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        BMWG                                                            S. Kommu
        Internet-Draft                                                    VMware
        Intended status: Informational                                   J. Rapp
        Expires: July 2018                                                VMware
                                                                 January 2, 2018




           Considerations for Benchmarking Network Virtualization Platforms
                             draft-skommu-bmwg-nvp-01.txt



        Status of this Memo

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             Section 4.e of the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without
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        Abstract

             Current network benchmarking methodologies are focused on physical
             networking components and do not consider the actual application
             layer traffic patterns and hence do not reflect the traffic that
             virtual networking components work with.  The purpose of this
             document is to distinguish and highlight benchmarking considerations
             when testing and evaluating virtual networking components in the
             data center.

        Table of Contents


             1. Introduction ................................................. 2
             2. Conventions used in this document ............................ 3
             3. Definitions .................................................. 4
                 3.1. System Under Test (SUT) ................................ 4
                 3.2. Network Virtualization Platform ........................ 4
                 3.3. Micro-services ......................................... 6
             4. Scope ........................................................ 7
                 4.1. Virtual Networking for Datacenter Applications ......... 7
                 4.2. Interaction with Physical Devices ...................... 8
             5. Interaction with Physical Devices ............................ 8
                 5.1. Server Architecture Considerations .................... 11
             6. Security Considerations ..................................... 14
             7. IANA Considerations ......................................... 14
             8. Conclusions ................................................. 14
             9. References .................................................. 14
                 9.1. Normative References .................................. 14
                 9.2. Informative References ................................ 15
             Appendix A. Partial List of Parameters to Document ............. 16
                 A.1. CPU ................................................... 16
                 A.2. Memory ................................................ 16
                 A.3. NIC ................................................... 16
                 A.4. Hypervisor ............................................ 17
                 A.5. Guest VM .............................................. 18
                 A.6. Overlay Network Physical Fabric ....................... 18
                 A.7. Gateway Network Physical Fabric ....................... 18

        1. Introduction

             Datacenter virtualization that includes both compute and network
             virtualization is growing rapidly as the industry continues to look
             for ways to improve productivity, flexibility and at the same time
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             cut costs.  Network virtualization, is comparatively new and
             expected to grow tremendously similar to compute virtualization.
             There are multiple vendors and solutions out in the market, each
             with their own benchmarks to showcase why a particular solution is
             better than another.  Hence, the need for a vendor and product
             agnostic way to benchmark multivendor solutions to help with
             comparison and make informed decisions when it comes to selecting
             the right network virtualization solution.

             Applications traditionally have been segmented using VLANs and ACLs
             between the VLANs.  This model does not scale because of the 4K
             scale limitations of VLANs.  Overlays such as VXLAN were designed to
             address the limitations of VLANs

             With VXLAN, applications are segmented based on VXLAN encapsulation
             (specifically the VNI field in the VXLAN header), which is similar
             to VLAN ID in the 802.1Q VLAN tag, however without the 4K scale
             limitations of VLANs.  For a more detailed discussion on this
             subject please refer RFC 7364 "Problem Statement: Overlays for
             Network Virtualization".

             VXLAN is just one of several Network Virtualization Overlays(NVO).
             Some of the others include STT, Geneve and NVGRE. .  STT and Geneve
             have expanded on the capabilities of VXLAN.  Please refer IETF's
             nvo3 working group <
             https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/nvo3/documents/> for more
             information.

             Modern application architectures, such as Micro-services, are going
             beyond the three tier app models such as web, app and db.
             Benchmarks MUST consider whether the proposed solution is able to
             scale up to the demands of such applications and not just a three-
             tier architecture.

        2. Conventions used in this document

             The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
             "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
             document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

             In this document, these words will appear with that interpretation
             only when in ALL CAPS. Lower case uses of these words are not to be
             interpreted as carrying significance described in RFC 2119.








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        3. Definitions

        3.1. System Under Test (SUT)

             Traditional hardware based networking devices generally use the
             device under test (DUT) model of testing.  In this model, apart from
             any allowed configuration, the DUT is a black box from a testing
             perspective.  This method works for hardware based networking
             devices since the device itself is not influenced by any other
             components outside the DUT.

             Virtual networking components cannot leverage DUT model of testing
             as the DUT is not just the virtual device but includes the hardware
             components that were used to host the virtual device

             Hence SUT model MUST be used instead of the traditional device under
             test

             With SUT model, the virtual networking component along with all
             software and hardware components that host the virtual networking
             component MUST be considered as part of the SUT.

             Virtual networking components may also work with higher level TCP
             segments such as TSO.  In contrast, all physical switches and
             routers, including the ones that act as initiators for NVOs, work
             with L2/L3 packets.

             Please refer to section 5 Figure 1 for a visual representation of
             System Under Test in the case of Intra-Host testing and section 5
             Figure 2 for System Under Test in the case of Inter-Host testing

        3.2. Network Virtualization Platform

             This document does not focus on Network Function Virtualization.

             Network Function Virtualization (NFV) focuses on being independent
             of networking hardware while providing the same functionality.  In
             the case of NFV, traditional benchmarking methodologies recommended
             by IETF may be used.  Considerations for Benchmarking Virtual
             Network Functions and Their Infrastructure IETF document addresses
             benchmarking NFVs.

             Typical NFV implementations emulate in software, the characteristics
             and features of physical switches.  They are similar to any physical
             L2/L3 switch from the perspective of the packet size, which is
             typically enforced based on the maximum transmission unit used.

             Network Virtualization platforms on the other hand, are closer to
             the application layer and are able to work with not only L2/L3
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             packets but also segments that leverage TCP optimizations such as
             Large Segment Offload (LSO).

             NVPs leverage TCP stack optimizations such as TCP Segmentation
             Offload (TSO) and Large Receive Offload (LRO) that enables NVPs to
             work with much larger payloads of up to 64K unlike their
             counterparts such as NFVs.

             Because of the difference in the payload, which translates into one
             operation per 64K of payload in NVP verses ~40 operations for the
             same amount of payload in NFV because of having to divide it to MTU
             sized packets, results in considerable difference in performance
             between NFV and NVP.



             Please refer to figure 1 for a pictorial representation of this
             primary difference between NPV and NFV for a 64K payload
             segment/packet running on network set to 1500 bytes MTU.

             Note:  Payload sizes in figure 1 are approximates.









































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           NPV (1 segment)                NFV (40 packets)

           Segment 1                      Packet 1
             +-------------------------+    +-------------------------+
             | Headers                 |    | Headers                 |
             | +---------------------+ |    | +---------------------+ |
             | | Pay Load - upto 64K | |    | | Pay Load < 1500     | |
             | +---------------------+ |    | +---------------------+ |
             +-------------------------+    +-------------------------+

                                          Packet 2
                                            +-------------------------+
                                            | Headers                 |
                                            | +---------------------+ |
                                            | | Pay Load < 1500     | |
                                            | +---------------------+ |
                                            +-------------------------+

                                                          .
                                                          .
                                                          .
                                                          .

                                          Packet 40
                                            +-------------------------+
                                            | Headers                 |
                                            | +---------------------+ |
                                            | | Pay Load < 1500     | |
                                            | +---------------------+ |
                                            +-------------------------+

                                           Figure 1  Payload NPV vs NFV

             Hence, normal benchmarking methods are not relevant to the NVPs.

             Instead, newer methods that take into account the built in
             advantages of TCP provided optimizations MUST be used for testing
             Network Virtualization Platforms.

        3.3. Micro-services

             Traditional monolithic application architectures such as the three
             tier web, app and db architectures are hitting scale and deployment
             limits for the modern use cases.

             Micro-services make use of classic unix style of small app with
             single responsibility.

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             These small apps are designed with the following characteristics:

             Each application only does one thing - like unix tools

             Small enough that you could rewrite instead of maintain

             Embedded with a simple web container

             Packaged as a single executable

             Installed as daemons

             Each of these applications are completely separate

             Interact via uniform interface

             REST (over HTTP/HTTPS) being the most common

             With Micro-services architecture, a single web app of the three tier
             application model could now have 100s of smaller apps dedicated to
             do just one job.

             These 100s of small one responsibility only services will MUST be
             secured into their own segment - hence pushing the scale boundaries
             of the overlay from both simple segmentation perspective and also
             from a security perspective



        4. Scope

             This document does not address Network Function Virtualization has
             been covered already by previous IETF documents
             (https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-ietf-bmwg-virtual-
             net/?include_text=1) the focus of this document is Network
             Virtualization Platform where the network functions are an intrinsic
             part of the hypervisor's TCP stack, working closer to the
             application layer and leveraging performance optimizations such
             TSO/RSS provided by the TCP stack and the underlying hardware.

        4.1. Virtual Networking for Datacenter Applications

             While virtualization is growing beyond the datacenter, this document
             focuses on the virtual networking for east-west traffic within the
             datacenter applications only.  For example, in a three tier app such
             web, app and db, this document focuses on the east-west traffic
             between web and app.  It does not address north-south web traffic
             accessed from outside the datacenter.  A future document would
             address north-south traffic flows.
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             This document addresses scale requirements for modern application
             architectures such as Micro-services to consider whether the
             proposed solution is able to scale up to the demands of micro-
             services application models that basically have 100s of small
             services communicating on some standard ports such as http/https
             using protocols such as REST

        4.2. Interaction with Physical Devices

             Virtual network components cannot be tested independent of other
             components within the system.  Example, unlike a physical router or
             a firewall, where the tests can be focused directly solely on the
             device, when testing a virtual router or firewall, multiple other
             devices may become part of the system under test.  Hence the
             characteristics of these other traditional networking switches and
             routers, LB, FW etc. MUST be considered.

                       !  Hashing method used

                       !  Over-subscription rate

                       !  Throughput available

                       !  Latency characteristics

        5. Interaction with Physical Devices

             In virtual environments, System Under Test (SUT) may often share
             resources and reside on the same Physical hardware with other
             components involved in the tests.  Hence SUT MUST be clearly
             defined.  In this tests, a single hypervisor may host multiple
             servers, switches, routers, firewalls etc.,

             Intra host testing:  Intra host testing helps in reducing the number
             of components involved in a test.  For example, intra host testing
             would help focus on the System Under Test, logical switch and the
             hardware that is running the hypervisor that hosts the logical
             switch, and eliminate other components.  Because of the nature of
             virtual infrastructures and multiple elements being hosted on the
             same physical infrastructure, influence from other components cannot
             be completely ruled out.  For example, unlike in physical
             infrastructures, logical routing or distributed firewall MUST NOT be
             benchmarked independent of logical switching. System Under Test
             definition MUST include all components involved with that particular
             test.





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             +---------------------------------------------------+
             | System Under Test                                 |
             | +-----------------------------------------------+ |
             | | Hyper-Visor                                   | |
             | |                                               | |
             | |                +-------------+                | |
             | |                |     NVP     |                | |
             | | +-----+        |    Switch/  |        +-----+ | |
             | | | VM1 |<------>|   Router/   |<------>| VM2 | | |
             | | +-----+   VW   |  Fire Wall/ |   VW   +-----+ | |
             | |                |     etc.,   |                | |
             | |                +-------------+                | |
             | | Legend                                        | |
             | | VM: Virtual Machine                           | |
             | | VW: Virtual Wire                              | |
             | +------------------------_----------------------+ |
             +---------------------------------------------------+
                                    Figure 2  Intra-Host System Under Test



             Inter host testing:  Inter host testing helps in profiling the
             underlying network interconnect performance.  For example, when
             testing Logical Switching, inter host testing would not only test
             the logical switch component but also any other devices that are
             part of the physical data center fabric that connects the two
             hypervisors. System Under Test MUST be well defined to help with
             repeatability of tests.  System Under Test definition in the case of
             inter host testing, MUST include all components, including the
             underlying network fabric.

             Figure 2 is a visual representation of system under test for inter-
             host testing























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             +---------------------------------------------------+
             | System Under Test                                 |
             | +-----------------------------------------------+ |
             | | Hyper-Visor                                   | |
             | |                +-------------+                | |
             | |                |     NVP     |                | |
             | | +-----+        |    Switch/  |        +-----+ | |
             | | | VM1 |<------>|   Router/   |<------>| VM2 | | |
             | | +-----+   VW   |  Fire Wall/ |   VW   +-----+ | |
             | |                |     etc.,   |                | |
             | |                +-------------+                | |
             | +------------------------_----------------------+ |
             |                          ^                        |
             |                          | Network Cabling        |
             |                          v                        |
             | +-----------------------------------------------+ |
             | |       Physical Networking Components          | |
             | |     switches, routers, firewalls etc.,        | |
             | +-----------------------------------------------+ |
             |                          ^                        |
             |                          | Network Cabling        |
             |                          v                        |
             | +-----------------------------------------------+ |
             | | Hyper-Visor                                   | |
             | |                +-------------+                | |
             | |                |     NVP     |                | |
             | | +-----+        |    Switch/  |        +-----+ | |
             | | | VM1 |<------>|   Router/   |<------>| VM2 | | |
             | | +-----+   VW   |  Fire Wall/ |   VW   +-----+ | |
             | |                |     etc.,   |                | |
             | |                +-------------+                | |
             | +------------------------_----------------------+ |
             +---------------------------------------------------+
             Legend
             VM: Virtual Machine
             VW: Virtual Wire

                                    Figure 3  Inter-Host System Under Test



             Virtual components have a direct dependency on the physical
             infrastructure that is hosting these resources.  Hardware
             characteristics of the physical host impact the performance of the
             virtual components. The components that are being tested and the
             impact of the other hardware components within the hypervisor on the
             performance of the SUT MUST be documented.  Virtual component
             performance is influenced by the physical hardware components within
             the hypervisor.  Access to various offloads such as TCP segmentation
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             offload, may have significant impact on performance.  Firmware and
             driver differences may also significantly impact results based on
             whether the specific driver leverages any hardware level offloads
             offered.  Hence, all physical components of the physical server
             running the hypervisor that hosts the virtual components MUST be
             documented along with the firmware and driver versions of all the
             components used to help ensure repeatability of test results.  For
             example, BIOS configuration of the server MUST be documented as some
             of those changes are designed to improve performance.  Please refer
             to Appendix A for a partial list of parameters to document.

        5.1. Server Architecture Considerations

             When testing physical networking components, the approach taken is
             to consider the device as a black-box.  With virtual infrastructure,
             this approach would no longer help as the virtual networking
             components are an intrinsic part of the hypervisor they are running
             on and are directly impacted by the server architecture used.
             Server hardware components define the capabilities of the virtual
             networking components.  Hence, server architecture MUST be
             documented in detail to help with repeatability of tests.  And the
             entire hardware and software components become the SUT.

        5.1.1. Frame format/sizes within the Hypervisor

             Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) limits physical network component's
             frame sizes.  The most common max supported MTU for physical devices
             is 9000.  However, 1500 MTU is the standard.  Physical network
             testing and NFV uses these MTU sizes for testing.  However, the
             virtual networking components that live inside a hypervisor, may
             work with much larger segments because of the availability of
             hardware and software based offloads.  Hence, the normal smaller
             packets based testing is not relevant for performance testing of
             virtual networking components.  All the TCP related configuration
             such as TSO size, number of RSS queues MUST be documented along with
             any other physical NIC related configuration.

             Virtual network components work closer to the application layer then
             the physical networking components.  Hence virtual network
             components work with type and size of segments that are often not
             the same type and size that the physical network works with.  Hence,
             testing virtual network components MUST be done with application
             layer segments instead of the physical network layer packets.

        5.1.2. Baseline testing with Logical Switch

             Logical switch is often an intrinsic component of the test system
             along with any other hardware and software components used for

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             testing.  Also, other logical components cannot be tested
             independent of the Logical Switch.

        5.1.3. Repeatability

             To ensure repeatability of the results, in the physical network
             component testing, much care is taken to ensure the tests are
             conducted with exactly the same parameters.  Parameters such as MAC
             addresses used etc.,

             When testing NPV components with an application layer test tool,
             there may be a number of components within the system that may not
             be available to tune or to ensure they maintain a desired state.
             Example: housekeeping functions of the underlying Operating System.

             Hence, tests MUST be repeated a number of times and each test case
             MUST be run for at least 2 minutes if test tool provides such an
             option.  Results SHOULD be derived from multiple test runs. Variance
             between the tests SHOULD be documented.

        5.1.4. Tunnel encap/decap outside the hypervisor

             Logical network components may also have performance impact based on
             the functionality available within the physical fabric.  Physical
             fabric that supports NVO encap/decap is one such case that has
             considerable impact on the performance.  Any such functionality that
             exists on the physical fabric MUST be part of the test result
             documentation to ensure repeatability of tests. In this case SUT
             MUST include the physical fabric

        5.1.5. SUT Hypervisor Profile

             Physical networking equipment has well defined physical resource
             characteristics such as type and number of ASICs/SoCs used, amount
             of memory, type and number of processors etc., Virtual networking
             components performance is dependent on the physical hardware that
             hosts the hypervisor.  Hence the physical hardware usage, which is
             part of SUT, for a given test MUST be documented.  Example, CPU
             usage when running logical router.

             CPU usage changes based on the type of hardware available within the
             physical server.  For example, TCP Segmentation Offload greatly
             reduces CPU usage by offloading the segmentation process to the NIC
             card on the sender side.  Receive side scaling offers similar
             benefit on the receive side.  Hence, availability and status of such
             hardware MUST be documented along with actual CPU/Memory usage when
             the virtual networking components have access to such offload
             capable hardware.

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             Following is a partial list of components that MUST be documented
             both in terms of what is available and also what is used by the SUT

                *  CPU - type, speed, available instruction sets (e.g. AES-NI)

                *  Memory - type, amount

                *  Storage - type, amount

                *  NIC Cards - type, number of ports, offloads available/used,
                    drivers, firmware (if applicable), HW revision

                *  Libraries such as DPDK if available and used

                *  Number and type of VMs used for testing and

                       o vCPUs

                       o RAM

                       o Storage

                       o Network Driver

                       o Any prioritization of VM resources

                       o Operating System type, version and kernel if applicable

                       o TCP Configuration Changes - if any

                       o MTU

                *  Test tool

                       o Workload type

                       o Protocol being tested

                       o Number of threads

                       o Version of tool

                *  For inter-hypervisor tests,

                       o Physical network devices that are part of the test

                               !  Note:  For inter-hypervisor tests, system under test
                                  is no longer only the virtual component that is being
                                  tested but the entire fabric that connects the
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                                  virtual components become part of the system under
                                  test.

        6. Security Considerations

             Benchmarking activities as described in this memo are limited to
             technology characterization of a Device Under Test/System Under Test
             (DUT/SUT) using controlled stimuli in a laboratory environment, with
             dedicated address space and the constraints specified in the
             sections above.

             The benchmarking network topology will be an independent test setup
             and MUST NOT be connected to devices that may forward the test
             traffic into a production network, or misroute traffic to the test
             management network.

             Further, benchmarking is performed on a "black-box" basis, relying
             solely on measurements observable external to the DUT/SUT.

             Special capabilities SHOULD NOT exist in the DUT/SUT specifically
             for benchmarking purposes.  Any implications for network security
             arising from the DUT/SUT SHOULD be identical in the lab and in
             production networks.

        7. IANA Considerations

             No IANA Action is requested at this time.

        8. Conclusions

             Network Virtualization Platforms, because of their proximity to the
             application layer and since they can take advantage of TCP stack
             optimizations, do not function on packets/sec basis.  Hence,
             traditional benchmarking methods, while still relevant for Network
             Function Virtualization, are not designed to test Network
             Virtualization Platforms.  Also, advances in application
             architectures such as micro-services, bring new challenges and need
             benchmarking not just around throughput and latency but also around
             scale.  New benchmarking methods that are designed to take advantage
             of the TCP optimizations or needed to accurately benchmark
             performance of the Network Virtualization Platforms

        9. References

        9.1. Normative References

             [RFC7364]  T. Narten, E. Gray, D. Black, L. Fang, L. Kreeger, M.
             Napierala, "Problem Statement: Overlays for Network Virtualization",
             RFC 7364, October 2014, https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/rfc7364/
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             [nv03] IETF, WG, Network Virtualization Overlays, <
             https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/nvo3/documents/>



        9.2. Informative References

             [1]     A. Morton " Considerations for Benchmarking Virtual Network
                     Functions and Their Infrastructure", draft-ietf-bmwg-virtual-
                     net-03, < https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-ietf-bmwg-
                     virtual-net/?include_text=1>
























































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        Appendix A. Partial List of Parameters to Document

        A.1. CPU

             CPU Vendor

             CPU Number

             CPU Architecture

             # of Sockets (CPUs)

             # of Cores

             Clock Speed (GHz)

             Max Turbo Freq. (GHz)

             Cache per CPU (MB)

             # of Memory Channels

             Chipset

             Hyperthreading (BIOS Setting)

             Power Management (BIOS Setting)

             VT-d

        A.2. Memory

             Memory Speed (MHz)

             DIMM Capacity (GB)

             # of DIMMs

             DIMM configuration

             Total DRAM (GB)

        A.3. NIC

             Vendor

             Model

             Port Speed (Gbps)
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             Ports

             PCIe Version

             PCIe Lanes

             Bonded

             Bonding Driver

             Kernel Module Name

             Driver Version

             VXLAN TSO Capable

             VXLAN RSS Capable

             Ring Buffer Size RX

             Ring Buffer Size TX

        A.4. Hypervisor

             Hypervisor Name

             Version/Build

             Based on

             Hotfixes/Patches

             OVS Version/Build

             IRQ balancing

             vCPUs per VM

             Modifications to HV

             Modifications to HV TCP stack

             Number of VMs

             IP MTU

             Flow control TX (send pause)

             Flow control RX (honor pause)
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             Encapsulation Type

        A.5. Guest VM

             Guest OS & Version

             Modifications to VM

             IP MTU Guest VM (Bytes)

             Test tool used

             Number of NetPerf Instances

             Total Number of Streams

             Guest RAM (GB)

        A.6. Overlay Network Physical Fabric

             Vendor

             Model

             # and Type of Ports

             Software Release

             Interface Configuration

             Interface/Ethernet MTU (Bytes)

             Flow control TX (send pause)

             Flow control RX (honor pause)

        A.7. Gateway Network Physical Fabric

             Vendor

             Model

             # and Type of Ports

             Software Release

             Interface Configuration

             Interface/Ethernet MTU (Bytes)
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             Flow control TX (send pause)

             Flow control RX (honor pause)



































































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        Internet-Draft        NVP Benchmarking Considerations       January 2018


        Author's Addresses

             Samuel Kommu
             VMware
             3401 Hillview Ave
             Palo Alto, CA, 94304

             Email: skommu@vmware.com


             Jacob Rapp
             VMware
             3401 Hillview Ave
             Palo Alto, CA, 94304

             Email: jrapp@vmware.com
















































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