& cplSiteName &

Telefónica Proves Brocade Router Performs for NFV

Carol Wilson
8/19/2014
50%
50%

Tests run by Telefónica in its labs show Brocade's software-based router can achieve 80Gbit/s throughput, matching the performance levels required for carrier applications and setting a benchmark that supports NFV deployment. (See Telefónica, Brocade Team Up on NFV Benchmarks.)

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) provided Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) with a thumb drive containing the latest iteration of its Vyatta 5600 vRouter, and the carrier deployed that on a commercial off-the-shelf Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)-based x86 server within a Red Hat KVM environment. Deployed as a single virtual machine, the Vyatta 5600 was able to support all of the server's available ports at line rate.

"In less than two hours, we deployed the Brocade Vyatta 5600 vRouter from a memory stick and completed our performance tests in our NFV Reference Lab," notes Francisco-Javier Ramon, head of Telefónica's NFV Reference Lab, in the press release. "These results are allowing us, as network operators, to aggressively change our perspective regarding what is possible with software-driven networking in order to accelerate the adoption and deployment of these revolutionary technologies."

By hitting the 80Gbit/s mark, Brocade actually exceeded its own original goal, which was to prove that a software router can support the 10Gbit/s performance that is mainstream in carrier environments, says Andrew Coward, VP of service provider strategy at Brocade.


Dig deeper into how telecom service providers are evolving their data center strategies at our NFV & the Data Center event.


"The performance of software networking products has been pretty abysmal," Coward concedes. "It's been less than one gig -- sometimes more like a couple hundred megs. For carrier-type applications, it became really important to have a much better performance, otherwise there is a significant disconnect between the 10-gig interfaces on most routers today and the software networking type product."

By over-delivering on this promise, Brocade believes it has created a software router that makes the price-performance curve look far more attractive for NFV, and enables a server to not only fill the 10Gbit/s pipes widely in use today, but also have processing power left over for applications and other network functions, Coward notes.

Intel's Xeon processor-based servers and its Data Plane Development Kit were key to the performance improvements, and Brocade rewrote its architecture around those improvements with drivers that make the most of the Intel process, Coward says. The company provided the new software router to a number of its service provider customers for testing.

Telefónica was clearly pleased enough with the test results to announce them publicly -- an unusual move these days for many telecom service providers.

Coward says the Brocade Vyatta 5600 vRouter is in about 40 proofs-of-concept currently, but the next big step will be determining functions or applications that can go beyond the single-use test and be more repeatable.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
schlettie
50%
50%
schlettie,
User Rank: Lightning
8/20/2014 | 10:51:04 PM
Table sizes
How large a FIB (# of route entries) did they test?  How many ACL entries?  Testing with small tables that fit in L1/L2 cache is not realistic for production deployment.
dwx
50%
50%
dwx,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/20/2014 | 10:20:31 PM
Re: Which Functions?
My understanding from what I've read is this was just pure packet switching.  
cnwedit
50%
50%
cnwedit,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/20/2014 | 1:54:36 PM
Re: Which Functions?
It's my understanding they have virtualized other functions, but those weren't part of this test. One of the things Brocade told me they hope to do is get a set of functions that can be virtualized and used at multiple telecom carriers. Today, they are in 40 proofs of concept but they tend to be company specific. 
Atlantis-dude
50%
50%
Atlantis-dude,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/20/2014 | 1:49:02 PM
Which Functions?
Is this just pkt switching? Any other functions that were virtualized?
dwx
50%
50%
dwx,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/20/2014 | 12:11:16 PM
Re: Baked-in hardware dependency - interim fix or NFV trend?
It is all software, but obviously takes advantage of modern Intel NICs.   There is a wealth of information available on Intel's DPDK which is really really key to achieving those kind of throughput numbers.   I have no affiliation with either company but here is a joint whitepaper from Wind River and Intel describing the changes made to achieve the higher throughput:  

http://embedded.communities.intel.com/servlet/JiveServlet/previewBody/7070-102-1-2281/7785_PerformanceDesignOptions_WP_1111.pdf

They make the handling of packets on the server look much like the handling of packets on an old school software router, but of course processor speeds are much higher now.  

I'd be interested to see details regarding the 80Gbps number and packet sizes used.  Most of the high throughput numbers are based on large frames >1500 bytes since it's the PPS which kills the throughput.   Also high touch things like ACLs, NAT, or other packet mangling usually drastically reduces throughput versus a router with dedicated hardware to perform those tasks.  
slioch
50%
50%
slioch,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/20/2014 | 11:42:32 AM
Re: Baked-in hardware dependency - interim fix or NFV trend?
It's all software
Yulot
100%
0%
Yulot,
User Rank: Moderator
8/20/2014 | 9:51:16 AM
Re: Baked-in hardware dependency - interim fix or NFV trend?
Hi Johnwilmes. Is it a mix of SW and network processor HW?? That sounds more right to reach this type of throughput, because SW only architecture usually drops packet all over above a Gig.
johnwilmes_STG
0%
100%
johnwilmes_STG,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/19/2014 | 8:04:56 PM
Baked-in hardware dependency - interim fix or NFV trend?
"Intel's Xeon processor-based servers and its Data Plane Development Kit were key to the performance improvements, and Brocade rewrote its architecture around those improvements with drivers that make the most of the Intel process ..."

 
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 16, 2017, ExCel Centre, London
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Muni Policies Stymie Edge Computing
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/17/2017
Is US Lurching Back to Monopoly Status?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
Pai's FCC Raises Alarms at Competitive Carriers
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/16/2017
'Brutal' Automation & the Looming Workforce Cull
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/18/2017
Worried About Bandwidth for 4K? Here Comes 8K!
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 10/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed