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Barefoot Networks, Google Cloud, ONF and P4.org to Showcase P4 Runtime-based Control of Network Switches

P4 Runtime, a silicon-independent and protocol-independent API for control plane - forwarding plane communication, to be demonstrated at the upcoming SDN NFV World Congress  

PALO ALTO, CA - (October 3, 2017) - As P4 continues to gain adoption and momentum as a leading programming language for networking, Barefoot Networks and Google Cloud have collaborated to create an open source project under P4.org called P4 Runtime - an API for enabling communication between control plane and forwarding plane in an extensible and scalable manner. The P4 Runtime API is suitable for local or remote control plane software and it is independent of the underlying forwarding plane type. It offers the ability to control a wide variety of networking devices including fixed-function ASICs, FPGAs, NPUs, software switches, and Programmable ASICs.

In addition to the above effort, Barefoot Networks and Google Cloud worked with Open Networking Foundation (ONF) to integrate P4 Runtime with the ONOS™ controller. The combined framework is used to demonstrate ONOS controller deploying and managing Google’s tor.p4 program on Barefoot Networks’ 6.5Tb/s and 3.2Tb/s P4-Programmable Tofino Ethernet switches.

With the advent and increasing use of P4-programmable forwarding planes, a control plane that can evolve and change as fast as the programmable forwarding plane is a critical necessity. This demonstration of ONOS with P4 Runtime fulfills that need by showcasing a network switch deployment model that is seamlessly upgradeable for installing new features and functionality.

"AT&T applauds efforts that disaggregate hardware from software using open, standard and extensible APIs," said Andre Fuetsch, President AT&T Labs and Chief Technology Officer at AT&T. "We’re excited to see P4 Runtime gaining traction. When integrated with the open and globally-adopted ONAP platform, it will pay huge dividends to network operators."

"As networks scale to handle the onslaught of new services and insatiable need for bandwidth, having open and extensible hardware abstractions has become a critical business need," said Jochen Appel, VP Access Network Engineering & Cost Engineering at Deutsche Telekom. "We are very excited about P4 Runtime, since it gives us the freedom to deploy best-in-class network switching solutions thereby shortening time to market for new network services and delivering increased value to our customers.”

“With the arrival of P4 and P4-programmable devices, the logic for processing packets in the forwarding plane has moved to software while continuing to deliver the performance of hardware,” said Nick McKeown, Chief Scientist and Co-Founder, Barefoot Networks, “With Barefoot Tofino, P4, P4 Runtime and ONOS, you now have a high performance networking stack that is fully programmable, giving you complete control of the network.”

“As an early member of P4.org and a pioneer in programmable switching solutions, Cavium is very supportive of the P4 Runtime project,” said Eric Hayes VP/GM Switch Platform Group, Cavium, “With the growing momentum of programmability in the networking industry and the production availability of Cavium’s XPliant multi-terabit programmable switching solutions, Cavium is extending support for the P4 Runtime abstraction to enable developers to design and deploy networks that benefit from open, extensible, application-centric SDN solutions."

“By integrating P4 Runtime with our ONOS controller, we are making progress towards building completely programmable solutions whereby applications can dynamically dictate behavior all the way down into the forwarding plane,” said Timon Sloane, VP Marketing  & Ecosystem, ONF. “This is a significant step making possible the next era of innovation in Software-Defined Networking.”

Please join us today for a webinar with Nick McKeown, Chief Scientist and Co-Founder at Barefoot Networks, Timon Sloane, VP Marketing & Ecosystem at ONF and Jim Wanderer, Director of Platforms Engineering at Google, as they present P4 Runtime and their collaborative work at 9AM PST. You can register for the webinar here.

Barefoot Networks also announced today its sponsorship of SDN NFV World Congress 2017, held October 9-13 at The Hague, Netherlands. The world's largest meeting place for carrier network transformation industry leaders, SDN NFV World Congress provides a platform for industry-leading innovations and speaking sessions. Barefoot, Google and ONF will demonstrate their collaboration in ONF’s booth (A4) at the event. Barefoot will also be demonstrating its Tofino™ Switch, the world’s fastest and P4-programmable switch chip in its own booth A3.  Please come and visit us.

P4 Runtime related activities at SDN NFV World Congress include:

  • Tuesday, October 10
    • 4:00 PM - 4:20 PM - Next Generation SDN Switches, Jim Wanderer, Director of Engineering, Platforms, Google and Alternate Board Member, Open Networking Foundation
  • Friday, October 13
    • 9:40 - 10:00 AM - Keynote, Nick McKeown, Professor, EE and CS, Stanford University and Chief Scientist, Chairman and Co-Founder, Barefoot Networks
  • Tuesday, October 10 - Friday October 13
    • 8:15AM - 7:15PM - tor.p4 + P4 Runtime + ONOS Demonstration – hosted at the Open Networking Foundation booth A4, the demo is a joint effort between Barefoot, ONF and Google. See Trail Point #15 for more detail.

To connect with Barefoot Networks at SDN NFV World Congress, please contact info@barefootnetworks.com.   

About Barefoot Networks
Barefoot Networks launched in 2016 after two years of developing technology that built switch silicon with a forwarding plane that is defined in software while not compromising on performance. Barefoot empowers network owners and their infrastructure partners to design, optimize, and innovate to meet their specific requirements and gain competitive advantage. In combining the P4 programming language with fast programmable switches, Barefoot has also created an ecosystem for compilers, tools, and P4 programs to make P4 accessible to anybody. Backed by Google Inc., Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments, Alibaba, Tencent, and by premier venture capital firms Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Andreessen Horowitz, Barefoot Networks is headquartered in Silicon Valley. For more information, visit https://barefootnetworks.com/. Follow us on Twitter: @barefootnetwork. Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/barefootnetworks. Follow us on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/barefoot-networks

Barefoot Networks, the Foot Logo and Tofino are trademarks of Barefoot Networks.

About ONF
The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is an operator led consortium spearheading disruptive network transformation. Now the recognized leader for open source solutions for operators, the ONF first launched in 2011 as the standard bearer for Software Defined Networking (SDN). Led by its operator partners AT&T, China Unicom, Comcast, Deutsche Telekom, Google, NTT Communications, Turk Telekom and Verizon, the ONF has now merged operations with ON.Lab to create a single organization driving vast transformation across the operator space. For further information visit https://opennetworking.org.