Shihabur Chowdhury, PhD candidate
David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science
Network Function Virtualization (NFV) promises to reduce the capital and operational expenditure for network operators by moving packet processing from purpose-built hardware to software running on commodity servers. However, the state-of-the-art in NFV is merely replacing monolithic hardware with monolithic Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), i.e., software that realizes different network functions. This is a good first step towards deploying NFV, however, common functionality is repeatedly implemented in monolithic VNFs. Repeated execution of such redundant functionality is particularly common when VNFs are chained to realize Service Function Chains (SFCs) and results in wasted infrastructure resources. This stresses the need for re-architecting the NFV ecosystem, through modular VNF design and flexible service composition.
From this perspective, we propose MicroNF (µNF in short), a disaggregated packet processing architecture facilitating the deployment of VNFs and SFCs using reusable and independently deployable components. Experimental results show that compared to monolithic VNF based SFCs, µNF-based ones achieve the same throughput by using less CPU cycles per packet on average.
Bio: Shihabur Chowdhury is a PhD candidate at the Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo. His research interests are in the areas of Software-defined Networking, Network Virtualization and Network Function Virtualization.
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