The DP6420 and DP6440 can handle more than 1 million BGP route entries, Corsa is announcing today. ESnet, which provides an Internet backbone for research and education institutions, is using Corsa’s gear in this high-scale BGP router mode, and the startup plans to show off the results at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress in Dusseldorf, Germany, next week.
Corsa’s systems, due for production availability in January, are stuffed with FPGAs that execute OpenFlow commands. In other words, the FPGAs house the match/action tables that the OpenFlow protocol is designed to configure.
That means the box can act like an OpenFlow-enabled switch, but it could also be used as a router or as a gateway that operates at Layer 4-7. It can be pretty much anything that OpenFlow could control; it’s just a matter of Corsa writing up the FPGA configurations to create the necessary tables for these different personalities.
Today’s press release has to do with its personality as a router, a really big router, taking advantage of OpenFlow 1.3’s ability to support multiple match/action tables strung together in a pipeline. The point of the announcement is that Corsa can build that pipeline to support web scale, says Carolyn Raab, vice president of marketing.
The figure of 1 million BGP routes is noteworthy, because it’s roughly twice the number of BGP entries that older routers were built to deal with (524,288, to be exact). And that’s a limit the Internet recently began to pass, causing some problems temporarily.