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With Freescale SDN, the Future Is Now

With Freescale SDN, the Future Is Now

1. Freescale’s VortiQa SDN software includes a premium version that adds functionality including higher-level features (layers 4-7). (Click for larger image.)

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is the wave of the future. Chips like Broadcom’s StrataXGS Tomahawk Series and Cavium’s XPliant Ethernet Switch family target SDN, but delivery is in the future. Freescale looks to fill the gap with its VortiQa SDN software running on a Freescale multicore chip such as the T4240. This combination is used in conjunction with existing switch chips such as Broadcom’s Trident to provide a more flexible system that can handle 10 Gbit Ethernet connections.

Freescale’s VortiQa SDN software comes in a standard configuration and a premium version that adds functionality for higher-level features like service chaining and firewall support (Fig. 1). The standard version includes features like IPsec support.

VortiQa SDN supports standards like OpenFlow (OF). This includes support for Network Services Configuration Stack (NSCS) plug-ins. It can run on a range of Freescale chips including the T2080, T4240, and T4160, taking advantage of on-chip crypto functions, compression support, and deep-packet inspection (DPI) support.

Using a multicore processor chip has a number of advantages. For example, some new SDN-only switches can be more limited in on-chip storage for routing tables. Freescale’s chip has access to off-chip memory, allowing the software more flexibility. It also allows NFV (network function virtualization) support to run, which includes support for OF 1.3 and virtual machine hosting. 

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