Virtual Machine Device Queues
Boost network I/O to meet the demands of consolidated virtual workloads. Multiple Virtual Machines (VMs) introduce heavy traffic-management demands that servers must meet in order to ensure scalability and get the full value of virtualization.
Virtual Machine Device Queues (VMDq), a component of Intel® Virtualization Technology for Connectivity, optimizes the processing of VM data traffic to improve CPU utilization and bandwidth.
VMDq enhances virtualized traffic management
As the number of VMs on a server increases, so does the amount and complexity of traffic. VMDq manages the VMs' data traffic efficiently in order to reduce the I/O bottleneck in the system:
- Throughput: Provides an alternative to VMM-based packet sorting, to ease throughput limitations
- Scalability: Creates parallel data I/O paths in the network I/O silicon to avoid performance degradation as the number of VMs increases
- Capacity: Liberates CPU cycles otherwise consumed by packet sorting, making them available to applications
These advances promise to increase server-consolidation ratios, adding to the cost savings associated with virtualization solutions.
Solutions for virtualized I/O challenges
VMDq offloads the sorting burden from the VMM to the network controller, to accelerate network I/O throughput.
Together, these capabilities of VMDq improve the robustness of network connectivity to provide better traffic management capabilities to the VM data traffic:
- Hardware-based prioritization and queuing reduces the burden on the VMM by allocating individual VMs' data to respective hardware queues to improve overall efficiency.
- Additional data queues make the data path to the network interface parallel rather than the traditional serial, per-packet model, allowing VMs to more efficiently share network ports.
- Packet sorting by the network interface hardware for incoming data removes that burden from the VMM software, avoiding I/O processing bottlenecks.
- "Round-robin queue servicing by the network interface hardware improves transmit fairness and avoids head-of-line blocking among VMs, better enabling bandwidth efficiency and quality of service.
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