Un-Masking FD.io – the Open Source Project that Processes Packets (Linda Hardesty, SDxCentral)

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The Fast Data Project (FD.io) is a networking open source project whose scope includes software-based packet processing, fast Input/Output (IO), and universal data plane management across bare metal, hypervisor, and container environments.

FD.io, which was open-sourced by the Linux Foundation in February 2016, was garnering quite a lot of attention at the recent Open Networking Summit (ONS) 2017 in Santa Clara, California.

A key component of FD.io is the Vector Packet Processing (VPP) software donated by Cisco at the inception of the project. This code is already running in products on the market today.

Several people at ONS commented on FD.io’s packet forwarding prowess and how FD.io will be helpful within other network open source groups.

“All of the other open source groups are moot if you can’t forward packets,” said Ed Warnicke, a distinguished consulting engineer with Cisco and chair of the FD.io technical steering committee. “There are many places you need to put that packet forwarding. One place is cloud infrastructure. Another is NFV infrastructure.”

Joel Halpern, a distinguished engineer with Ericsson and a member of the FD.io technical steering committee, added that FD.io “does a beautiful job in supporting straight IP forwarding.”

The VPP software can process packets at 480 Gb/s with zero frame loss. “The system processes faster with software than hardware,” said Warnicke. “There’s nothing else that approaches it.”

Why did Cisco contribute VPP to FD.io?

“There was a crying need in the industry for us all to move forward,” said Warnicke. “We’ve been having a variety of problems with flexibility and performance that FD.io solves that have been festering problems. [Cisco] open-sourced it to enable the industry to move forward.”

Universal Data Plane

In the overall stack, FD.io is the universal data plane. “FD.io runs completely in the user space,” said Warnicke.

To that point, the project’s open source community already includes AT&T, Comcast, ZTE, Huawei, Brocade, Cisco, Ericsson, Metaswitch, Intel, Cavium, Red Hat, and Inocybe as members.

FD.io overall stack

FD.io was also included as part of AT&T’s “Nirvana stack” for SDN.

And finally, OPNFV integrated FD.io in its latest code release, Danube.

Source: SDxCentral

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