Network Service Headers: Additions to OVS to support SFC - OVS Conference 2015





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Published on Nov 20, 2015

Presented by: Uri Elzur, Intel; Thomas Graf, Noiro Networks; Russell Bryant, Red Hat; Danny Zhou, Intel

In this talk we will review the contributions made to Open vSwitch to support Network Service Headers (NSH) based SFC (Service Function Chaining) into the kernel and DPDK accelerated userspace datapaths. For the handling of NSH, OVS must be able to:

* Act as OpenFlow classifier to classify packets that need to be pushed through a service function chain and add the requisite NSH header. This header allows the infrastructure to sequence this frame through the different services it requires.

* Acts as a Service Function Forwarder (SFF) which steers an NSH encapsulated frame to the next service, by looking at the NSH service path and service index to determine how the frame should be forwarded.

* Provides a mechanism allowing NSH encapsulated frame to carry shared metadata between service functions along the instantiated service path.

The configuration interface uses a combination of OpenFlow and OVSDB to allow control and orchestration layers to program these service chains into Open vSwitch. We will discuss the details of the patches submitted to OVS, compare the kernel and DPDK accelerated userspace modes in terms of performance and capability, and discuss the pressing needs for service function chaining today both in the Data Center and Telco markets. We also intend to discuss and share future plans for NSH in OVS, which includes OAM support, variable metadata length support, and the continuous optimization of forwarding performance.

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