Author Archives: justindpettit

OVN, Bringing Native Virtual Networking to OVS

By Justin Pettit, Ben Pfaff, Chris Wright, and Madhu Venugopal

Today we are excited to announce Open Virtual Network (OVN), a new project that brings virtual networking to the OVS user community. OVN complements the existing capabilities of OVS to add native support for virtual network abstractions, such as virtual L2 and L3 overlays and security groups. Just like OVS, our design goal is to have a production quality implementation that can operate at significant scale.

Why are we doing this? The primary goal in developing Open vSwitch has always been to provide a production-ready low-level networking component for hypervisors that could support a diverse range of network environments.  As one example of the success of this approach, Open vSwitch is the most popular choice of virtual switch in OpenStack deployments. To make OVS more effective in these environments, we believe the logical next step is to augment the low-level switching capabilities with a lightweight control plane that provides native support for common virtual networking abstractions.

To achieve these goals, OVN’s design is narrowly focused on providing L2/L3 virtual networking. This distinguishes OVN from general-purpose SDN controllers or platforms.

OVN is a new project from the Open vSwitch team to Continue reading

Accelerating Open vSwitch to “Ludicrous Speed”

[This post was written by OVS core contributors Justin Pettit, Ben Pfaff, and Ethan Jackson.]

The overhead associated with vSwitches has been a hotly debated topic in the networking community. In this blog post, we show how recent changes to OVS have elevated its performance to be on par with the native Linux bridge. Furthermore, CPU utilization of OVS in realistic scenarios can be up to 8x below that of the Linux bridge.  This is the first of a two-part series.  In the next post, we take a peek at the design and performance of the forthcoming port to DPDK, which bypasses the kernel entirely to gain impressive performance.

Open vSwitch is the most popular network back-end for OpenStack deployments and widely accepted as the de facto standard OpenFlow implementation.  Open vSwitch development initially had a narrow focus — supporting novel features necessary for advanced applications such as network virtualization.  However, as we gained experience with production deployments, it became clear these initial goals were not sufficient.  For Open vSwitch to be successful, it not only must be highly programmable and general, it must also be blazingly fast.  For the past several years, our development efforts have focused on Continue reading