Bringing OCP Vision to Reality with Programmable Dataplanes: A Progress Report

Arkadiy Shapiro | Mar 12, 2019

It’s that time of the year again when IT professionals descend on San Jose, CA to check on the progress of the OCP community since last year, discuss new technologies and be “open together.” Throughout my personal career, it has been a pleasure to witness the tremendous growth of this community through the size and number of events each year. Open Compute Summit is one of the most important trade shows on Barefoot’s calendar for one simple reason - fully programmable networking dataplanes unlocked by an open programming language are key to the realization of OCP’s vision of open IT infrastructure.

Last year, together with our partners, we made several announcements during the summit:

Since then, we have been hard at work enhancing already available solutions and bringing announced visions to reality, all while significantly growing our presence in the marketplace with Barefoot Tofino and Barefoot Deep Insight. In addition, the P4 community has grown to over 150 participating organizations with several summits held in the United States, United Kingdom, Korea, Japan and China in 2018. Multiple presentations and demonstrations that involve Tofino, Deep Insight, P4 Studio and P4 will be held this year to show how far we have come.


  1. SONiC Deployments Powered by Programmable Dataplane
    Presenter: Arkadiy Shapiro, Barefoot Networks

    Since last year’s announcement, we have kept up with validating every new SONiC release and worked with our ODM partners to expand the set of supported Barefoot-based switches. In addition, we upstreamed support for dataplane telemetry (INT and SPRINT™) and enabled multiple new use-cases such as bare metal server hosting easily inside the same SONiC image. In this presentation, I will present Barefoot’s unique approach to SONiC and explain how programmable data plane has helped to accelerate SONiC adoption in 2018.

    Time: Friday, March 15 • 3:30pm - 3:55pm
  2. InBand Network Telemetry: an Open and Multi-platform Network Analytics for Disaggregated Data-Centers

    Presenter: Roberto Mari, Barefoot Networks

    Today, the term “telemetry” is getting muddied and over used, just like SDN was in its early days. Our very own Roberto Mari will take the stage to debunk some common misconceptions, present Barefoot’s vision for InBand Network Telemetry and discuss the network visibility benefits our customers have experienced with Barefoot Tofino, INT, SPRINT and Deep Insight.

    Time: Friday, March 15 • 9:30am - 9:42am
  3. Exceeding the Limits of Current Network Technology by Leveraging the Full Potential of Barefoot Tofino’s P4 Programming Language with the New STORDIS Switch

    Partner: STORDIS

    STORDIS is Europe's leading full solution provider in the field of “Open Networking” who has been expanding their business and investing in P4 development capabilities. Their collaboration with Barefoot allowed them to quickly emerge as one of the most prominent programmable networking solution vendors and expert users of P4, Barefoot P4 Studio and P4 Runtime. STORDIS is a member of the P4 language consortium and has recently joined OCP as a Platinum member. They will present their Tofino-based Advanced Programmable Switches (APS) with IEEE-1588 v2 (PTP) time synchronisation and offer their vision for network programmability.

    Time: Friday, March 15 • 8:00am - 8:25am
  4. Cost-effective Approach for Telco Network Analysis in 5G

    Partner: SK Telecom, STORDIS

    Barefoot and STORDIS have been collaborating closely with SK Telecom, a major wireless carrier in South Korea. A result of this collaboration is a custom Network Packet Broker (NPB) solution running on the STORDIS Advanced Programmable Switches (APS), based on P4-programmable Barefoot Tofino ASIC. In this presentation, SK Telecom will discuss the challenges they faced when building similar solutions with alternatives, how they have been able to overcome these challenges and gain great visibility for 5G networks with the help of Barefoot and STORDIS.

    Time: Friday, March 15 • 8:30am - 8:55am
  5. Software Defined Fabric for OCP-based Leaf & Spine Switches
    Partner: Kaloom

    In the fall of 2018, Kaloom was a launch customer for Barefoot P4 Studio and announced their first product. SDF is a next-generation data center fabric solution built from the ground up on a fully P4-programmable data plane inside Tofino-based bare metal switches. This presentation will explore technical details and benefits of SDF as well as touch on the new requirements for the data centers such as slicing, automation, server style management and containerization.

    Time: Friday, March 15 • 1:30pm - 1:55pm
  6. Enabling the Next-Generation of SDN
    Partner: Open Networking Foundation (ONF)

    In 2018, ONF together with Barefoot and other industry partners announced a new open-source operating system that is designed to enable next generation SDN deployments. Stratum OS is built from the ground up to take advantage of programmable networking dataplanes using P4 Runtime, which just released the 1.0 version of its specification. This presentation will introduce Stratum and talk about its role in the OCP ecosystem.

    Time: Friday, March 15 • 3:00pm - 3:30pm


  1. Uncompromised Dataplane Telemetry on Multi-vendor Cloud fabric with Barefoot Tofino and Barefoot Deep Insight
    Partners: IP Infusion, Microsoft

    Since last OCP Summit, we have been able to integrate the P4 program that enables Smart Programmable Real-time INT (SPRINT) in two network operating systems: SONiC and IP Infusion OcNOS. SONiC dataplane telemetry feature based on Dtel SAI APIs is fully upstreamed as of SONIC July 2018 release and is also available on IP Infusion OcNOS. For this demonstration, we built a data center fabric and enabled SPRINT capability on Barefoot Tofino-based bare metal switches from different vendors running SONiC and OcNOS. Using this fabric and the Barefoot Deep Insight analytics engine, we will explore how easy it is to identify and root-cause the most challenging network performance scenarios impacting a real application. During the demonstration we will leverage powerful analytics tools, such as path and latency tracking, packet drop analysis, microburst detection and congestion analysis to get full visibility on aggressor and victim flows. Demonstration will analyze the real-time application traffic, all in the data-plane and packet-by-packet, with no synthetic probes or traffic sampling.

    Location: Barefoot Networks, Booth A18
  2. Accelerated Dataplane Development with Barefoot P4 Insight, Barefoot Tofino and P4

    Introduced as part of Barefoot P4 Studio in September 2018, P4 Insight is a dynamic web-based dataplane visualization tool. It enables P4 developers to rapidly optimize advanced networking solutions for higher scale and feature density by providing visibility into dataplane resource utilization. We will demonstrate the benefits of P4 Insight and use real-world examples to explain how it accelerates dataplane development.
    Location: Barefoot Networks, Booth A18

  3. Disaggregated Chassis with SONiC and VxLAN
    Partners: Microsoft, Arista Networks

    In 2018, Barefoot, Arista Networks and Microsoft used P4 and Tofino to develop a bare metal server hosting use-case. This will be demonstrated with interoperability across multiple ASICs in a data center fabric acting as a disaggregated chassis switch. After looking at this demonstration, one may wonder whether P4-programmable data plane inside Arista 7170 offers anything unique for this scenario that others do not. In fact, today all ASIC and system vendors can support features required here such as Layer 2, Layer 3 and VxLAN tunneling with decent scale. Programmable dataplane helps us repurpose and dedicate all the resources of the ASIC to enable broad adoption of this use case with hundreds of thousands of virtual networks deployed on a cloud infrastructure. After seeing the demonstration in the Microsoft booth, we invite you to visit the Barefoot booth to learn more about how P4, Barefoot Tofino and Tofino 2 offer unmatched value for this use case.

    Location: Microsoft, Booth A6

  4. Network Infrastructure High Availability with SONiC Warm Reboot
    Partner: Microsoft

    As more and more services are consolidated onto the cloud, high availability for infrastructure becomes more critical than ever before. Barefoot Tofino has always been supporting the ability to execute ASIC “restart” without service disruption for many scenarios ranging from SAI upgrade to unplanned crash. In 2017, the SONiC community introduced Fast Reboot capability, which we integrated with Tofino as part of our SONiC support announced in OCP Summit 2018. Back then, we were already able to achieve a dataplane outage of less than 1 second, far exceeding the results from our competition and stated expectations of SONiC Fast Reboot. With the SONiC November 2018 release and Warm Reboot feature, the community completed improvements to SONiC control plane that significantly increased the high availability bar to expect no service disruption. Here at OCP Summit 2019, we are showcasing our support for SONiC Warm Reboot along with Microsoft and other ASIC vendors. After seeing the demonstration at the Microsoft booth, we invite you to visit the Barefoot booth to learn what makes our support for SONiC high availability unique.

    Location: Microsoft, Booth A6

Stop by our booth for additional hardware show-cases including switches based on recently announced Tofino 2 ASIC.

We look forward to being open together at OCP Summit 2019!

Arkadiy Shapiro
Product Line Manager, Core Software and Technical Partnerships, Barefoot Networks