the traditional embedded routing approach (e.g. BGP) or the SDN approach
that simplifies the dataplane and centralizes the control plane off box.
PINS creates a hybrid model, bringing SDN programmability to traditional networking. By adding an optional externally programmable stage to the forwarding pipeline of each switching device, networks can be built in traditional ways and augmented with advanced functionality with the aid of an external SDN controller.
- Hybrid Control Plane Support: Gives network operators a choice on network control plane and which parts run where (locally or remotely).
- Opt-In Path Towards SDN: The P4Runtime server is added to SONiC as an optional interface enabling users to implement new functionality using SDN, and to incrementally migrate towards an SDN solution.
- Familiar Interface: P4 is used to model the SAI pipeline, and enables users to control all essential networking features, including L2 bridging, L3 routing, ACLs, tunnels, and more.
- Rapid Innovation: New features can quickly be modeled in P4 and exposed to control plane applications using P4Runtime.
- Automated Validation: P4Runtime enables tools to be used to test and validate every packet path automatically in the forwarding pipeline.
The project is being incubated at ONF with a select set of partners and development of new features is ongoing. The PINS working group plans to make the project open source later this year as part of SONiC. Members wishing to find out more about joining the PINS community should contact email@example.com.