Broadcom adds carrier features to SDN platform

Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ: BRCM) has released version 2.0 of its next-generation OpenFlow Data Plane Abstraction (OF-DPA) reference platform. With support for new networking protocols, the OF-DPA v2.0 reference platform allows data centers and service providers to quickly deploy new applications and services via software-defined networking (SDN).

Broadcom Corp. (NASDAQ: BRCM) has released version 2.0 of its next-generation OpenFlow Data Plane Abstraction (OF-DPA) reference platform. With support for new networking protocols, the OF-DPA v2.0 reference platform allows data centers and service providers to quickly deploy new applications and services via software-defined networking (SDN).

The OF-DPA v2.0 reference platform enables service providers to provision, control, and instrument network switch elements through a standardized instruction set, based on the OpenFlow specification, APIs and its extensions. Designed to run on Broadcom's StrataXGS Ethernet switch chipset, the reference platform delivers on the flexibility and control requirements of large-scale carrier deployments, according to the vendor.

"Broadcom's OF-DPA v2.0 supports emerging SDN use cases for service provider networks," said Ram Velaga, Broadcom senior vice president and general manager, network switch. "The OF-DPA 2.0 feature set for the widely deployed StrataXGS-based hardware, coupled with a rich software ecosystem, enables improved efficiency and operational agility for the largest carriers around the globe."

Broadcom's OF-DPA v2.0 reference platform includes new carrier features including MPLS-TP, OAM and QoS support, and has the potential to be optimized around other carrier use cases. Carrier network operators will now have access to the same scalable infrastructure with programming abstractions that can be automated from standard controllers resulting in cost and time efficiencies. Examples of these include requirements for a packet transport network (PTN) switch and the semantics of hardware packet flows.

"China Mobile has pioneered the design and implementation of packet-based transport networking and is actively leading the introduction of SDN controls in our next-generation Super-PTN network. We are looking forward to chip level solutions and the release of OF-DPA 2.0 for transport networking is an important milestone in enabling a wide array of existing switch solutions to be rapidly deployed to meet China Mobile's Super-PTN application requirements and to unleash the full potential of OpenFlow over merchant silicon," said Dr. Li Han, vice director, network technology department, China Mobile Research Institute.

Broadcom's OF-DPA v2.0 reference platform implements the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) OpenFlow 1.3.1 specification. OF-DPA defines and implements a hardware abstraction layer that maps the feature-rich StrataXGS switch architecture to the OpenFlow v1.3.1 switch and pipeline while providing innovative concepts on how OpenFlow can be implemented in the most efficient way. The OF-DPA specification and API have been openly published and provided with turnkey reference implementation on original device manufacturers and Open Compute Project (OCP)-compliant switches to enable a community and academia-based development ecosystem.

"We are excited to see strong silicon support for the OpenFlow protocol; the Open Networking Foundation has been actively cultivating such support, which brings true OpenFlow-based SDN capabilities to the high-performance forwarding plane. Network operators benefit from a choice of both hardware and software switches and overlay and underlay approaches, and OpenFlow fills the market demand for a native, standard, vendor-neutral southbound protocol," said Dan Pitt, executive director, Open Networking Foundation (ONF).

The product introduction was backed by a wide variety of vendors including original equipment manufacturers like Hewlett-Packard, NEC Corp., and Telco Systems; original device manufacturers such as Accton Technology, Advantech Networks and Communications Group, Kontron and Pica 8. Ecosystem partners including IP Infusion, Metaswitch, and NTT Network Innovation Laboratories also confirmed their support for the Broadcom OF-DPA v2.0 reference platform.

Broadcom's OF-DPA v2.0 EA0 reference platform is available now.

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