Running DPDK Forwarding Applications With Pktgen-DPDK

Running DPDK Forwarding Applications With Pktgen-DPDK

This article is co-authored by Mishal Shah. As part of the evaluation stage of our bachelor thesis, we set up a testbed for running forwarding applications.

_This article is co-authored by [Mishal Shah_](https://mishal23.github.io/)

As part of the evaluation stage of our bachelor thesis, we set up a testbed for running forwarding applications in DPDK and with Pktgen-DPDK as the traffic generator. In this blog, we aim to cover

  • how to run Pktgen-DPDK using Lua scripts in some complex scenarios
  • how to run L2fwd, L3fwd (with exact match and longest prefix match) and L3fwd power DPDK applications.

We did not find a lot of resources for setting up these tests and with this blog, we aim to bridge the gap.

DPDK and Pktgen-DPDK

The Data Plane Development Kit is an open-source software project managed by the Linux Foundation. It provides a set of data plane libraries and network interface controller polling-mode drivers running in userspace. This way, the NIC is directly accessible by the DPDK application. The advantage of using DPDK is that you can utilize the link speed completely whereas, in the standard packet processing, the link goes underutilized. Thus, high performance can be achieved with DPDK.

Pktgen-DPDK is a software-based traffic generator powered by DPDK. Traffic generators are often used to simulate various situations and test the performance of the application.

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