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Vita is a high-performance IPsec VPN gateway designed with medium and large network operators in mind. It is written in a high-level language (Lua) and achieves high performance via networking in userspace, i.e. bypassing the kernel network stack.
Provide a low-cost, open source solution to network traffic encryption at scale
Support stand-alone operation as well as SAs established by third-party software such as StrongSwan
Be as fast as possible on generic x86 CPUs, handle 10 Gbps line rate at 60 byte packets and more
Avoid vendor lock-in and mandatory, complex dependencies while embracing network operator standards such as NETCONF/YANG
Keep it all simple, maintainable, and modular
Use strong, modern cryptographic primitives and protocols
Vita is in its early “tech-demo” stage of development and not ready for production yet!
~3 Mpps (or ~5 Gbps of IMIX traffic) per CPU core on modern commodity x86 hardware
Scales linearly with CPU cores using RSS and VMDQ
Implements IPsec for IPv4 and IPv6, specifically IP Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) in tunnel mode
Uses optimized AES-GCM 128-bit encryption based on a reference implementation by Intel for their AVX2 (generation-4) processors
Automated key exchange (AKE) and rotation, with perfect forward secrecy (PFS) and seamless, packet loss-free rekeying
Can act also as a pure data-plane and consume SAs established by other means
Configuration and runtime state modelled by a native YANG schema. Supports, dynamic reconfiguration via NETCONF RPCs (update routes while running)
Strong observability (access relevant statistics of a running Vita node via NETCONF get-state RPCs) and full ICMP visibility (tunnel appears as two hops in
traceroute, PMTUD support, all inbound ICMP messages are logged)
Written in Lua—a simple, high-level programming language—and x86 assembly
- Usage — manual page for Vita’s command line interface
- Configuration — detailed description of Vita’s configuration schema
- Connecting a Multi-Regional Kubernetes Cluster with Vita on AWS EC2 — demo of deploying Vita in EC2 as a inter-region VPN for Kubernetes
- Announcing Vita: a high-performance IPsec VPN endpoint that runs on commodity hardware
- Notes on implementing IPsec ESP for Snabb
- Ephemeral Key Exchange in Vita, part one, part two
- A Glimpse into the Timeline: a Probabilistic Event Log for Snabb (this is about profiler tooling used in Vita)
- Implementing Poptrie in Lua and DynASM (about the Poptrie implementation used for route lookups in Vita)
- Vita: high-speed traffic encryption on x86_64 with Snabb at FOSDEM 2020, Brussels
- High-Performance Traffic Encryption on x86_64 at RIPE78, Reykjavík
- High-Speed IPsec with Snabb on Software Gone Wild
- Intel chipsets i210, i350, and 82599
- Intel AVF capable VFs e.g. from a X710 and XL710
- Linux XDP capable interfaces
Important note: Snabb needs Linux to be booted with
iommu=off for its native
device drivers to function.
$ git clone https://github.com/inters/vita $ cd vita $ RECIPE=Makefile.vita make -j $ sudo src/vita --help
RECIPE=Makefile.vita causes a release build to be built (as opposed
to a test build.)
For example, to install Vita and the Snabb monitoring tool on the local machine:
$ sudo cp src/vita /usr/local/bin/vita $ sudo ln -s vita /usr/local/bin/snabb-top
End-to-end benchmarking procedures are documented in vita-loadtest.md.
Vita is a high-performance L3 VPN gateway you can use to interconnect your networks. Vita acts as a tunnel between your local, private network and any number of remote Vita gateways. With it, nodes spread across your outposts can communicate with each other with confidentiality and authenticity ensured at the network layer.
Vita is probably more efficient at encapsulating traffic than your application servers. You can free cycles for your application by offloading your packet encryption and authentication workload to Vita.
A Vita network can be as small as two nodes with a single route, and as large as you like. For each pair of Vita gateways, a separate secure tunnel (route) can be established—“can be” because a Vita network does not need to be a full mesh, instead arbitrary hierarchies are supported on a route-by-route basis. Each route uses a pre-shared super key that is installed on both ends of the route. These keys need to be configured only once, and only need renewal when compromised, in which case the breach will affect only the route in question. The actual keys used to encrypt the traffic are ephemeral, and negotiated by Vita automatically, with no manual intervention required.
Deploying Vita is easy, and not invasive to your existing infrastructure. It can be as simple as adding an entry to the IP routing table of your default gateway, to ensure that packets to destinations within your private network are routed over an extra hop: the Vita gateway. Whether Vita forwards the encapsulated packets back to your default gateway, or directly to your modem depends on your setup, and is freely configurable.
To configure a Vita route, you need to specify the address prefix of the destination subnetwork, and the public IP address of the target Vita gateway (in addition to the pre-shared key). At the other end, you specify the source prefix and gateway address in symmetry. You can even add and remove routes while Vita is running, without affecting unrelated routes.
Snabb is a simple and fast packet networking toolkit with a wonderful community.
NLnet funded Vita development in 2018/2019 with their generous donation. 🙇♂️