Monday, March 3, 2014

Broadcom Announces OpenFlow Data Plane Abstraction Spec

Broadcom announced its OpenFlow Data Plane Abstraction (OF-DPA) v1.0 specification, software and API -- an openly published implementation of physical switch hardware pipeline abstraction for the Open Networking Foundation's (ONF) OpenFlow 1.3.1 Switch.

The OF-DPA v1.0 specification, software and API can be used to implement network virtualization, multi-tenant networks and traffic engineering with higher scale and performance.  The defines a pipeline that contains multiple tables, each table containing multiple flow entries. The OpenFlow pipeline processing defines how packets interact with these tables. The OF-DPA v1.0 physical switch hardware pipeline abstraction is an implementation of the OpenFlow 1.3.1 Switch optimized for Broadcom StrataXGS Ethernet Switch devices.

Broadcom said its OF-DPA v1.0 software and API enables OpenFlow 1.3.1 agents and controllers to access multiple tables implemented in Broadcom switch devices. The intent is to facilitate general availability of production-quality OpenFlow 1.3.1 switches from OEM and ODM vendors as well as provide a reference platform for use by end users and in academic and industrial research networks.

OF-DPA Version 1.0 Key Features

  • Provides an ONF OpenFlow 1.3.1 compliant switch pipeline and APIs for modifying and querying flow table (e.g., Layer 2 table, Layer 3 table, access control list table) and group table entries, as well as for configuring ports, queues, and VXLAN overlay logical ports. 
  • Includes OF-DPA v1.0 specification, API library, application development kit, and programmer's guide, all released under the Apache 2.0 license.
  • Supports SDN use cases including virtual tenant networks (VTNs), network virtualization using overlays, and traffic engineering.
  • Future OF-DPA versions are slated to support additional Broadcom switch features required in service provider and carrier class applications.  

"The openly published OF-DPA specification, software and API exposes OpenFlow compliant programming constructs over Broadcom's StrataXGS® Ethernet Switch Series," said Ram Velaga, Broadcom Senior Vice President & General Manager, Network Switch. "By mapping the OpenFlow 1.3.1 pipeline to high bandwidth and high density switch silicon like the StrataXGS Trident Series, we are enabling SDN applications to achieve high performance and scale."