The Tuning vCloud NFV for Data Plane Intensive Workloads white paper provides best practices and recommendations for designing and configuring the vCloud NFV platform for data plane intensive workloads. The document focuses on using the N-VDS logical switch in Enhanced datapath mode. N-VDS Enhanced is a new feature of NSX-T Data Center, which is the networking stack of the vCloud NFV platform starting from version 3.0. N-VDS Enhanced provides the NFV infrastructure operator the benefits of virtualization and maintains very high data plane performance. For this reason, topics such as Single Root Input/Output Virtualization (SR-IOV) and other virtual switch bypassing technologies are not discussed.

The document focuses on the lowest layers in the NFV infrastructure, the physical server and its components, the ESXi hypervisor, the use of N-VDS Enhanced, and the configuration of the relevant Virtual Network Function Components (VNF-Cs).

The use of the Management and Orchestrations (MANO) components to onboard, configure and deploy Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), and the use of the Virtualized Infrastructure Management (VIM) are out of scope for this white paper.

Because this document builds on the information shared in the previous white paper, Tuning vCloud NFV for Data Plane Intensive Workloads, we recommend familiarizing yourself with that paper first.

Intended Audience

This document provides information about the data plane capabilities that are available in vCloud NFV starting from version 3.0. The paper is intended for two target groups:

  • Communication Service Providers (CSPs). The document explains the design and considerations for building a vCloud NFV platform to support data plane intensive workloads.

  • VNF vendors. This document assists the VNF vendors in understanding the configuration parameters that a VNF can use to leverage the capabilities of N-VDS Enhanced for workload acceleration.