The Fast Data Project (FD.io) released its sixth update since its inception within the Linux Foundation two years ago. While the update list is extensive, most are focused on Kubernetes networking, cloud native network functions virtualization (NFV), and Istio.
FD.io acts as a universal data plane between a network controller like OpenDaylight and an operating system like Linux. It’s basically tasked with packet forwarding between the two.
FD.io was open sourced into the Linux Foundation in early 2016, backed by Cisco’s Vector Packet Processing (VPP) software code. It was founded to tackle software-based packet processing, fast input/output (IO), and universal data plane management across bare metal, hypervisor, and container environments.
For the latest 18.01 release, FD.io is boosting the performance of embedded address translators and access control lists in support of Kubernetes. This improves the ability for native networking in Kubernetes to run as microservices in a pod. It also improves support for service and policy APIs.
These specific updates will also be included in the upcoming Contiv 2.0 release. Contiv is an open source fabric for container networking.
FD.io is also tapping the open source Ligato framework to boost interconnect performance between cloud native container-based virtual network functions (VNFs) running on the same host. This update supports the ability to construct cloud native VNFs and enable NFV to move from virtual machines (VMs) to Kubernetes.
The Ligato framework provides a platform and code samples for the development of cloud native VNFs. It includes a VNF agent for FD.io and a service function chain (SFC) controller for stitching virtual and physical networking.
Cisco’s recently launched Container Platform uses FD.io through the Contiv Kubernetes Network plug-in and the Ligato framework. The Cisco platform uses Kubernetes as a management and orchestration component to support enterprises migrating workloads and applications into production environments.
Finally, the new FD.io release boosts support for Istio and other high-capacity cloud-native infrastructure connections. Istio was launched last year by heavyweights Google, Lyft, and IBM. It’s designed to provide developers with visibility into microservices without the need to change application code. The platform sits at the network level and uses a substrate for microservices development and maintenance. This allows for the decoupling of management from application development.
Future with LFN?
The Linux Foundation earlier this year announced plans to merge FD.io with five other hosted networking projects into the newly formed LF Networking Fund (LFN). The other projects include ONAP, OPNFV, OpenDaylight, PDNA, and SNAS.
The six projects together form the basis of a networking stack from the data plane to the control plane, to orchestration, automation, and end-to-end testing. LFN will also provide a platform for cross-project collaboration.
Participation in LFN is voluntary, with each networking project deciding for itself whether and when to join. Each project will also continue to maintain its technical independence and release roadmaps. The move should save money for participating companies as they can now just pay to join one program instead of joining all six independently.