Open Packet Processor: a programmable architecture for wire speed platform-independent stateful in-network processing

6 May 2016  ·  Giuseppe Bianchi, Marco Bonola, Salvatore Pontarelli, Davide Sanvito, Antonio Capone, Carmelo Cascone ·

This paper aims at contributing to the ongoing debate on how to bring programmability of stateful packet processing tasks inside the network switches, while retaining platform independency. Our proposed approach, named "Open Packet Processor" (OPP), shows the viability (via an hardware prototype relying on commodity HW technologies and operating in a strictly bounded number of clock cycles) of eXtended Finite State Machines (XFSM) as low-level data plane programming abstraction. With the help of examples, including a token bucket and a C4.5 traffic classifier based on a binary tree, we show the ability of OPP to support stateful operation and flow-level feature tracking. Platform independence is accomplished by decoupling the implementation of hardware primitives (registries, conditions, update instructions, forwarding actions, matching facilities) from their usage by an application formally described via an abstract XFSM. We finally discuss limitations and extensions.

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Networking and Internet Architecture


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