Accelerating the Performance of Software Tunneling Using a Receive Offload-Aware Novel L4 Protocol


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E98-B   No.11   pp.2180-2189
Publication Date: 2015/11/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E98.B.2180
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Network Systems for Virtualized Environment)
Software-Defined Networking,  network virtualization,  Network Function Virtualization,  datacenter networks,  

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An L2-in-L3 tunneling technology plays an important role in network virtualization based on the concept of Software-Defined Networking (SDN). VXLAN (Virtual eXtensible LAN) and NVGRE (Network Virtualization using Generic Routing Encapsulation) protocols are being widely used in public cloud datacenters. These protocols resolve traditional VLAN problems such as a limitation of the number of virtual networks, however, their network performances are low without dedicated hardware acceleration. Although STT (Stateless Transport Tunneling) achieves far better performance, it has pragmatic problems in that STT packets can be dropped by network middleboxes like stateful firewalls because of modified TCP header semantics. In this paper, we propose yet another layer 4 protocol (Segment-oriented Connection-less Protocol, SCLP) for existing tunneling protocols. Our previous study revealed that the high-performance of STT mainly comes from 2-level software packet pre-reassembly before decapsulation. The SCLP header is designed to take advantage of such processing without modifying existing protocol semantics. We implement a VXLAN over SCLP tunneling and evaluate its performance by comparing with the original VXLAN (over UDP), NVGRE, Geneve, and STT. The results show that the throughput of the proposed method was comparable to STT and almost 70% higher than that of other protocols.