Mobility

Performance Evaluation of VMXNET3 Virtual Network Device

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Executive Summary

A virtual network bundles hardware and software network resources and functionality into a combined software-based administrative identity. Network performance is more relevant today as an increasing number of mission-critical network based workloads are being virtualized and consolidated. With the network administrators having access to an increasing number of devices in the market, it is important to understand and evaluate the performance of the devices. VMware is leading virtualization software and the makers of VMXNET 3. This paper discusses the advantages and benefits of VMXNET 3 over the previous generation network device to help users decide on migrating to this next-generation device. The performance test discussed in this paper focuses on TCP metrics of throughput, latency, and CPU usage. The experimental set-up consisted of two physical hosts, with the client machine running RHEL 5.1 and the server running vSphere 4; connected using crossover cables. A series of tests including a 10G test, 1G test, and latency were conducted for both Windows Server 2008 and Red Hat, with an extra IPv6 test for Windows Server 2008. The results were compared to prove that the VMXNET3 offers performance superior or at par with the previous generation devices. The rest recommends that users switch to the new device for better performance and to be future ready to meet the demands for increase in network bandwidth.

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