On the heels of the OpenStack Summit in Austin this week, the OpenStack Foundation released a very enlightening User Survey. I read the survey with great interest, focusing on networking features in OpenStack.
With the brunt of networking tasks moving to servers, thanks to the tremendous benefits that SDN and NFV brings to users, the need for networking datapath flexibility has quickly come to the forefront. This is not the first time, though. In the past, networking data path flexibility-related use cases and success criteria have been associated with supplementing features available in fixed function networking ASICs or vendor differentiation. In the new era, use cases and success criteria relate to more compelling and widespread needs: data center infrastructure scaling with efficiency, and speed of innovation.
Netronome held an inaugural P4/C Workshop in November 2015. The conference was a one-day technical hands-on introduction to P4 and C based programming on Netronome intelligent server adapters (ISAs) and was attended by more than twenty universities and companies. More than three-fourths of the attendees developed or conducted research in networking systems and software. Post-conference feedback from the attendees indicated that again more than three fourths planned to use P4 or a combination of P4 and C to code the data plane in networks. At the conference, Netronome also introduced open-nfp.org, a forum for open research in acceleration and offload for network function processing and for collaboration with academic institutions around the world.