The vCloud NFV platform includes NSX-T Data Center as the virtualized networking component. NSX-T Data Center leverages key DPDK features, such as Poll Mode Driver, Flow Cache, and optimized packet copy, and provides better performance for both small and large packet sizes that are applicable to data plane intensive VNFs requirements. The NSX-T Data Center networking stack increases the CPU efficiency while preserving the existing functionality of the VMware NFV infrastructure. The accelerated switching and enhanced platform deliver advanced networking architecture that is transparent to VNFs, providers kernel-based security, deterministic resource allocation, and linear scalability.

vSphere introduces support for a high-performance networking mode that is called Enhanced data path mode, which works together with NSX-T Data Center. NSX-T Data Center N-VDS provides logical switching fabric that works in two modes: Standard NSX-managed Virtual Distributed Switch (N-VDS Standard) and Enhanced NSX-managed Virtual Distributed Switch (N-VDS Enhanced). CSPs may use the accelerated N-VDS (E) without losing any of the operational benefits of virtualization such as vMotion and DRS.

Both modes of the N-VDS switch use dedicated physical NICs and can exist on the same host to carry different traffic types.

Table 1. NSX-T Data Center Logical Switch Mode Options

Switch Mode


N-VDS Enhanced

  • Recommended for control and data plane intensive workloads

  • High transactional control plane VNFs.

  • Connectivity towards external networks can be overlay or VLAN backed.

N-VDS Standard

  • Suitable for control and management plane workloads.

  • VNFs that require the overlay and VLAN-backed connectivity.

  • VNFs that require stateful and stateless Edge services such as load balancer, firewall, and NAT

The section describes the design best practices using N-VDS to accelerate workloads, so that hosts and vCloud NFV platform components are configured to deliver optimal performance.