Zero-copy Receive API for virtio-net/vhost devices

This proposal has been rejected.


One Line Summary

Define interfaces needed to leverage receive-side steering abilities of modern high speed network cards to implement zero-copy receive for virtio-net and vhost.


In para-virtual networking with virtio-net/vhost, the copying of
packets between the hypervisor and the guest is one of the major
sources of overhead, especially for large packets. Although zero-copy transmit was merged into the Linux kernel a few years ago, the “receive side zero copy” item is still in the KVM
NetworkingTodo. This proposal presents an approach to implementation of
zero-copy receive for virtio-net and vhost that leverages receive-side
steering abilities of modern high speed network cards.


virtio, vhost, zero-copy receive, para-virtual I/O


  • Kalman Meth

    IBM Research


    Dr. Kalman Meth is an architect in the Cloud Platforms department at the IBM Haifa Research Labs (HRL). Kalman is one of the authors of the iSCSI protocol specification (RFCs 3720, 7143) and is active in various systems and storage related activities. He received his Masters and PhD degrees from Courant Institute at New York University, while specializing in numerical analysis and computational fluid dynamics. His interests include: operating systems, file systems, storage systems, distributed and parallel computing, real-time computing, and numerical analysis.