SwitchBlade: A platform for rapid deployment of network protocols on programmable hardware

Muhammad Bilal Anwer, Murtaza Motiwala, Mukarram Bin Tariq, Nick Feamster

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present SwitchBlade, a platform for rapidly deploying custom protocols on programmable hardware. SwitchBlade uses a pipeline-based design that allows individual hardware modules to be enabled or disabled on the fly, integrates software exception handling, and provides support for forwarding based on custom header fields. SwitchBlade's ease of programmability and wire-speed performance enables rapid prototyping of custom data-plane functions that can be directly deployed in a production network. SwitchBlade integrates common packet-processing functions as hardware modules, enabling different protocols to use these functions without having to resynthesize hardware. SwitchBlade's customizable forwarding engine supports both longest-prefix matching in the packet header and exact matching on a hash value. SwitchBlade's software exceptions can be invoked based on either packet or flow-based rules and updated quickly at runtime, thus making it easy to integrate more flexible forwarding function into the pipeline. SwitchBlade also allows multiple custom data planes to operate in parallel on the same physical hardware, while providing complete isolation for protocols running in parallel. We implemented SwitchBlade using NetFPGA board, but SwitchBlade can be implemented with any FPGA. To demonstrate SwitchBlade's flexibility, we use SwitchBlade to implement and evaluate a variety of custom network protocols: we present instances of IPv4, IPv6, Path Splicing, and an OpenFlow switch, all running in parallel while forwarding packets at line rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCOMM'10 - Proceedings of the SIGCOMM 2010 Conference
Pages183-194
Number of pages12
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 2010
Event7th International Conference on Autonomic Computing, SIGCOMM 2010 - New Delhi, India
Duration: Aug 30 2010Sep 3 2010

Publication series

NameSIGCOMM'10 - Proceedings of the SIGCOMM 2010 Conference

Other

Other7th International Conference on Autonomic Computing, SIGCOMM 2010
CountryIndia
CityNew Delhi
Period8/30/109/3/10

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Theoretical Computer Science

Keywords

  • NetFPGA
  • network virtualization

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    Anwer, M. B., Motiwala, M., Tariq, M. B., & Feamster, N. (2010). SwitchBlade: A platform for rapid deployment of network protocols on programmable hardware. In SIGCOMM'10 - Proceedings of the SIGCOMM 2010 Conference (pp. 183-194). (SIGCOMM'10 - Proceedings of the SIGCOMM 2010 Conference). https://doi.org/10.1145/1851182.1851206