[OpenWrt-Devel] General questions about the direction of switch drivers

Joel Wirāmu Pauling joel at aenertia.net
Mon Feb 16 17:09:37 EST 2015

I for one would love to see brctl and vconfig disappear completely in
favour of ovs-* based standard toolchain for all switch interaction.

Certainly in the Bigger iron area, and things like core and cumulus coupled
with SDN approaches and Openstack this is fast becoming defacto. I don't
see why with a bit of additional abstraction that ovs couldn't become the
default stack for mainline and certainly for OpenWRT it offers a lot more
versatility than the current brctl and vconfig tools.

I guess the biggest issue is getting ovs- offload to switch chipsets rather
than CPU bound softswitch. Maybe some sort of flag where unsupported
operations/modes which would end up being done on the CPU are


On 16 February 2015 at 16:04, Michael Richardson <mcr at sandelman.ca> wrote:

> First, there are a lot of discussions and papers at netdev01.org about the
> various hardware switch management systems.  I point specifically to a talk
> this morning:
>      https://www.netdev01.org/sessions/19
> I have stumbed my toe on 3800 with trying to build tagged switch ports
> where
> I have a few ports with explicit VLAN tagging, joined together in the
> switch,
> and also exposed to the host.  I think it should work, but I mostly just
> wound
> up screwing up my CPU port.  I have some 3800 with serial consoles now so I
> should try this out.
> What would be ideal, and my impression is that this is where the industry
> wants to go, is that one would use brctl and vconfig to build the switch
> configuration that you want, and the drivers below would realize that the
> switch can do that work, and would program things correctly.
> openvswitch is about creating a virtual switch fabric in the CPU, which can
> spread elsewhere --- the trend is though, that this too would be subject to
> hardware offload.
> --
> ]               Never tell me the odds!                 | ipv6 mesh
> networks [
> ]   Michael Richardson, Sandelman Software Works        | network
> architect  [
> ]     mcr at sandelman.ca  http://www.sandelman.ca/        |   ruby on
> rails    [
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