Aaron Glenn, network enthusiast and managing director of AAGICo Berlin UG, talks to Ethan Banks and Drew Conry-Murray of Packet Pushers about the innovative and beneficial deployment of P4 within Open Networking infrastructures. Aaron gives a profound, in-depth insight into the programming language, explains in detail how P4 works, and presents use cases.

P4 (programming protocol-independent packet processors) is a domain-specific language which is used to specify the packet behavior and unambiguously define the forwarding plane regardless of the underlying hardware, while the program defines the packet headers and the processing logic. It enables the reconfiguration of parsing and the processing, while the hardware (target), which can be an ASIC, an FPGA or a NIC, acts as a compiler, providing information and instructions via match-action tables.

Although P4 might appear to be a general-purpose programming language, it is not; neither is it a successor of OpenFlow. In general, it doesn’t provide the abstraction to create packets due to its boundaries to computation and memory consumption, and it only specifically enables the user to modify the packets on a very low level (from Layer 2 to Layer 4). It can represent any packet forwarding behavior, not only for Barefoot Tofino, which is also the first hardware switching ASIC that natively supports P4.

In the presentation, Aaron explains the program and architectures, the main components of a P4 program, and how it functions within the network environment. He illustrates the essential elements of P4 and various use cases of P4Runtime, the control plane interface to P4 for fixed-functions devices. He conlcuded with how to get access to P4 and provides valuable web links to online tutorials.



Packet Pushers

Packet Pushers is an independent community of IT practitioners and vendors who provide focused, profound and practical content covering networking, data center design, virtualization, and general technology trends. The community is primarily built around a successful podcast (up to 250K downloads per month), but they also operate a blog and a forum to share practical and technical information and evaluation. A major part of the work relies on sponsorship, enabling the members to perform essential research and ensure valuable and high-grade content.

STORDIS Advanced Programmable Switches with Barefoot Tofino ASIC

If you would like to learn more about the beneficial use of P4, the Tofino-based STORDIS APS (Advanced Programmable Switches) and how they can enhance your own enterprise network, you are very welcome to visit us at www.stordis.com or contact us directly at enquiries@wptest.stordis.de or +49 (0) 711 34 21 58 0.

Disclaimer: STORDIS was not involved in the production of the webinar with Aaron Glenn. The webinar was published initially by Packet Pushers at https://bit.ly/2X91yKo on March 25th 2019.

The rapid development of the media and broadcasting industry is setting high standards for network infrastructures in questions of flexibility, reliability and efficiency. Omnimago, a Germany-based full-service provider particularly specialized in post-editing, digitalization and storage, required a scalable, high-speed network infrastructure while sticking to a tight budget.

As the Open Networking Expert, STORDIS aims to drive innovation in the field of Open Networking. Therefore, it was a great opportunity to provide Omnimago with the most efficient combination of high-quality hardware and software and to supervise the installation.

Edgecore Networks offers scalable, disaggregated network solutions. Their industry-leading products are essentially qualified to meet network requirements in different markets, particularly in the broadcasting industry. Edgecore’s complete solutions generate value for customers by offering a broad product portfolio spanning data center switches, core switches, access switches, enterprise-level wireless devices and network management tools. One of these is the Edgecore AS5712-54X, which was deployed at Omnimago. As the expert in the field of Open Networking, STORDIS endorses the high quality of Edgecore’s bare metal switches and the spectrum of possibilities their products offer.

Pica8 developed an open Linux-based network operating system that runs on a large number of conventional white box switches from various manufacturers and perfectly complements the deployed Edgecore AS5712-54X. The unique network operating system PICOS® provides unlimited, non-disruptive control of the enterprise applications, enables monitoring dynamic traffic, as well as security and delegation capabilities. PICOS® is fully interoperable with the existing legacy infrastructure to increase flexibility, performance, security and reliability at a fraction of the cost, which made it the perfect choice for Omnimago in combination with the Edgecore AS5712-54X.

Do you have any question or are curious how you could benefit from Open Networking? Get in touch with us and we will help you!