SDN Gateways – accelerated network functions

Most telco network applications have sophisticated Linux implementations in user and kernel space. We use the standard control plane already available and offload the Linux kernel functions to commodity whitebox hardware or SmartNICs.

By tapping into the netlink interface, baseboxd off-loads telco applications to commodity hardware without having to rewrite the control plane.

Don’t write controller apps – kernel first!

Typical network applications already have open source implementations:

Instead of re-writing these applications as SDN Controller Apps (and re-implementing them to a large extent one more time) one can use existing Open Source projects and climb on the shoulders of giants!

    • Control/User Plane Separation (CUPS)
      • Decompose network functions to become “cloud native”
      • Make external hardware controllable from virtualized network functions (VNF)
    • Common user plane abstraction: Linux pipeline 
      • baseboxd SDN controller translates Linux pipeline to OF-DPA 3.05
      • additionally, a grpc interface for non-OpenFlow (and beyond OpenFlow config)
      • no separate north-bound interface to controller – no SDN “apps”
      • tight integration with systemd-networkd
      • automated provisioning with puppet/chef/ansible/saltstack
    • Advantages
      • Re-use of millions of lines of Linux code
    • Hardware acceleration (up to factor 1.000)
      • Step 1: DPDK inside VNF – factor 10
      • Step 2: Programmable NIC on server – factor 10
      • Step 3: Whitebox switch – factor 10

Based on the concept we have created solutions for scalable IPSEc, vBNG, and WiFi gateways. Check the “Carrier Solutions” pages to learn more!