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Conference Papers Year : 2024

Understanding Delays in AF_XDP-based Applications


Packet processing on Linux can be slow due to its complex network stack. To solve this problem, there are two main solutions: eXpress Data Path (XDP) and Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK). XDP and the AF XDP socket offer full interoperability with the legacy system and is being adopted by major internet players like Open vSwitch or Facebook. While the performance evaluation of AF XDP against the legacy protocol stack in the kernel or against DPDK has been studied in the literature, the impact of the multiple socket parameters and the system configuration on its latency has been left aside. To address this, we conduct an experimental study to understand the XDP/AF XDP ecosystem and detect microseconds delays to better architect future latency-sensitive applications. Since the performance of AF XDP depends on multiple parameters found in different layers, finding the configuration minimizing its latency is a challenging task. We rely on a classification algorithm to group the performance results, allowing us to easily identify parameters with the biggest impact on performance at different loads. Last, but not least, we show that some configurations can significantly decrease the benefits of AF XDP, leading to undesirable behaviors, while other configurations are able to reduce such round trip delays to an impressive value of 6.5 µs in the best case, including the tracing overhead. In summary, AF XDP is a promising solution, and careful selection of both application and socket parameters can significantly improve performance.
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Dates and versions

hal-04458274 , version 1 (15-02-2024)
hal-04458274 , version 2 (16-02-2024)



Killian Castillon du Perron, Dino Lopez Pacheco, Fabrice Huet. Understanding Delays in AF_XDP-based Applications. 2024 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC): Next-Generation Networking and Internet Symposium (IEEE ICC'24 - NGNI Symposium), IEEE, Jun 2024, Denver, United States. ⟨hal-04458274v1⟩
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