Switches Optimized for NFV Support
Programmable switches for easier, faster and more cost-effective deployment of NFV
The old solutions just don’t work anymore…
Despite the last twenty years’ breakthroughs in data center compute and storage, or even perhaps because of them, rising network costs remain an inescapable issue. Networking technology lags significantly behind compute and storage in taking advantage of virtualization and disaggregation, resulting rigid all-in-one designs, vendor lock-in, the multiplication of protocols, proprietary interfaces, non-deterministic network behavior, and a very limited ability to interact meaningfully with the applications and services that use network resources. Unlike compute and storage, the network neither scales-up, nor scales out, placing limitations on the benefits of Hyperscale architectures and causing major headaches to data center and network managers.
The networking industry sees NFV (Network Function Virtualization) as the solution to leveraging virtualization in the network itself, and the explosive growth in the use of NFV for an ever-expanding array of applications has provided real benefits, but at the cost of increased network complexity, challenging long standing assumptions and ideas about how networks should be built.
The NoviSwitch Difference
Unlike legacy network equipment, NoviFlow’s NoviSwitches have architected from the ground-up to deliver a networking fabric optimized for implementing programmable forwarding planes: very large table sizes, multiple tables, packet payload matching and traffic handling at line rate for even hyperscale networks.
NoviSwitches uses Network Processors (NPUs), which provide both high throughput and full programmability. When combined with NoviFlow’s NoviWare NOS, NoviSwitch provides a silicon based forwarding plane that is 2 to 3 orders of magnitude faster than x86 processors, yet can deliver the fully programmable packet pipeline needed to provide both the agility and scalability required by today’s networks.
This approach allows central control of handling of all aspects of the virtual connections needed to support NFV, in all areas where VNFs get exposed directly to the network: network gateways, access or aggregation switches or even at the Top-of-Rack. In these solutions, NoviSwitches transparently take on all packet processing and redirection tasks for servers supporting NFV. NoviFlow’s NoviSwitches connect transparently to OpenStack via the OpenFlow Controller using the Neutron plug-in, greatly simplifying installation, deployment and management of network services such as routing, tunneling, monitoring, security filtering, metering, service chaining, load balancing, time stamping and other flow-tasks, all at line-rate as part of network fabric
This enables the data center to recover up to 60% of the capacity lost to OvS overhead, and to deliver the same processing capacity at less than 80% the cost!
- Allows transparent instantiation, relocation and elimination of Virtualized Network Functions in at key points in the network and via a central control function
- Programmable pipeline, full OpenFlow 1.3 to 1.5, millions of flows at line-rate up to 100Gbps per port and 800 Gbps switching capacity in 1U
- Low risk, incremental, overlay deployment
- Routing, tunneling, monitoring, security filtering, metering, service chaining, load balancing, time stamping and other flow-handling at line-rate as part of network fabric
- Supports NoviFlow’s vSwitch Offload and Scale-Out Router solutions
- Server CPU performance gains from vSwitch off-load may be as much as 250% or a 60% reduction in the number of servers for a given payload
- Lower latency and less jitter: Port-to-port latency is lower and more consistent in a NPU-based TOR Switch than what can be achieved with vSwitch running on an x86 server
- Access control, path optimization and security become an integral part of the network fabric
- Simplifies deployment of NFV, cloud and multi-tenant services
- NO vendor lock in as all components delivered on commercial off-the-shelf hardware.
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