New Advanced Programmable Switches First to Unlock the Full Potential of P4
Open Networking expert STORDIS today announced the launch of two bare-metal switches powered by the fully (P4-) programmable Barefoot Tofino. An industry first, the STORDIS Advance Programmable Switches (APS) offer comprehensive 1588 v2 time synchronization support, as well as providing more powerful processing, higher memory and greater in-built storage capacity.
Advanced networking functionality can deliver significant, and sometimes critical, business advantage across an increasing number of markets. The implementation of the open source P4 programming language on Barefoot’s Tofino switching and routing ASIC, is sparking a new boom in open networking innovation, allowing industry groups, system integrators and end-users to engineer significant new advantage for themselves.
Stordis’ new, more powerful and feature-rich, bare-metal switches have been built in response to specific, unmet customer requirements across a variety of markets including telecoms, finance, media and broadcast, cybersecurity, industry and academia.
“In delivering P4 training for Barefoot in Europe and speaking to customers, we found that users needed a more powerful hardware platform to capture the full benefits of the Tofino chipset’s programmable architecture. Support for time synchronisation is also essential to engineer solid business advantage across a range of industries,” states Alexander Jeffries, CEO of STORDIS. “These are the first switches to go beyond simply swapping out the chipset in a standard OTS bare-metal switch. We have put a lot of thought and research into building a broader, open hardware architecture that supports real-world use cases. And we will be releasing the full switch specifications to the Open Compute Project.”
Both switches are available in early April from STORDIS.
STORDIS APS Hardware Specifications
Alongside support for boundary and transparent clock time synchronisation, both new switch models sport an 8-core CPU, 128GB SSD and 32GB of RAM. The 25G platform (see below) is also the only Tofino based switch to have 1G support, delivering backward-compatibility that is essential in many markets.
The first two models in the STORDIS APS series are:
- BF2556X-1T: 48x25G/8x100G, supporting speeds of 1, 10, 25, 40, 50 and 100G, based on the Barefoot Tofino 2.0Tbps ASIC, 8-core CPU, 128GB SSD, 32GB RAM, 1588v2 support, 1 x 1PPS SMA connector, 2x SFP SDN controller ports, support for 1G on ports 1 to 16
- BF6064X-T: 64x100G, support speeds of 10, 25, 40, 50 and 100G, based on the Barefoot Tofino 6.4Tbps ASIC, 8-core CPU, 128GB SSD, 32GB RAM, 1588v2 support, 2x RJ45 SDN controller ports
The switches come with AC and DC power supply options, and a 12V DC pass through module (PTM) is also available for the use in OCP racks.
Built for Software-Defined Networking
The switches also incorporate two dedicated SDN controller ports, allowing for easy and redundant integration into a broader, unified SDN architecture. With the flexibility of the programmability of the Barefoot Tofino ASIC using P4, customers can develop bespoke, specific, business-orientated data-plane code, which can be controlled through open controllers such as ONOS.
STORDIS Training and Development Services
STORDIS already provides P4 training for existing Barefoot customers across Europe, and the company will be supporting its own switching hardware with an extensive range of complimentary services. Customers will have access to a range of training options around P4 development and other aspects of open networking. In addition, STORDIS will be offering expert consultancy and additional development resources for customers taking on their own in-house development projects.
The company is also keen to ensure that open networking does not have to mean ‘Do-it-Yourself’. STORDIS will be offering bespoke development as a service, giving customers without a dedicated network development team equal access to the benefits of bespoke network functionality and open networking innovation.
The new STORDIS switches will support a range of commercial switch operating systems including NoviFlow’s Noviware, with further options to be announced in the near future. In addition, there is support for open source options, such as Open Network Linux (ONL), SONIC/SAI and Ubuntu. There is also support for the Open Networking Foundation’s latest ‘Stratum’ project (based on ONL).
This choice of switch operating systems allows users to make use of the Tofino’s capabilities, providing ready-developed access to specific functionality for dedicated use cases.
Continuing STORDIS’ support for the open networking community, the design documentation of both switches has been submitted to the Open Compute Project (OCP) with the intention of receiving the OCP Accepted™ recognition. The switches will be the first submitted to OCP with time synchronisation support. In addition, a 2U OCP rackmount shelf will also be submitted to receive the OCP Accepted™ recognition mark. This will be the first 2U switch rackmount shelf submitted to the OCP.
“The STORDIS switches make available new features and technology with a very comprehensive support package. STORDIS’ decision to support ONL, SONIC, Stratum and programmability with P4 aligns with the needs and opportunities we see in the market. Customers will also value having an OCP-recognized switch with this level of support,” stated Bill Carter, Chief Technology Officer for OCP.
Summary of unique facts:
- World’s first bare-metal switch based on Barefoot’s Tofino with 1588v2 time-synchronisation support
- First Tofino switches with highly powerful CPUs, larger SSD and sufficient memory to make best use of the Tofino’s capabilities
- First Tofino-based switches with dedicated SDN controller ports
- First switches with 1588v2 support to be submitted to the OCP
- First Tofino-based switch supporting speeds from 1-100GbE
STORDIS is ‘The Open Networking Expert’ and Europe's leading provider of open networking infrastructure solutions with a primary focus on academia and research, media and entertainment, cyber security, service providers, financial services, defense, and telecommunication.
STORDIS is specialized in developing tailor-made networking solutions for customers worldwide. As a full solution provider, STORDIS offers consultancy, system integration, professional support and software development to enterprises of any size. To complement the range of existing hardware, STORDIS designed a versatile, powerful and fully programmable network switch delivering significant business advantage in various fields of the industry.
At the two cutting-edge STORDIS LABS in Germany and the UK, proficient network engineers are acquainted with the most recent standards to offer the best customer service and support, while STORDIS ACADEMY organizes unique training courses worldwide to provide insights into the latest open networking technologies, such as data plane programming with P4 and Barefoot’s Software Development Environment (SDE) Capilano™.
STORDIS is also a supporter, sponsor and active contributor to many open source networking projects and communities, including the OCP (Open Compute Project), ONF (Open Networking Foundation), ONOS (Open Network Operating System), P4 Alliance, AMWA (Advanced Media Workflow Association), and Broad<CTRL>.
Stordis will be exhibiting at the upcoming 2019 OCP Global Summit is San Jose, CA.