Network functions virtualization (NFV) is primarily focused on network service optimization, and as its adoption rate continues to grow, service providers are looking to NFV to enhance business performance. Oftentimes, performance is sacrificed for budgetary reasons, leaving organizations with the difficult decision to save money over heightening performance.
In its “NFV Performance Benchmarking for vCPE” test, Brocade, Integra, Intel, Overture, and Spirent teamed up to provide some performance metrics around fully virtualized NFV offerings. Specifically, the benchmark test looks at the service provider network edge alongside virtual customer premises equipment (vCPE) in the first set of rigorous benchmark testing on NFV for this area.
Each organization brought necessary resources to the table: Overture supplied its Ensemble Carrier Ethernet virtual network function (VNF) and Ensemble Service Orchestrator; Brocade offered its Vyatta 5600 vRouter VNF; Spirent provided the test equipment; and Integra validated the findings.
Significant results of the benchmark test include the following:
- With one routing VNF, the system delivered wire-speed performance for frame of 256 bytes and larger, including perfect performance with IMIX traffic. The line-rate performance for this router is important for users with large amounts of VoIP traffic.
- For most frame sizes, maximum latency is in the hundreds of microseconds, but application performance typically is receptive only to latencies in the dozens of milliseconds. Considering this, even at only 1.5 milliseconds with IMIX traffic, the highest latency is below the level where it would impact standard enterprise application traffic.
- In many test cases, a COTS platform using Overture’s ECE switching VNF and Brocade’s routing VNFs offered perfect wire-speed throughput with zero packet loss.
- All test cases show maximum latency was below the limit that would create an impact on normal enterprise application performance.
What the above findings show us is that it is now feasible to deliver both a low cost and high performance solution at the edge of service provider networks. No longer does performance have to take a backseat to economic concerns. Network architects can now manage their organizations under the assumption that multiple VNFs can be deployed at the network edge with little to no adjustment in performance.
To learn more about these results and others, download “NFV Performance Benchmarking for vCPE” now.