Virtual Network Services Show Strong Multicloud Performance

Network Edge NFV services deliver high throughput, with single-digit latency and near zero packet loss across multicloud use cases

Mukund Nair

It’s a multicloud world and today’s enterprises need to directly and securely exchange increasing volumes of application workloads and data between multiple networks and clouds. As a result, they need to build and interconnect digital infrastructure on a trusted global platform that provides the neutrality and freedom to choose the networks and clouds that best meet their workload requirements and user performance expectations. To deliver a high-quality user experience, they must provide proximate, high-speed, low-latency interconnection between networks and clouds and users and applications at the edge.

Creating a flexible, performant and scalable digital infrastructure that can support active multicloud architectures requires virtual network services and software-defined interconnection to seamlessly bring everything together. However, performance across a hybrid multicloud environment is not always possible to achieve.

To demonstrate how virtual networking can deliver the performance users expect from their multicloud architectures, Principled Technologies benchmarked the TCP and user datagram protocol (UDP) workload performance across multiple NFV services and cloud platforms via Network Edge and Equinix Fabric™. Network Edge from Equinix helps IT organizations efficiently and cost-effectively deploy and scale network functions virtualization (NFV) devices at new locations in minutes, without any additional hardware. And with Equinix Fabric, organizations can integrate virtual networks, clouds and IT services close to users at the edge using high-performance, low-latency software-defined interconnection.

Network Edge Aces Multicloud and Multi-Vendor Testing, Shows Secure, Strong Performance

Find out how software-defined virtual network services fared in multicloud and multi-vendor testing that covered routing large numbers of UDP packets per second while also delivering high bandwidth with TCP packets.

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Testing TCP and UDP performance across multiple cloud vendors

Using Network Edge and Equinix Fabric, Principled Technologies set up virtual machines on two different cloud platforms — Amazon Web Services (AWS) via AWS DirectConnect and Microsoft Azure via Azure ExpressRoute dedicated connections. The test deployment leveraged Network Edge to privately integrate virtual network services across both cloud platforms to test numerous use cases, using the following virtual devices as examples:

  • Cisco CSR 1000v virtual router with the AX software package
  • Versa FlexVNF SD-WAN
  • Fortinet FortiGate VM Series firewall

Principled Technologies tested both UDP and TCP traffic bi-directionally using a common UDP codec packet size and two typical TCP payload sizes in all of the various test deployments. Setting up instances in both AWS and Microsoft Azure, they used Network Edge to privately deploy the three virtual network services (cloud router, SD-WAN and firewall) between them. Network Edge supports device linking, which allows for two or more network appliances from different NFV providers to be connected within a single metro or across multiple metro locations. The Principled Technology testers logged into the Equinix Fabric portal, and with just a few clicks, they deployed the three Network Edge devices and ordered the high-speed private connections to the public clouds housing the target VMs in minutes.

Because organizations have different security protocols in place, they completed the tests using two methods:

1) Without IP security (IPBase)

2) With IPSEC, a secure network protocol that utilizes virtual private network (VPN) encryption to keep data secure. Because encryption occurs through a VPN while transmitting the codecs, IPSEC test results reflect the overhead that encryption places on systems.

The diagram below is of the Network Edge and Equinix Fabric IPsec AWS test configuration:

Multicloud and multivendor testing covered routing large numbers of UDP packets per second, while also delivering high bandwidth with TCP packets.

Strong UDP and TCP throughput with single-digit latency and negligible packet loss

Principled Technologies’ real-world testing proved that Network Edge can support up to 2,591 VoIP sessions in UDP tests, routing up to 129K packets per second (PPS) with sub-0.005% packet loss. TCP tests also showed strong throughput, delivering up to 1,144.1 megabits per second (Mbps) with single-digit latency.

The test benchmarked high-speeds for both TCP and UDP data traffic going through Network Edge and Equinix Fabric to different cloud platforms. This confirms that latency-sensitive applications being routed via TCP packets and voice-based applications being routed via UDP can achieve high performance.

These results also demonstrate that Network Edge provides virtual networking services in several use cases for organizations looking to offload different network services and simplify their multicloud infrastructure. In addition, NFV capabilities such as SD-WAN, cloud-to-cloud routing, firewalls and virtual private networks (VPNs) are critical to scaling network backbones and digital infrastructure. For example, during COVID-19, enterprises that had NFV services in place could quickly scale SD-WAN, firewall, VPN and cloud routing services to meet the sudden remote access demands of an escalating distributed at-home workforce.

Speed application workloads and data traffic between clouds via NFV services

According to Principled Technologies’ test results, “Network Edge virtual network services performed well in multiple use cases, routing large numbers of UDP packets per second and delivering high bandwidth with TCP packets.” The report also said that Network Edge demonstrated strong networking performance when interconnecting clouds from multiple vendors, using different providers’ virtual network services.

The Principled Technologies performance benchmark of Network Edge and Equinix Fabric:

  • Demonstrates how network virtualization speeds application workload performance when exchanging data traffic between multiple vendors’ networks and clouds.
  • Illustrates how Network Edge services accelerate time-to-deployment (in minutes) as organizations add or acquire cloud instances using “point and click” tools.
  • Shows how easy it is to leverage multiple NFV services from multiple network providers and privately unite infrastructure across multiple cloud vendors, while eliminating the complexity and cost of traditional hardware-based networking.

In addition, these tests demonstrate how Platform Equinix® provides the neutrality enterprises need to access best-in-class network and cloud providers and run workloads on the cloud platform best suited for the job. It also illustrates how businesses can directly and securely connect to multiple cloud platforms with single-digit latency. Platform Equinix gives businesses the surety they need to quickly build and interconnect high-performance virtual networks and multicloud architectures on a foundational digital infrastructure to increase their business advantage.

Learn more about Principled Technologies’ network virtualization test results across multiple clouds using Network Edge and Equinix Fabric by downloading the detailed report.

You can also try Network Edge for free.

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