SDN Software

OpenFlow 1.3 Software for the B1 Platform

Product Overview

The B1SDN is an OpenFlow 1.3 switch designed for deployments requiring significant Flow Entries (10,000 to 250,000); full implementation of OpenFlow actions, instructions and matching fields; and up to 35Gig throughput of average size packets. The B1SDN is ideal as a Top-of-Rack OpenFlow switch servicing 1Gig or 10Gig rack-mount servers within an OpenFlow network. In a hybrid configuration the B1SDN is also a perfect “embedded OpenFlow” network edge gateway (MPLS or GRE tunnels). Or, the B1SDN also a side-by-side hybrid configuration of IP and OpenFlow ports capable of supporting a mix rack of servers. The B1SDN competes against two OpenFlow product classes:

  • OpenFlow switches based on commercial switch fabrics such as Broadcom or Intel® Ethernet silicon
  • OpenFlow switches based on Network Processor silicon.

The B1SDN has feature superiority over commercial Ethernet switch fabric based products. The B1SDN implements the OpenFlow switch in software that delivers huge flow entry tables and full 1.3 specification compliance (see Feature List). The B1SDN overcomes the commercial switch fabric based products limitations of small flow entry tables (under 5,000), incomplete actions, and incomplete matching capabilities. While the B1SDN and Network Processor based OpenFlow switch both deliver compliance to the 1.3 specification, the B1SDN is about half the price of the NP-based products.

# of Flow Entries

OpenFlow Throughput (Gbps)

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Hardware Platform

The B1SDN implements the OpenFlow 1.3 specifications on a unique hardware platform. This platform combines a high-end Intel compute environment with a Broadcom® Switch Fabric.

The Compute Environment – dual Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v2 with 4 to 12 core options – hosts a virtual software switch (vSwitch) implementation of the OpenFlow 1.3 specification. This vSwitch is the Open vSwitch (OVS) software with the OpenFlow extension. The OpenFlow vSwitch includes the following features:

  • Large Flow Entry Tables
  • A complete implementation of OpenFlow rule selector options
  • Multi-table and Group-table implementations
  • Meets the OpenFlow 1.3 specifications

The Network Environment of the B1SDN, a powerful 480Gig line-rate switch fabric, provides the port density required for a Top-of-Rack switch. It has 24 1Gig/10Gig ports and 4 40Gig uplink ports on the front panel. In addition the Broadcom Switch bridges the Intel compute environment running the OpenFlow vSwitch with the Network Environment via 8 10Gig internal links. The Broadcom Switch Fabric maps the physical Ingress port of a packet to the associated virtual port in the OpenFlow vSwitch via a packet-tagging algorithm. The vSwitch packets arrive on the virtual ports as if they were directly connected to the physical port on the front panel. Egress packets reverse the process. This technology makes the two components operate together as one multi-port OpenFlow switch.

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B1 in Action: OpenFlow Switch Prototype

This video show the B1 in action as a OpenFlow switch. Get an inside look into the B1 and see how easy it is to add value and create new products by leveraging the virtualization ecosystem.