Using ONOS SDN controller with P4-programmable smartNICs to offload VNFs
SDN & NFV
A data center provider
Increase network performance in a data center by offloading Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) to smartNIC
Provide a team of network and software engineers with expertise in SDN and software development (as well as low-level hardware programming)
Create a solution architecture
Develop a PoC to offload an example VNF (firewall) to the smartNIC
Set up and test the PoC
Reuse the PoC for other virtual network functions (load balancer, NAT, etc.)
Increased performance: offloading VNFs to the smartNIC optimized overall network performance in DC by reducing the delays.
Increased flexibility: using a programmable smartNIC made it possible to quickly change the configuration on it to adjust to the dynamic and evolving distribution of workloads throughout the entire datacenter.
Compatibility assured: integrating a smartNIC with the existing SDN controller allows for operational simplicity and consistency with the overall intra-DC networking policies.
Used a Netronome Agilio smartNIC offering P4 support.
Developed an example firewall implementation in P4 for the smartNIC.
Selected ONOS, an open-source SDN controller with P4Runtime support to control the smartNIC.
Developed a dedicated smartNIC proxy software that converts P4Runtime protocol to the Thrift protocol to control the smartNIC data plane.
Developed a custom control plane application in ONOS.