Integrating NICs with embedded switches in a Linux ecosystem

This proposal has been accepted as a session.


One Line Summary

Discuss current and future switch features that are or will be embedded into the NIC as well as how these features could be managed in a Linux environment.


Recently there has been ongoing work to improve the management of embedded bridges. In the simple cases the hardware can offload support for VEBs (virtual edge bridges) and expose network devices as virtual functions or network device queues. Recently, the FDB (forwarding database) has been exposed and can now be managed, but this only provides support for the most basic scenarios.

More advanced embedded switches can support VEPA (virtual edge port aggregator) modes, S-channels, port-vlans, Openflow, and multiple stacked components to name a few.

In this talk we will discuss current features the bridge management API exposes for hardware offloads and the logical models used to manage these devices. With the ground work covered we would then like to propose improvements to the existing APIs and discuss features that will be supported in upcoming hardware with the goal to better integrate embedded switching in the Linux ecosystem.


networking, virtualization, bridge, SR-IOV, VEPA, eswitch


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