Application of Virtualization Technology in Communication Infrastructure

introduction

As Intel and other manufacturers moved to multi-core processors, communications equipment manufacturers also changed their programming ideas in order to effectively use these additional cores. In general, communication devices tend to utilize highly specialized software that has been optimized and verified to execute in accordance with sequential logic. But such software is difficult to port to multi-core platforms. With Intel VT, device manufacturers can execute multi-threaded applications on multi-core processors without re-modifying existing software, making migration easier.

Intel virtualization technology has the following advantages:

(1) Provide the necessary ring structure for the separation of the separation core and non-separation core services;

(2) The VMM design is simplified, and the separation kernel code is very small, which makes it possible to build a separation kernel that is mathematically verifiable;

(3) Virtualization allows the OS without modification, simplifying the migration of single-threaded existing software to multi-core processors. This gives the end customer an option to run multiple non-SMP OS routines simultaneously.

(4) Intel VT-d allows direct access to assigned devices. The separation of network interfaces is the main component of system security. Intel's virtualization technology allows physical I / O devices to be effectively shared among VMs without the need to access a "service" partition of all network traffic, thus allowing network traffic to be directed to a specific OS and specific applications.

(5) Intel VT also supports the use of Trusted Platform Module (TPM) to provide certified VMM, guest OS and applications to ensure that their images on the disk are not tampered with. TPM is a microcontroller that stores keys, passwords and digital certificates. TPM is defined by the Trusted Compu-TIng Group. Microcontrollers that belong to TPM are available from many manufacturers.

The following discusses several application modes of virtualization technology in the field of communication.

1 Application of virtualization technology in the field of communication

1.1 From single thread to multiple routines

Device manufacturers can execute multiple instances of single-threaded software, with each instance executed within a separate VM, and each VM handles part of the entire task. A corresponding VMM provides the necessary software infrastructure to distribute the load among VMs. Examples of multi-core migration include multi-location registration in cellular networks; or load division between disturbance detection systems. Telecom equipment manufacturers can use VMM to integrate multiple instances of existing single-threaded applications on a multi-core platform, avoiding the need to spend expensive development cycles to modify existing code in order to take advantage of the multi-core architecture (see Figure 1). The processing of most communication equipment can be divided into data layer, control layer and management layer. Each layer has different processing requirements, such as memory response time and bandwidth requirements, and network I / O requirements. By using Intel VT and real-time VMM, manufacturers can integrate these different layers on fewer processing devices. This reduces equipment and operating costs, and the cost savings allow equipment manufacturers and their customers (service providers) to be competitive. An example of integration is to determine the current location of the mobile unit in the mobile wireless service, which is called the HLR (Home LocaTIon Register) system. In fact, many of these systems are dedicated and limited to 32-bit addressing. With Intel VT, multiple HLRs can be configured on a single system. VMM considers the load distribution of multiple HLRs and also considers HLR databases larger than 4 GB.

1.2 Improve system availability

A unique requirement of the communication system is extremely high reliability. The communication system is required to be able to handle 99.999% of all calls. This is equivalent to less than 5 minutes of downtime per year, which also includes all scheduled maintenance, software and hardware upgrades, and system corrections. Due to software design, only high-end communication systems can provide this level of reliability. With Intel VT, communication systems can provide greater availability without the basic cost of traditional software. Most reliability problems are caused by customized features of communication software. Intel VT provides software fault isolation for all levels of the communication system. Activate it by executing active and standby instances of the software, each executing software is located in its own VM. If a software failure occurs, the standby instance will continue to execute and be set to the active state until the VMM restarts the failed instance. With this capability, software failure costs and traditional redundant hardware protection are eliminated. In addition to redundancy, redundant hardware is provided to enable the online upgrade of software. As shown in Figure 2, the spare part can be used for both hot upgrades and fault tolerance. With Intel VT, the need for redundancy is eliminated. Now simply upgrade, restart, and designate it as the active instance to complete the software upgrade. If the new software fails, you can still resort to the previous software version.

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