January 01, 2018

FlowMon-DPDK: Parsimonious per-flow software monitoring at line rate

  • Dario Rossi
  • Gallo M.
  • Leonardo Linguaglossa
  • Paolo Giaccone
  • Tianzhu Zhang

Testing experimental network devices requires deep performance analysis, which is usually performed with expensive, not flexible, hardware equipment. With the advent of high-speed packet I/O frameworks, general purpose equipment have narrowed the performance gap in respect of dedicated hardware and a variety of software-based solutions have emerged for handling traffic at very high speed. While the literature abounds with software traffic generators, existing monitoring solutions do not target worst-case scenarios (i.e., 64B packets at line rate) that are particularly relevant for stress-testing high-speed network functions, or occupy too many resources. In this paper we first analyze the design space for high-speed traffic monitoring that leads us to specific choices characterizing FlowMon-DPDK, a DPDK-based software traffic monitor that we make available as open source software. In a nutshell, FlowMon-DPDK provides tunable fine-grained statistics at both packet and flow levels. Experimental results demonstrate that our traffic monitor is able to provide per-flow statistics with 5-nines precision at high-speed (14.88 Mpps) using a exiguous amount of resources. Finally, we showcase FlowMon-DPDK usage by testing two open source prototypes for stateful flow-level end-host and in-network packet processing.

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