Approximately one year ago, Netronome joined The P4 Language Consortium (p4.org) and almost immediately began actively contributing to the language’s growth. An anniversary is usually a good time for some introspection.
The Open vSwitch (OVS) is the most popular server-based virtual networking switch, and likely the most deployed switch overall after the Broadcom Trident hardware switch chips used in TOR switches. In fact, based on a recent survey from the OpenStack community, OVS is used in more than 60% of their installations.
At the recent Open Compute Summit (OCP) and the Open Networking Summit (ONS), the overarching themes were “data center hardware must be commodity” and “software continues to eat the world.” The OCP prides itself as a pioneer, having introduced the notion of open hardware with the goal to “commoditize” hardware. Large data center operators (Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Rackspace) have contributed hardware rack designs to the OCP.
It's really exciting to see many of the world's leading service providers accelerating their movement towards wide scale deployment of network functions virtualization (NFV). Just last month at the OpenStack Summit in Austin, AT&T's Sorabh Saxena stated, "Our goal is to virtualize and cloud-enable 75% of our target network architecture using this software centric approach by 2020."
Earlier this week, two notable P4 Language Consortium events took place at Stanford University: the P4 Developer Day 2016 and the P4 Workshop 2016. Both events were single-day conferences sponsored by the P4 Language Consortium (www.P4.org). Below are some of my impressions of the events and the key takeaways.