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Snabb Switch Deep Dive on Software Gone Wild

The pilot episode of Software Gone Wild podcast featuring Snabb Switch created plenty of additional queries (and thousands of downloads) – it was obviously time for another deep dive episode discussing the intricate innards of this interesting virtual switch.

During the deep dive Luke Gorrie, the mastermind behind the Snabb Switch, answered a long list of questions, including:

  • Is SnabbSwitch a framework or a product that I could download and use?
  • How do I configure it? How do I change the configuration?
  • How can I implement my own forwarding logic? Do I need to program it or can I reuse existing elements?
  • Can I add new networking protocols or NIC device drivers?
  • How can scripting code included in a configuration file forward packets between two 10GE interfaces at line rate?
  • What is the difference between kernel- and user space packet forwarding on Linux?
  • Why is polling faster than interrupt-based packet processing?
  • How do you push 200 Gbps out of a server with 10% CPU load?
  • What’s the difference between Snabb Switch and Intel DPDK?
  • How does Snabb Switch integrate with OpenStack?
  • How can you use SR-IOV to get blazingly fast I/O performance in virtualized environments?

Other interesting tidbits covered in the podcast:

  • From the hardware perspective, you should be able to push half a Tbps through an Intel server, hilariously low forwarding rates we’re seeing on some products today are a software problem;
  • Imagine your switch behaving like a browser executing user-developed JavaScript;
  • Did you know that Snabb Switch uses the same technology as CloudFlare in its DoS prevention tools?
  • Why it makes sense to focus on a very specific hardware platform instead of portability to all possible hardware out there.

Listen to the podcast and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast feed (RSS or iTunes).

1 comment:

  1. Super podcast! So rare to hear a gifted engineer make major contributions, describe them clearly, give them away AND rate-limit the ego. Thanks for spotlighting Luke and Snabb Switch.

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