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An Introduction to Bare-Metal Networking

Time 09/27/16 11:50AM-12:10PM

Room Trianon

Session Abstract

Bare-metal networking started to change the way networks are managed in the area of big cloud datacenters first. But now, additional users are looking into this approach, motivated by functional advantages in managing the devices using well known server tools like Puppet, Chef and similar. The bare-metal approach also promises to achieve better exposure of the chipset capabilities, getting access to better performance and monitoring data, and reduce the code on the device to what’s really needed for the specific use case.
In this talk, I plan to discuss the whole ecosystem of bare-metal networking, and the important technological developments. We will look at:

            What role does the OpenComputeProject play?
            L1 - What chipsets are available, what do the chipset provide
            L2 - What are ODMs offering
            L3 - Bootloaders / ONIE: How does it work, why is it important
            L4 – ASIC APIs: what changed, SAI
            L5 – NetworkOs: Open Network Linux, Ubuntu Snappy
            L(5+6): NetworkOs plus forwarding application: (Cumulus, PicOs, OpenSwitch,..)
            L7 – Integrated solutions – Application specific firmware

From this base understanding of the bare-metal approach we will mention some related developments like SwitchDev and P4, and look at some use cases where companies went the bare-metal way, and what their motivation and results were. This will also highlight the areas where bare-metal networking allows for new or improved functionality compared to traditional networking approaches.


Speaker Uwe Dahlmann Indiana University

Presentation Media

Primary track Advanced Networking

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