Optimization of Packet Throughput in Docker Containers
Abstract: Container technology has gained popularity in recent years, mainly because it enables a fast and easy way to package, distribute and deploy applications and services. Latency and throughput have a high impact on user satisfaction in many real-time, critical and large-scale online services. Although the use of microservices architecture in cloud-native applications has enabled advantages in terms of application resilience, scalability, fast software delivery and the use of minimal resources, the packet processing rates are not correspondingly higher. This is mainly due to the overhead imposed by the design and architecture of the network stack. Packet processing rates can be improved by making changes to the network stack and without necessarily adding more powerful hardware. In this research, a study of various high-speed packet processing frameworks is presented and a software high-speed packet I/O solution i.e., as hardware agnostic as possible to improve the packet throughput in container technology is identified. The proposed solution is identified based on if the solution involves making changes to the underlying hardware or not. The proposed solution is then evaluated in terms of packet throughput for different container networking modes. A comparison of the proposed solution with a simple UDP client-server application is also presented for different container networking modes. From the results obtained, it is concluded that packet mmap client-server application has higher performance when compared with simple UDP client-server application.
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