Accelerated Virtual Switching With Programmable NICs for Scalable Data Center Networking
Recently virtual switches in data center hosts have been employed to interconnect Virtual Machines (VMs) within data center networks. Such a virtual network layer, however, faces performance challenges when the number of VMs and the line rates scale up. Motivated by the performance and programmability of intelligent Network Interface Cards (NICs), the authors propose to offload the virtual switching onto such Programmable NICs (PNICs) to achieve scalable VM networking. They describe the design and advantages of a novel PNIC-oriented data center network architecture. They then present a prototype of a PNIC based virtual switch that supports virtual NICs, OpenFlow switching, clock synchronization and flow monitoring.