APG/80 Active Programmable Gateway
The APG/80 Active Programmable Gateway is the software-based switching element in Active Broadband’s Software-Defined Broadband Network Gateway (SD-BNG) platform. A new class of “soft white-box” switch, the APG/80 is Network Function Virtualization (NFV) infrastructure that allows broadband providers to exploit the economies of scale of general-purpose hardware to significantly reduce capital costs. The switch operates under control of the Active Resource Controller (ARC) – an SDN controller optimized for broadband service delivery – and is situated at the broadband edge behind the operator’s high-speed access equipment, typically fiber OLTs or MSANs. The ARC uses the OpenFlow protocol to program packet flow processing in the APG/80, which also exports IP flow network telemetry data using IPFIX – in order for the controller to gain visibility into network, service and application utilization.
At only one-third the cost of typical router-based BNGs for equivalent packet-processing performance, the APG/80 is a highly cost-effective BNG alternative. The APG/80 leverages the power of Intel’s latest I/O-optimized Xeon processors, enhanced by Intel’s Data Plane Development Kit, which allows the APG/80’s packet processing code to run in Linux user space for unprecedented performance in a general-purpose CPU.
The APG/80 implements Future Time Hybrid Queuing – an innovative software-based hierarchical queuing mechanism for ensuring QoS for customer traffic flows while maintaining high per-flow throughput. This enables the switch to manage traffic policing, shaping, WFQ and RED for tens of thousands of individual traffic flows. The switch also implements OpenFlow Autonomous Flow Processing – high-performance intelligent control plane processing that distributes flow management between the ARC and the APG/80.
The APG/80 features a compact 1U rackmount design and is based on Intel’s latest high-performance server platform architecture, which incorporates the next-generation Intel Xeon E5-2600 Series processor. The Ethernet switch supports up to four 1GbE or 10GbE NIC modules for a total system throughput of 80 Gbps. The APG/80 runs an embedded version of the Linux OS and is an open platform, allowing additional software-based functionality to be easily integrated. The switch can also be managed using existing networking tools as well as Linux system management utilities.
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