Recent software switches, such as VALE and DPDK-based Open vSwitch have significant advantages over traditional Linux bridge in terms of throughput, scalability and/or flexibility. For example, VALE, a software switch based on netmap, forwards 64 byte frames at ~10 Mpps with L2 learning logic, which is approximately 10 times faster than Linux bridge; and it scales to hundreds of switch ports using a novel packet switching algorithm, which is important when we use a software switch as a backend to interconnect VMs and NICs.
In this session we present experience with offloading packet switching to VALE under familiar Linux bridge control. We exploit recent extensions in Linux bridge to offload packet switching to switch ASICs like Rocker while keeping control in Linux. Offloading to software switches improves packet switching without switch ASICs. It also improves packet switching for software ports where VMs or applications attach.