Creating Advanced Functions on Network Processors: Experience and Perspectives

Robert Haas, Clark Jeffries, Lukas Kencl, Andreas Kind, Bernard Metzler, Roman Pletka, Marcel Waldvogel, Laurent Freléchoux, Patrick Droz (2003): Creating Advanced Functions on Network Processors: Experience and Perspectives. In: IEEE Network, 17 (4), S. 46-54, 2003.

Abstract

In this paper, we present five case studies of advanced networking functions that detail how a network processor (NP) can provide high performance and also the necessary flexibility compared with Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs). We first review the basic NP system architectures, and describe the IBM PowerNP architecture from a data-plane as well as from a control-plane point of view. We introduce models for the programmer's views of NPs that facilitate a global understanding of NP software programming. Then, for each case study, we present results from prototypes as well as general considerations that apply to a wider range of system architectures. Specifically, we investigate the suitability of NPs for

  • Quality of Service (active queue management and traffic engineering),
  • header processing (GPRS tunneling protocol),
  • intelligent forwarding (load balancing without flow disruption),
  • payload processing (code interpretation and just-in-time compilation in active networks), and protocol stack termination (SCTP).

Finally, we summarize the key features as revealed by each case study, and conclude with remarks on the future of NPs.

BibTeX (Download)

@article{Haas2003Creating,
title = {Creating Advanced Functions on Network Processors: Experience and Perspectives},
author = {Robert Haas and Clark Jeffries and Lukas Kencl and Andreas Kind and Bernard Metzler and Roman Pletka and Marcel Waldvogel and Laurent Freléchoux and Patrick Droz},
url = {https://netfuture.ch/wp-content/uploads/2003/haas03creating.pdf},
year  = {2003},
date = {2003-01-01},
journal = {IEEE Network},
volume = {17},
number = {4},
pages = {46-54},
abstract = {In this paper, we present five case studies of advanced networking functions that detail how a network processor (NP) can provide high performance and also the necessary flexibility compared with Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs). We first review the basic NP system architectures, and describe the IBM PowerNP architecture from a data-plane as well as from a control-plane point of view. We introduce models for the programmer's views of NPs that facilitate a global understanding of NP software programming. Then, for each case study, we present results from prototypes as well as general considerations that apply to a wider range of system architectures. Specifically, we investigate the suitability of NPs for\begin{itemize}\item Quality of Service (active queue management and traffic engineering),\item header processing (GPRS tunneling protocol),\item intelligent forwarding (load balancing without flow disruption),\item payload processing (code interpretation and just-in-time compilation in active networks), and protocol stack termination (SCTP).\end{itemize}
Finally, we summarize the key features as revealed by each case study, and conclude with remarks on the future of NPs.},
keywords = {Active Networks, Network Processors, Quality of Service, Replication},
pubstate = {published},
tppubtype = {article}
}

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