Barefoot Networks and Netronome Demonstrate End-to-End In-Band Network Telemetry for 5G NFV Deployments

February 27, 2017

DevOps-friendly P4-based Implementation Instantly Detects Performance Anomalies across Network, Server and VM Infrastructures; Enables Reliable and Secure Applications at Significantly Higher Speeds and Lower Latencies

MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS, BARCELONA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 27, 2017 – Barefoot Networks, the creator of Tofino™, the world’s fastest 6.5 Tb/s Ethernet switch chip, and Netronome, a leading provider of high-performance intelligent networking solutions, today demonstrated a solution that combines the unique capabilities of the Agilio® CX SmartNIC platform from Netronome with Barefoot's Tofino™ P4-programmable switch to deliver precise and real-time network telemetry information needed to detect, root-cause and correct network problems causing poor service quality and connection drops. These challenges faced by network operators will be further exacerbated by the 10X speeds and surge of new services and data enabled in 5G networks. For the first time, the joint solution demonstrates how DevOps can be empowered to triangulate performance issues to VMs and NICs in servers or network switches, making it possible to immediately detect low-performing virtual network functions (VNFs) in service chains and take corrective actions.

The Cambrian explosion of new applications and services in 5G mobile networks will require network elements in the telco operator data center to service those applications and the zettabytes of data that they generate or consume. Such applications and services require high-performance and efficient coordination of data center resources among network infrastructure, servers, NICs and VMs running VNFs in the telco operator’s data center. The network infrastructure plays a vital role to boost efficiency and provide isolation, SLA handling, and dynamic scale-out across multiple service domains. With today’s solutions, the inability to triangulate performance issues to VMs, NICs or network switches makes it difficult or impossible to effectively implement high levels of SLAs across the network infrastructure. Programmable high-performance switches from Barefoot and SmartNICs from Netronome enable precise triangulation of performance issues to VMs, NICs or switches. Operators can now accurately and promptly quantify any performance degradation and identify impacted network slices, applications, and flows.

“Barefoot Networks is delighted to demonstrate ubiquitous network visibility on a per-packet basis together with Netronome,” said Ed Doe, VP of Product and Marketing at Barefoot Networks. “Having real-time and accurate telemetry information is crucial for running networks reliably today. The combination of our Tofino Ethernet switch with the Agilio SmartNIC from Netronome gives network operators the flexibility to define and extract the metrics they need diagnose and fix bad behavior across the entire network.”

“Deployment of new and innovative services by operators results in constantly changing workloads and network behavior,” said Sujal Das, chief marketing and strategy officer at Netronome. “This implies that implementation of network telemetry must not only be line rate but also programmable. It also needs to be done collaboratively at all points, and DevOps must be empowered to implement what is needed. We are pleased to collaborate with Barefoot Networks to bring these much-needed capabilities into the industry.”

Announced in June 2016, Barefoot Networks’ Tofino Ethernet switch ASICs and Capilano Software Development Environment (SDE) remove the last barrier to full network programmability by opening the forwarding plane, enabling granular control down to the packets flowing on the wire. Its first Tofino chips were delivered to customers in Q4 2016 and the company continues to add industry leaders to its growing network of partners.

The Agilio CX 10GbE, 25GbE and 40GbE SmartNIC platforms from Netronome fully and transparently offload virtual switch and router datapath processing for networking functions such as overlays, security, load balancing and telemetry, enabling compute servers used for server-based networking and cloud computing to save critical CPU cores for application processing while delivering significantly higher performance. The programmable Agilio CX platform features standard low-profile PCIe SmartNICs and software, designed for general-purpose x86 commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) rack servers, fitting needed operating system, power and form factor requirements.

Barefoot Networks and Netronome are demonstrating In-band Network Telemetry (INT) implemented using P4 in SmartNICs and network switches to pinpoint latency degradation caused by service-chained VNFs, generating triggers that can be used to automatically fire up new VNFs or move VNFs to servers with more resources. The demonstration showcases how vendor-agnostic, open source, and common P4 programs can be used across programmable NICs and switches. DevOps teams can easily extend INT on the SmartNIC or the network switch to gather additional metadata or perform additional actions. The live demonstration can be seen in the Netronome booth (2O2MR) at Mobile World Congress, February 28 through March 3, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.

Supporting Resources

About Barefoot Networks

Barefoot Networks launched in 2016 after two years of developing the most programmable and -- at 6.5Terabits/second -- the fastest switches ever built; twice as fast as the previous on record. By enabling organizations to define the network data plane in software, Barefoot empowers network owners and their infrastructure partners to design, optimize, and innovate to meet their specific requirements and gain competitive advantage. In combining the P4 open-source programming language with fast programmable switches, Barefoot has also created an ecosystem of compilers, tools, and P4 code to make P4 accessible to anybody. Barefoot's founders -- Pat Bosshart, Martin Izzard, Dan Lenoski, Nick McKeown -- bring the company more than 100 years of experience in building the fastest and biggest networking systems in the world. Backed by Google Inc., Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments, Alibaba, Tencent and by premier venture capital firms Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Andreessen Horowitz, Barefoot Networks is headquartered in Silicon Valley. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter: @barefootnetwork.

About Netronome

Netronome enables customers to increase the efficiency of their modern data center infrastructure, reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) and driving significantly higher revenue per server. Server-based networking has enabled rapid innovation and transformed the economics for data center compute and networking. However, such deployments are facing significant scaling and efficiency challenges with the rapid adoption of 10GbE and higher bandwidth network infrastructure. Netronome brings back much-needed scale and efficiency without compromising flexibility or the speed of innovation needed in today’s cloud networks running businesses of all sizes. Netronome is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA. To learn more about Netronome and its products, please visit

Barefoot Networks, the Foot Logo and Tofino are trademarks of Barefoot Networks.

Netronome, the Netronome logo, and Agilio are trademarks or registered trademarks of Netronome Systems, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners in the United States and other countries.


Barefoot Networks:

Gary Good Ph: +707-837-1718

Brian Sparks Ph: +1 408-802-2775
VP Marketing Communications

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