Today at the Open Networking Summit, Intel announced the
Intel Open Network Platform, introducing several hardware
and software tools aimed at boosting data center networking
efficiency and performance.
During a keynote, Rose Schooler, vice president of the Intel
Architecture Group and general manager of the Communications
and Storage Infrastructure Group, discussed how using
standard x86 servers and programmable switches to deploy and
manage virtualized networking infrastructure with
software-defined networking will lower costs and enable data
center and telecom networks to deploy new services. To see
how software-defined networking and Intel's network function
virtualization as complementary networking technologies are
poised to transform the way networks are designed, deployed
and managed across data center and telecom infrastructure
environments, watch this video
Intel announced three reference architectures that will
enable the IT and telecom industries to accelerate hardware
and software development for software-defined networking
(SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV).
These reference architectures, aimed for the
telecommunications, cloud data center and enterprise data
center infrastructure market segments, combine open
standards for SDN and NFV with Intel hardware and software
to enable networks to be more agile and intelligent so they
can adapt to changing market dynamics.
"SDN and NFV are critical elements of Intel's vision to
transform the expensive, complex networks of today to a
virtualized, programmable, standards-based architecture
running commercial off-the-shelf hardware," said Rose
Schooler, vice president of Intel Architecture Group and
general manager of Intel's Communications and Storage
Infrastructure Group. "The reference designs announced today
enable a new phase in the evolution of the network and
represent Intel's commitment to driving an open environment
that fosters business agility and smart economics."
Data centers and network infrastructure providers are under
constant pressure to support new, revenue-generating
services in the public and private cloud, yet the costs of
building the infrastructure are often too high to do so. The
reference designs and development kits are an important part
of Intel's strategy to enable the industry to move toward
open, standards-based technologies such as SDN and NFV.
SDN and NFV are complementary networking technologies poised
to transform how networks are designed, deployed and managed
across data center and telecom infrastructure environments.
By separating control and data planes, SDN allows the
network to be programmed and managed externally at much
larger and more dynamic scale for better traffic control
across the entire datacenter. NFV allows service providers
to virtualize and manage networking functions such as
firewall, VPN or intrusion detection service as virtual
applications running on a high-volume x86-based server.
Codenamed "Seacliff Trail," the Intel Open Network Platform (ONP)
Switch Reference Design is based on
scalable Intel processors, Intel Ethernet Switch 6700 series
and Intel Communications Chipset 89xx series, and is
available now. The ONP Switch Reference Design will include
Wind River Open Network Software (ONS), an open and fully
customizable network switching software stack using Wind
River Linux. Wind River ONS allows for key networking
capabilities such as advanced tunneling as well as modular,
open control plane and management interface supporting SDN
standards such as OpenFlow and Open vSwitch. Common, open
programming interfaces allow for automated network
management, and coordination between the server switching
elements and network switches enabling more cost-effective,
secure, efficient and extensible services.
Network architectures have traditionally been optimized for
large packet throughput to meet the needs of enterprise
end-point applications. Intel is executing a project aimed
at improving small packet throughput and workload
performance that can be achieved on the Open vSwitch using
the Intel DPDK. Intel is specifically re-creating the kernel
forwarding module (data plane) to take advantage of the
Intel DPDK library. The Intel DPDK Accelerated Open vSwitch
is planned to initially be released with the Intel ONP
Server Reference Design in the third quarter of this year.
This server reference platform, codenamed "Sunrise Trail,"
is based on the Intel Xeon processor, Intel 82599 Ethernet
Controller and Intel Communications Chipset 89xx series. The
ONP Server Reference Design enables virtual appliance
workloads on standard Intel architecture servers using SDN
and NFV open standards for datacenter and telecom. Wind
River Open Network Software includes an Intel DPDK
Accelerated Open vSwitch, fast packet acceleration and deep
packet inspection capabilities, as well as support for open
SDN standards such as OpenFlow, Open vSwitch and OpenStack.
The project is in development now: the first alpha series is
slated to be available in the second half of this year.
Many ISVs, OEMs and service providers are building solutions
on top of Intel's switch reference architecture, including
ATT Foundry, Big Switch Network, Chunghwa Telecom, HP, NEC,
NTT Data, Quanta, Super Micro and VMware.