A Fast, Virtualized Data Plane for the NetFPGA

TitleA Fast, Virtualized Data Plane for the NetFPGA
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsAnwer MB, Feamster N
JournalNetFPGA Developers Workshop, Stanford, California
Pagination90 - 94
Date Published2009///

Network virtualization allows many networks to share thesame underlying physical topology; this technology has of-
fered promise both for experimentation and for hosting mul-
tiple networks on a single shared physical infrastructure.
Much attention has focused on virtualizing the network con-
trol plane, but, ultimately, a limiting factor in the deployment
of these virtual networks is data-plane performance: Virtual
networks must ultimately forward packets at rates that are
comparable to native, hardware-based approaches. Aside
from proprietary solutions from vendors, hardware support
for virtualized data planes is limited. The advent of open,
programmable network hardware promises flexibility, speed,
and resource isolation, but, unfortunately, hardware does not
naturally lend itself to virtualization. We leverage emerg-
ing trends in programmable hardware to design a flexible,
hardware-based data plane for virtual networks. We present
the design, implementation, and preliminary evaluation of
this hardware-based data plane and show how the proposed
design can support many virtual networks without compro-
mising performance or isolation.