Pica8’s TTP Increases SDN Scaling on Data Center Switches By 1,000x

Table Type Patterns Allows Applications to Overcome OpenFlow Scaling Limitations

PALO ALTO, Calif. – February 29, 2016 – Pica8 Inc., the one-stop source for white box networking, today announced Table Type Patterns (TTP), new functionality in its PicOS™ network operating system that overcomes limitations in OpenFlow scaling. With TTP, PicOS can scale to 2 million flows with Cavium’s XPliant switch ASIC, and to 256,000 flows with Broadcom’s StrataXGS® Tomahawk switch ASIC, enabling very large data center build-outs. Typical TCAM flow capacity in the top-of-rack installed base today is between 1,000 and 2,000 flows, and with Pica8’s TTP implementation, production networks can scale 1,000 times more.

More and more customers are deploying OpenFlow rules in conjunction with traditional Layer-2 / Layer-3 networks leveraging Pica8’s CrossFlow technology to provide greater agility and granular control of traffic engineering policies. With TTP capability, customers are able to take SDN and OpenFlow to a broader scale, and deploy it across a wide range of data center applications including hybrid cloud, disaster recovery, and network monitoring.

“There have been concerns voiced that OpenFlow doesn’t scale to support large data center applications,” said Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., research director for data center, cloud, and SDN at IHS. “Pica8’s TTP implementation removes an important concern for OpenFlow-based SDN deployments and allows customers to build large data centers with white box switches and OpenFlow.”

The move toward open networking has been like unlocking a series of black boxes to bring broad programmability to the network. The first black box was disaggregation of a traditionally closed system, where the switch operating system and hardware were tightly coupled; and the second was the SDN controller leveraging OpenFlow. Now, Pica8 has unlocked the third black box – the scaling limitations of the ASIC – to deliver broad programmability and more flexible memory use, thereby debunking FUD in the white box switch marketplace.

“Cavium’s XPliant chip offers the best combination of flexibility and throughput over other switching ASICs,” said Eric Hayes, VP/GM Switching Platform Group at Cavium. “With Pica8’s new TTP, application developers can unleash the power of the XPliant architecture, removing the shackles of current restrictive designs.”

TTP defines how tables are set up in a switch, which an SDN controller can program via the OpenFlow switch protocol. The development of a TTP-based approach has been motivated by several factors, including: to maximize the available capacity, to better accommodate heterogeneity of existing hardware switches, to enable future innovation in hardware switches through more seamless SDN application development, and to enable granular and automated communication between application / controller developers and switch vendors.

“Edgecore Networks understands that our data center and telecom customers need increased flexibility and scale in combining Layer-2 / Layer-3 and OpenFlow-based SDN networks,” said George Tchaparian, CEO, Edgecore Networks. “The new TTP functionality delivered in PicOS software, running on Edgecore’s family of OCP-approved open network switches, will provide the switching platforms to meet those requirements.”

“TTP and our own abstraction technology – vASIC® — unlock custom ASICs to bring choice, programmability and scale to application developers,” said Dan Tuchler, vice president of product management at Pica8. “Application developers no longer have to worry about the limitations or differences between ASICs when delivering their solutions to the market.”

TTP is in early release and will be generally available with PicOS in March.

About Pica8, Inc.

Since 2009, Pica8 is the one-stop source for white box networking with PicOS™, a network operating system that enables organizations and original equipment manufacturers to easily integrate Layer-2 / Layer-3 networking and software-defined networking (SDN) using commodity switches. Pica8’s solutions enable real time, hands free provisioning that fits today’s complex networks and scales with them to enable transformation. PicOS supports an industry-standard CLI for Layer-2 / Layer-3, unmodified Linux, and OpenFlow 1.4. Pica8 provides PicOS on both pre-loaded switching hardware or as standalone software for a growing list of compatible bare metal switches. Pica8 is a global company headquartered in Palo Alto, California. For more information, visit www.pica8.com or follow @pica8 on Twitter.