Nov 7, 2016 - Nov 9, 2016 - 625 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, California

Netronome experts, Bapi Vinnakota, Mary Pham and Jici Gao will present, "P4: A Hands-on Introduction," on Monday, November 7, 8:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

P4 is a new declarative language to describe packet processing in software-defined networks (SDNs). The language extends the match-action dataflow developed in OpenFlow by allowing protocol processing in the data plane to be specified programmatically. P4 offers developers and network operators several advantages. For applications such as NFV, the data plane can grow to process new protocols, or change as the protocol mix changes according to the functions deployed. P4 can be used as a mechanism to fully specify the functionality of the data plane. A single P4 codebase specifying the data plane can be ported to multiple hardware platforms. Researchers have explored using P4 to enhance network functionality in a wide range of use cases including network telemetry, load balancing, consensus as a service and others. P4 is gradually being integrated into a many open source networking projects such as Open vSwitch, and OpenSwitch.

This tutorial will introduce attendees to developing and executing P4 code for a match-action dataflow-based data plane. The focus of the tutorial will be hands-on labs in which attendees will develop and execute P4 programs on production hardware, SmartNIC from Netronome. Attendees will learn how to develop, test and grow a networking datapath in P4. We will start with a simple NIC expressed entirely in P4, in Netronome ISAs. To implement architecture-specific functions or functions not supported in P4, developers can implement custom actions in a P4 match-action dataflow in C. The tutorial will conclude with labs for C-based actions for flow timestamping, flow tagging and virtual network function (VNF) support for NFV applications.

More information is available here.
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