From netmap to virtualization through openvswitch

This proposal has been accepted as a session.


One Line Summary

Overview of netmap and derived tools and discussion on how they can help improving network virtualization.


In this talk we would like to report our experience with netmap and derived tools, and discuss how they can be adapted to fit in the Linux architecture and help in network virtualization (joint work with Giuseppe Lettieri, Vincenzo Maffione, and Michio Honda).

netmap was designed in 2011 as a simple OS-bypass solution for fast network I/O. It brought impressive performance improvements to basic packet processing applications. Since then, we have explored extensions to the framework, trying to apply its performance
enhancement techniques to virtual switching and virtualization, and making it useful for more general applications within the OS.

Our netmap-based in-kernel software switch, called VALE, can connect multiple interfaces to the host stack and/or virtual machines at tens of millions of packets per second. A VALE switch can now act as the datapath for OpenvSwitch, with significant speedups over the original datapath.

Using VALE as an interconnect between virtual machines helped us improve the network speed of qemu, reaching a throughput of millions of packets per second even with conventional NIC emulation. Matching bare-metal speeds, we have made virtual machines a useful environment
for performance testing of the OS.



  • Luigi Rizzo

    Universita` di Pisa


    Luigi Rizzo is an Associate Professor of Computer Engineering at the Universita` di Pisa, Italy. His research focuses on computer networks and operating systems. In particular, he has done some highly cited work on multicast congestion control, FEC-based reliable multicast, network emulation, and more recently on packet scheduling, fast network I/O, virtualization.
    Much of his work has been implemented and deployed in popular operating systems and applications, and widely used by the research community. His contributions include the popular dummynet network emulator (a standard component of FreeBSD and OSX, and now also available for linux and Windows); one of the first publicly available erasure code for reliable multicast; the qfq packet scheduler; and the netmap framework for fast packet I/O.
    Luigi has been a visiting researcher at several industrial and research institutions, including ICSI (UC Berkeley), Intel Research Cambridge (UK), Intel Research Berkeley, Google Mountain View. Luigi has been General Chair for SIGCOMM 2006, TPC Co-Chair for SIGCOMM 2009, and TPC member/reviewer for many networking conferences and journals.


Leave a private comment to organizers about this proposal