Pica8 scales OpenFlow 1,000x

Pica8 scales OpenFlow 1,000x

Support for ONF spec overcomes limits, company says

White box switching company Pica8 this week enhanced its operating system software to overcome limitations in OpenFlow switching.

Pica8 is adding Table Type Patterns (TTP) to PicOS so it can scale to 2 million flows with Cavium’s XPliant switch ASIC, and to 256,000 flows with Broadcom’s StrataXGS Tomahawk switch ASIC. This will enable larger data center build-outs, Pica8 says, because typical TCAM flow capacity in the top-of-rack installed base today is between 1,000 and 2,000 flows.

+MORE ON NETWORK WORLD: Crossroads for OpenFlow?+

TTP is an Open Networking Foundation specification to augment OpenFlow switch hardware and application/controller communications. TTP defines how tables are set up in a switch, which an SDN controller can program via the OpenFlow switch protocol.

It is an optional enhancement and may not be needed in cases where, for example, forwarding can be implemented in a single flow table.

With TTP, customers can scale OpenFlow SDNs more broadly, Pica8 says, and deploy it across a range of data center applications like hybrid cloud, disaster recovery, and network monitoring. It can also unlock the scaling limitations of the ASIC so OpenFlow can support up to a 1,000x increase in the number of flows.

TTP is in early release and will be generally available with PicOS version 2.6.5 in March.

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