Crossbow enables an Open Networking Platform
I came across this blog from Paul Murphy
should read the second half of Pauls blog. What he says pretty true. Crossbow delivered a brand new
networking stack to Solaris which has scalability, virtualization, QoS, and better observability
designed in (instead of patched in). The complete list of features delivered and under works arehere
. Coupled with a full
fledged open source Quagga Routing Suite
(RIP, OSPF, BGP, etc), IP Filter Firewall
, and a kernel Load Balancer
, OpenSolaris becomes a
pretty useful platform for building Open Networking appliances.
Apart from single box functionality, imagine if you want to deliver Virtual Router or a load balancer,
it would be pretty easy to do so. OpenSolaris offers Zones
where you can deliver a pre configured zone as a Router, Load balancer, or a firewall. The difference would be
that this Zone would be fully portable to another machine running OpenSolaris and will have no performance
penalty. After all, we aka Crossbow
team guarantee that
our VNICs with Zones do not have any performance penalties.
You can also build a fully portable and pre configured virtual networking equipment using Xen guest
which can be made to migrate between any OpenSolaris
or Linux host.
I noticed that couple of folks on Paul blog were asking about why Crossbow NIC virtualization is
different? Well, its not just the NIC being virtualized but actually
the entire data path along with it called a Virtualization Lane
. You can see the virtualization lane
all the way from NIC to socket Layer and backhere
Not only is there one or more Virtualization Lanes
per virtual machine,
the bandwidth partitioning, Diffserv tagging, priority, CPU assignment etc. are designed in as part of the
architecture. The same concepts are used to scale the stack across multiples of 10gigE NIC over large
number of cores and threads (out of the world forwarding performance anyone!
And as mentioned before, Crossbow enables
. A ability to create a full featured network without any physical wires. Think of
running network simulations and testing in a whole new light!!