ULg Research Unit in Networking RUN

Fast Userspace Packet Processing

T. Barbette1 , C. Soldani1 and L. Mathy1

1 Research unit in Networking, EECS department, University of Liège, Belgium



In recent years, we have witnessed the emergence of high speed packet I/O frameworks, bringing unprecedented network performance to userspace. Using the Click modular router, we first review and quantitatively compare several such packet I/O frameworks, showing their superiority to kernel-based forwarding. We then reconsider the issue of software packet processing, in the context of modern commodity hardware with hardware multi-queues, multi-core processors and non-uniform memory access. Through a combination of existing techniques and improvements of our own, we derive modern general principles for the design of software packet processors. Our implementation of a fast packet processor framework, integrating a faster Click with both Netmap and DPDK, exhibits up-to about 2.3x speed-up compared to other software implementations, when used as an IP router.

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