAC address and L4 port security.

COP

IPv4 and IPv6 routing with COP address security.

IPv4

IPv4 routing.

IPv6

IPv6 routing.

IPv4 Scale

IPv4 routing with 20k, 200k and 2M FIB entries.

IPv6 Scale

IPv6 routing with 20k, 200k and 2M FIB entries.

IPSecHW

IPSec encryption with AES-GCM, CBC-SHA-256 ciphers, in combination with IPv4 routing. Intel QAT HW acceleration.

IPSec+LISP

IPSec encryption with CBC-SHA1 ciphers, in combination with LISP-GPE overlay tunneling for IPv4-over-IPv4.

IPSecSW

IPSec encryption with AES-GCM, CBC-SHA-256 ciphers, in combination with IPv4 routing.

KVM VMs vhost-user

Virtual topologies with service chains of 1 VM using vhost-user interfaces, with different VPP forwarding modes incl. L2XC, L2BD, VXLAN with L2BD, IPv4 routing.

L2BD

L2 Bridge-Domain switching of untagged Ethernet frames with MAC learning; disabled MAC learning i.e. static MAC tests to be added.

L2BD Scale

L2 Bridge-Domain switching of untagged Ethernet frames with MAC learning; disabled MAC learning i.e. static MAC tests to be added with 20k, 200k and 2M FIB entries.

L2XC

L2 Cross-Connect switching of untagged, dot1q, dot1ad VLAN tagged Ethernet frames.

LISP

LISP overlay tunneling for IPv4-over-IPv4, IPv6-over-IPv4, IPv6-over-IPv6, IPv4-over-IPv6 in IPv4 and IPv6 routing modes.

LXC/DRC Containers Memif

Container VPP memif virtual interface tests with different VPP forwarding modes incl. L2XC, L2BD.

NAT

(Source) Network Address Translation tests with varying number of users and ports per user.

QoS Policer

Ingress packet rate measuring, marking and limiting (IPv4).

SRv6 Routing

Segment Routing IPv6 tests.

VPP TCP/IP stack

Tests of VPP TCP/IP stack used with VPP built-in HTTP server.

VTS

Virtual Topology System use case tests combining VXLAN overlay tunneling with L2BD, ACL and KVM VM vhost-user features.

VXLAN

VXLAN overlay tunnelling integration with L2XC and L2BD.

Execution of performance tests takes time, especially the throughput tests. Due to limited HW testbed resources available within FD.io labs hosted by LF, the number of tests for some NIC models has been limited to few baseline tests.

Performance Tests Naming

FD.io CSIT-2009 follows a common structured naming convention for all performance and system functional tests, introduced in CSIT-17.01.

The naming should be intuitive for majority of the tests. Complete description of FD.io CSIT test naming convention is provided on Test Naming.