External Networking Switching in Linux

This proposal has been rejected.


One Line Summary

Linux enhancements enabling offloading of network switching to external physical or adapter embedded switches; and changes required for optimized VM migrations


With increasing use of virtual servers there is a requirement for automating the associated network management and administration. Each hypervisor adds multiple switches to the network, as well as the network adapters are incorporating switching functions as they support io virtualization.

This paper describes the Linux enhancements enabling the offloading of the switching function to the external physical switches (in adapters or in the physical network) enabling simplification of the management and enforcement of port profiles. We also discuss the current implementation supporting IEEE 802.1Qbg/Qbh and the future enhancements required in qemu/kvm to overcome current limitations. We will discuss and propose solutions for VM migration when external switching and io virtualization is supported, and support required for “multi-channel” i.e enable host based, as well as external switching on the same uplink simultaneously.

This presentation complements the proposal “Automating Network Isolation and Quality of Service”. Both will form the basis for a miniconf/BoF on linux layer-2 switching, isolation, QoS and performance.


  • Biography

    Vivek works in IBM’s Linux Technology Center leading Linux Containers, Application mobility and Network Virtualization. Vivek has worked on Linux resource management, delay-accounting, Energy & hardware management, and authored InfiniBand, IPoIB, IEEE 802.1Qbg protocol standards and worked on corresponding implementation in Linux.

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