Light Reading

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: Light Beer
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.  
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
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 ..."

 
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat Demo

7|2|15   |   10:53   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Nicolas Lemieux demonstrates how Red Hat is driving innovation through open source communities.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat's Approach to OpenStack Adoption

7|2|15   |   5:17   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Radhesh Balakrishnan outlines his company's open source strategy for both enterprises and telcos.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Goes Mobile With vEPC

7|2|15   |   1:12   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown discusses results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade that shows a clear commitment by mobile operators to move quickly to virtual EPC deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Business Sense of SDN

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Results of a Brocade-sponsored survey show that CSPs have a clear sense of SDN use cases but are wrestling with the business case. Sterling Perrin of Heavy Reading looks behind the numbers.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think

7|2|15   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Forget the usual ten-year cycle for new technologies – NFV will be a core part of CSP networks in five years, based on results of a Brocade-sponsored survey, says Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Gains Traction With CSPs

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro of Heavy Reading analyzes results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade showing that CSPs are getting serious about making the transition to the New IP era.
LRTV Custom TV
It's (Real) Time for Analytics

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges looks at how CSPs say they plan to use analytics to deploy new services in real time as part of The New IP, based on results of a survey sponsored by Brocade.
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (8) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (1) comment


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
What's a Gigabit Good For?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/1/2015
Colt to Jettison Ailing IT Business
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/30/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones