Potential innovation on Pica8 Xorplus

James Liao

Potential Innovation On Pica8 Xorplus

With ASICs from Broadcom, Marvell, and Fulcrum, programmers can enable many innovations on these open platforms. The followings are some potential innovations that have been discussed but not implemented yet.

  1. Use ECN/PCN to dramatically improve the transaction response time - this is based on a paper from Microsoft Research. The Pronto platforms all support ECN/PCN, but need implementation on the CLI to enable these features.

  2. Use TRILL to enable multi-pathing in L2 domain - The Pronto platforms support TRILL at the data plane, but we need to implement TRILL protocol to enable this feature.

  3. Combine Openflow with top-of-rack switches - run everyday protocols but support special flow-configuration through Openflow interface.

  4. Port Open vSwitch to Pica8 platform - Open vSwitch (OVS) is a decent alternative to Cisco's Nexus 1000. There have been some discussion of merging OVS with Xorplus. While the idea makes a lot of sense, it is not clear at which layer OVS can be integrated into Pica8 code..

  5. Use ECMP to enable multi-pathing in L3 domain - Xorplus already supports OSPF/ECMP. We need a network architecture to verify the scalability of this multi-pathing capability.

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