A Performance Analysis of Container Cluster Networking Alternatives

Atici G., Boluk P.

2nd International Conference on Industrial Control Network and System Engineering Research, ICNSER 2020, Kuala-Lumpur, Malaysia, 19 - 20 June 2020, pp.10-17 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Doi Number: 10.1145/3411016.3411019
  • City: Kuala-Lumpur
  • Country: Malaysia
  • Page Numbers: pp.10-17
  • Keywords: bulk and HTTP-like transfers, container cluster networking, Docker, high performance, message size
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: No


The use of containers in the informatics industry is increasing rapidly day by day. Although containers have many advantages, such as flexibility, readiness, easy configurability, scalability and low resource consumption, previous researches showed that there are momentous decrements in network performance in containerized cluster environments. Yielded packet sizes and data transfer methods play important roles in the network performance for the networking solutions used in container clusters. As different applications apply different packet sizes and transfer methods, it is of the essence to find and use the best performing networking solution according to application needs. Hence, it is quite important to identify the most convenient container networking solution, especially in production environments. This research analyzed the throughput and latency at varying message sizes on bulk and HTTP-like data transfer methods for container cluster networking solutions, which are Libnetwork, Flannel, Calico, Weave and Open Virtual Networking for Open vSwitch. Furthermore, it compared the performance of cluster networking solutions with a native host. As a result of the experiments, Open Virtual Networking for Open vSwitch and Calico were found to be the most adequate solutions for production environments with the highest throughput and minimum latency values depending on selected message sizes and transfer methods. In addition, a bare-metal host generally outperforms all the container networking solutions except HTTP-like transfer throughput results at a large message size. Hence, this study also demonstrates the offloading impact in container networking solutions.