Data Plane Optimization in Open Virtual Routers

  • Muhammad Siraj Rathore
  • Markus Hidell
  • Peter Sjödin
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6640)


A major challenge in network virtualization is to virtualize the components constituting the network, in particular the routers. In the work presented here, we focus on how to use open source Linux software in combination with commodity hardware to build open virtual routers. A general approach in open router virtualization is to run multiple virtual instances in parallel on the same PC hardware. This means that virtual components are combined in the router’s data plane, which can result in performance penalty. In this paper, we investigate the impact of the design of virtual network devices on router performance in Linux namespace environment. We identify performance bottlenecks along the packet data path. We suggest design changes to improve performance. In particular, we investigate modifications of the “macvlan” device, and analyze the performance improvements in terms of packet forwarding. We also investigate how the number of virtual routers and virtual devices within a physical machine influence performance.


network virtualization virtual router SoftIRQ NAPI Softnet API 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Siraj Rathore
    • 1
  • Markus Hidell
    • 1
  • Peter Sjödin
    • 1
  1. 1.Telecommunication Systems (TS) Lab, School of ICTKTH-Royal Institute of TechnologyKistaSweden

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