Disaggregate: Networking - Breaking Barriers, Setting Records!

PremPrem Jonnalagadda l Jan 31, 2017

Last week we had the privilege of being part of first ever “Disaggregate: Networking” event held at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park. This event was an invitation-only, technical conference for engineers with an interest in open and disaggregated networking solutions. It was a delight to demonstrate our programmable forwarding plane technology at this event

Why Forwarding Planes will be Programmable: New Paradigms and Use Cases in Networking

Nick McKeown, our Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, presented the technology and architecture that powers Tofnio - world’s fastest and user-programmable 6.5Tb/s Ethernet switch ASIC. He showed how the combination of Tofino and P4 allows network owners and developers to not just define their own forwarding plane, but, more importantly, get real-time and packet-by-packet visibility into their network. He also explained how programmable forwarding planes enable new use cases in packet forwarding and the benefits this new paradigm provides.

For more details you can watch the video of his talk below.

Tofino, Capilano, P4, Wedge 100B & Unprecedented Network Visibility

At our demo booth, attendees got a chance to check out our Tofino Ethernet switch ASICs and the Wedge 100B platforms - a 1RU 3.2Tb/s 32xQSFP28 switch and a 2RU 6.5Tb/s 65xQSFP28 switch. We’ve also shared the specs for these designs with the OCP community, giving it access to first ever P4-programmable and world’s fastest Ethernet switch.

Tofino set several records when it sampled to customers last quarter and now Wedge 100B sets even more. Wedge 100B designs are the first user-programmable Ethernet switches to be available to the OCP community, leveraging the P4 programming language ecosystem. Wedge 100B series includes the 6.5Tb/s platform which is the world's fastest Ethernet switch and its now available to the OCP community. With Wedge 100B series of switches network engineers and developers utilizing the OCP ecosystem to have access, for the first time, to the forwarding plane of their network via our Capilano Software Development Environment (SDE) - imagine the possibilities!

We’ve even had a live demo running continuously throughout the day, visualizing real-time per-packet queue occupancy and microbursts on our 6.5Tb/s Tofino Ethernet switch. The switch was running our Capilano SDE with switch.p4 forwarding plane program, which implements all the forwarding features you would find in a typical top-of-rack switch. Below are a few pictures from the demo booth and Nick’s talk.

Beginnings of the programmable forwarding plane era

The feedback we received from developers and network engineers at the event reinforced the need for Barefoot to continue to execute on our vision of making networks blazing fast and fully programmable. We strongly believe in enabling a fully open and disaggregated networking stack, giving network owners and developers the ability to own and control all layers of the networking stack, including the forwarding plane. We are at the beginning of that era!