[dpdk-dev] vhost compliant virtio based networking interface in container

Tetsuya Mukawa mukawa at igel.co.jp
Tue Aug 25 04:58:41 CEST 2015

Hi Xie and Yanping,

May I ask you some questions?
It seems we are also developing an almost same one.

On 2015/08/20 19:14, Xie, Huawei wrote:
> Added dev at dpdk.org
> On 8/20/2015 6:04 PM, Xie, Huawei wrote:
>> Yanping:
>> I read your mail, seems what we did are quite similar. Here i wrote a
>> quick mail to describe our design. Let me know if it is the same thing.
>> Problem Statement:
>> We don't have a high performance networking interface in container for
>> NFV. Current veth pair based interface couldn't be easily accelerated.
>> The key components involved:
>>     1.    DPDK based virtio PMD driver in container.
>>     2.    device simulation framework in container.
>>     3.    dpdk(or kernel) vhost running in host.
>> How virtio is created?
>> A:  There is no "real" virtio-pci device in container environment.
>> 1). Host maintains pools of memories, and shares memory to container.
>> This could be accomplished through host share a huge page file to container.
>> 2). Containers creates virtio rings based on the shared memory.
>> 3). Container creates mbuf memory pools on the shared memory.
>> 4) Container send the memory and vring information to vhost through
>> vhost message. This could be done either through ioctl call or vhost
>> user message.
>> How vhost message is sent?
>> A: There are two alternative ways to do this.
>> 1) The customized virtio PMD is responsible for all the vring creation,
>> and vhost message sending.

Above is our approach so far.
It seems Yanping also takes this kind of approach.
We are using vhost-user functionality instead of using the vhost-net
kernel module.
Probably this is the difference between Yanping and us.

BTW, we are going to submit a vhost PMD for DPDK-2.2.
This PMD is implemented on librte_vhost.
It allows DPDK application to handle a vhost-user(cuse) backend as a
normal NIC port.
This PMD should work with both Xie and Yanping approach.
(In the case of Yanping approach, we may need vhost-cuse)

>> 2) We could do this through a lightweight device simulation framework.
>>     The device simulation creates simple PCI bus. On the PCI bus,
>> virtio-net PCI devices are created. The device simulations provides
>> IOAPI for MMIO/IO access.

Does it mean you implemented a kernel module?
If so, do you still need vhost-cuse functionality to handle vhost
messages n userspace?

>>    2.1  virtio PMD configures the pseudo virtio device as how it does in
>> KVM guest enviroment.
>>    2.2  Rather than using io instruction, virtio PMD uses IOAPI for IO
>> operation on the virtio-net PCI device.
>>    2.3  The device simulation is responsible for device state machine
>> simulation.
>>    2.4   The device simulation is responsbile for talking to vhost.
>>      With this approach, we could minimize the virtio PMD modifications.
>> The virtio PMD is like configuring a real virtio-net PCI device.
>> Memory mapping?
>> A: QEMU could access the whole guest memory in KVM enviroment. We need
>> to fill the gap.
>> container maps the shared memory to container's virtual address space
>> and host maps it to host's virtual address space. There is a fixed
>> offset mapping.
>> Container creates shared vring based on the memory. Container also
>> creates mbuf memory pool based on the shared memroy.
>> In VHOST_SET_MEMORY_TABLE message, we send the memory mapping
>> information for the shared memory. As we require mbuf pool created on
>> the shared memory, and buffers are allcoated from the mbuf pools, dpdk
>> vhost could translate the GPA in vring desc to host virtual.
>> GPA or CVA in vring desc?
>> To ease the memory translation, rather than using GPA, here we use
>> CVA(container virtual address). This the tricky thing here.
>> 1) virtio PMD writes vring's VFN rather than PFN to PFN register through
>> 2) device simulation framework will use VFN as PFN.
>> 3) device simulation sends SET_VRING_ADDR with CVA.
>> 4) virtio PMD fills vring desc with CVA of the mbuf data pointer rather
>> than GPA.
>> So when host sees the CVA, it could translates it to HVA(host virtual
>> address).
>> Worth to note:
>> The virtio interface in container follows the vhost message format, and
>> is compliant with dpdk vhost implmentation, i.e, no dpdk vhost
>> modification is needed.
>> vHost isn't aware whether the incoming virtio comes from KVM guest or
>> container.
>> The pretty much covers the high level design. There are quite some low
>> level issues. For example, 32bit PFN is enough for KVM guest, since we
>> use 64bit VFN(virtual page frame number),  trick is done here through a
>> special IOAPI.

In addition above, we might consider "namespace" kernel functionality.
Technically, it would not be a big problem, but related with security.
So it would be nice to take account.


>> /huawei

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