Corsa Technology is a startup company from Canada who makes carrier-class OpenFlow hardware. This week they announced that they are adding BGP support to configure the OpenFlow pipeline in their platform:
Corsa’s SDN data planes support over a million flows and multiple flow tables to scale for any network application. At the core of the data plane is a completely reconfigurable OpenFlow datapath. The SDN BGP routing pipeline is just one configuration that takes advantage of the flexible table structures and flow capacity. The same hardware data plane can be programmed to take on any networking function, ranging from simple Layer 2 switching at massive scale, to complex Layer4- 7 aware steering gateways.
The Corsa hardware uses FPGAs to reach a million OpenFlow entries at wire speed forwarding for various configurations such as 4 x 100G + 24 x 10G. I guess the current Broadcom and Marvel silicon still isn’t useful for OpenFlow.
So when I talk with folks from companies Juniper and Cisco who tell me that OpenFlow will never scale I find it hard to believe. Hardware exists.
There are definitely challenges for using OpenFlow in the data centre around ARP, Proxy ARP, Broadcasts etc. But these challenges don’t exist in the WAN where networks are much simpler and more circuit oriented. Baby, bathwater, etc.