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Is there any performance benefit in using Open vSwitch over a plain bridge?

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In some scenarios when you have to transfer data from one VM to another, Open vSwitch forwards packages in-kernel instead of creating copies of the package that transverse interfaces.

Open vSwitch works with the concept of datapaths. It's basically a rule-based system that creates paths to forward packages, and the tables of those paths are stored in memory to achieve best performance. When a specific packet uses this datapath, it will be processed by the kernel avoiding the overheads of going to a Physical NIC and return to the virtual host. Generally, will be slower if the virtual Switch have to deliver something that is not inside the host.

Of corse, network performance depends also on having a decent NIC that has RSS(Receive Side Scaling) enabled and is configured to work with DMA and DCA concepts.

This study shows that in most of the situations involving virtual machines and heavy traffic, using a virtual switch can make your environment have more performance than relying on plain bridges.

Further Reading:

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