The underlying physical network infrastructure must support high network throughput and low network latencies on the data path of the data plane intensive CNFs.

Consider the following best practices when you set up a high performing physical network infrastructure:

  • Choice of NIC: Before selecting a NIC type, you must have a thorough knowledge of the capabilities and performance of that NIC. NIC throughput, host PCIe speeds, and CPU offload impact the performance of the data plane intensive CNFs. For information about NICs that support the SR-IOV mode, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.


    SR-IOV bypasses the ESXi hypervisor. Hence, you must ensure that the chosen NICs are supported by the 5G data plane CNF vendor.

  • Server Homogeneity: The server model and configurations used for data plane CNFs must be identical. For example, the same NIC and NIC firmware must be used in all hosts used for data plane CNF.

  • NUMA Node Design: If multi-socket servers are used for data plane intensive CNFs, design all the Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) nodes identically. For example, if the data plane in a single NUMA uses two NICs, other NUMA nodes must also use two NICs for the data plane applications. This guideline applies to other components that have NUMA locality such as memory and CPU. It does not apply when using single-socket servers.

  • Data Plane Traffic Path: The speed of any network is determined by its slowest link. To drive the maximum performance out of VMware Telco Cloud Platform that runs the data plane intensive CNFs, the NICs, Top-of-Rack (ToR) switches, and End-of-Row (EoR) devices must support high data plane performance. Ensure that you reserve the NIC ports and ToR switch ports for the data plane traffic and isolate them from the control and management plane traffic.