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x86 BASED SWITCHING AND MANAGEMENT FOR HIGH BANDWIDTH NETWORK FUNCTIONS VIRTUALIZATION (NFV) APPLICATIONS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000247853D
Publication Date: 2016-Oct-06
Document File: 11 page(s) / 9M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

In various exemplary embodiments, the present disclosure relates to x86 based switching and management for high bandwidth Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) applications. The disclosure uses metro network like topologies for NIC based switches to produce the local equivalent of a metro-network within an x86 platform to overcome the bandwidth limitation of the x86 architecture. Each remote NIC based switch may communicate with a centralized x86 based software switch, and using high speed interconnect, may communicate with other remote NIC based switches directly for the purposes of bypassing the x86 PCIe bus. With the PCIe bus bypassed for most traffic, throughput is improved, the load on the centralized host processor is reduced, and the number of CPU cores required to achieve desired performance is reduced as well.

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x86 BASED SWITCHING AND MANAGEMENT FOR HIGH BANDWIDTH NETWORK FUNCTIONS VIRTUALIZATION (NFV) APPLICATIONS

ABSTRACT

[0001]               In various exemplary embodiments, the present disclosure relates to x86 based switching and management for high bandwidth Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) applications.  The disclosure uses metro network like topologies for NIC based switches to produce the local equivalent of a metro-network within an x86 platform to overcome the bandwidth limitation of the x86 architecture.  Each remote NIC based switch may communicate with a centralized x86 based software switch, and using high speed interconnect, may communicate with other remote NIC based switches directly for the purposes of bypassing the x86 PCIe bus.  With the PCIe bus bypassed for most traffic, throughput is improved, the load on the centralized host processor is reduced, and the number of CPU cores required to achieve desired performance is reduced as well.

DESCRIPTION

[0002]               Again, in various exemplary embodiments, the present disclosure relates to x86 based switching and management for high bandwidth Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) applications.  An x86 based platform can contain multiple Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) or equivalent based Network Interconnect Cards (NIC). However, the bandwidth available on a Gen3 PCIe x16 bus is currently unable to handle the line rate for multiple 100Gbps interfaces on the NIC.  This disclosure describes the use of metro topology orchestration and control, in combination with standard or non-standard interconnects in combination with NIC based switches to produce the local equivalent of a metro-network within an x86 platform to overcome the bandwidth limitation of the x86 architecture. 

[0003]               Advantageously, the present disclosure uses a switch in a NIC form factor, along with interconnect and metro application software to provide support for a metro network-like topologies, such as G.8032 (Ethernet Ring Protection Switching), within a x86 server, in the context of solving x86 architecture bandwidth limitations and providing well understood model for managing the platform.

[0004]               The current solution is to maximize PCIe bus utilization and/or to increase PCIe clock frequencies which may be beyond specification.  Both of these notions only provide a percentage improvement limited by the theoretical maximum of PCIe or tolerance of excessive clock rate by PCIe components.  The bandwidth of x86 platform NIC’s is limited by the PCIe interface they are tied to.  The end result is non-scalable throughput for x86 hardware.

[0005]               For reference, a known implementation of a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) based SMART NIC card is shown in FIG. 1.   This card provides some of the required feature set for implementing a NIC based switch. However it does not have the Switch NIC to Switch NIC connectivity.

FIG. 1 - Known smart NIC solution

[0006]               This disclosure combines mechanical, software...