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K. Yasukata, F. Huici, V. Maffione, G. Lettieri and M. Honda: "HyperNF: Building a High Performance, High Utilization and Fair NFV Platform", ACM Symposium on Cloud Computing (SoCC) , September 2017

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Network Function Virtualization has been touted as the silver bullet
for tackling a number of operator problems, including vendor lock-in, fast deployment of new functionality, converged management,
and lower expenditure since packet processing runs on inexpensive
commodity servers. The reality, however, is that, in practice, it has
proved hard to achieve the stable, predictable performance provided by hardware middleboxes, and so operators have essentially
resorted to throwing money at the problem, deploying highly underutilized servers (e.g., one NF per CPU core) in order to guarantee
high performance during peak periods and meet SLAs.
In this work we introduce HyperNF, a high performance NFV
framework aimed at maximizing server performance when concurrently running large numbers of NFs. To achieve this, HyperNF
implements hypercall-based virtual I/O, placing packet forwarding
logic inside the hypervisor to significantly reduce I/O synchronization overheads. HyperNF improves throughput by 10%-73%
depending on the NF, is able to closely match resource allocation
specifications (with deviations of only 3.5%), and to efficiently cope
with changing traffic loads.