Getting Started with Napatech Link-Virtualization™ Software

Napatech SmartNIC
Content Type
Getting Started Guide
Capture Software Version
Link-Virtualization™ Software 4.4

Use this guide to get you up and running with Napatech Link-Virtualization™ Software.

The Link-Virtualization™ Software solution provides an accelerated open source switching stack (Open vSwitch or OVS) for multitenant network virtualization environments.

The environment that is created using this guide provides the fundamental framework required to run Link-Virtualization™ Software.

OVS is proven to be a large consumer of CPU resources in virtualized server deployments. Link-Virtualization™ Software provides hardware-based virtual switching, using OVS technology within the Napatech SmartNIC to offload traffic and free up CPU usage.

Link-Virtualization™ Software uses OpenFlow communications protocol rules and standard OVS API commands. See for more information.

The diagram shows the architecture that we will create:

OVS overview with host1 and host2, showing physical ports, each with OVS-DPDK and a VM, showing the virtual and management ports


The following steps are required to complete the installation:
  1. To install Link-Virtualization™ Software with OpenStack integration, see Link-Virtualization™ Software with OpenStack Integration via Packstack otherwise continue to step 2
  2. Prepare the Operating System: OS Preparation
  3. Install the Link-Virtualization™ Software driver: Install the Link-Virtualization™ Software Package
  4. Compile and install DPDK with the Napatech PMD: Compile and Install DPDK with the Napatech PMD
  5. Compile and install OVS with the Napatech modifications: Compile and Install OVS with the Napatech Modifications
  6. Install QEMU: Install QEMU