Thursday, March 2, 2017

Barefoot and Netronome Demo DevOps Approach for NFV

Barefoot Networks, creator of Tofino, claimed to be the fastest available 6.5 Tbit/s Ethernet switch chip, and Netronome, a provider of intelligent networking solutions, have demonstrated a solution combining the Agilio CX SmartNIC platform with Barefoot's Tofino P4-programmable switch to deliver precise, real-time network telemetry information for detecting and resolving service quality and connectivity issues.

The joint Barefoot-Netronome solution demonstrates how DevOps can be used to triangulate performance issues to VMs and NICs in servers or network switches, making it possible to instantly detect low-performing virtual network functions (VNFs) in service chains and then correct them.

The companies noted that new applications and services in future 5G mobile networks will require network elements in the telco data centre to support those applications and the zettabytes of data that they generate or consume. These applications and services require efficient coordination of data centre resources among network infrastructure, servers, NICs and VMs running VNFs in the data centre.

However, current solutions are unable to triangulate performance issues to VMs, NICs or network switches, making it difficult or impossible to effectively implement SLAs across the network infrastructure. The programmable high-performance switches from Barefoot and SmartNICs from Netronome allow precise triangulation of performance issues to VMs, NICs and switches, so that operators can accurately quantify performance degradation and identify affected network slices, applications, and flows.

Launched in mid-2016, Barefoot Networks' Tofino Ethernet switch ASICs and Capilano software development environment (SDE) are designed to enable full network programmability by opening the forwarding plane, enabling granular control down to the packets flowing on the wire. The first Tofino chips were delivered to customers in the fourth quarter 2016.

Netronome's Agilio CX 10, 25 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet SmartNIC platforms serve to transparently offload virtual switch and router datapath processing for networking functions such as overlays, security, load balancing and telemetry, enabling compute servers used for server-based networking and cloud computing to reserve CPU cores for application processing and deliver higher performance. The programmable Agilio CX platform is designed for general-purpose x86 COTS rack servers to meet operating system, power and form factor requirements.

At MWC 2017, Barefoot and Netronome are demonstrating in-band network telemetry (INT) implemented utilising P4 in SmartNICs and network switches to locate latency degradation caused by service-chained VNFs and generate triggers that can be used to automatically launch new VNFs or move VNFs to servers with more resources.

The demonstration shows how vendor-agnostic, open source P4 programs can be used across programmable NICs and switches, and how DevOps teams can extend INT on the SmartNIC or network switch to collect additional metadata or perform new actions.

https://www.barefootnetworks.com/
http://www.netronome.com

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