Home music industry Pensando offers P4 programming for fast and adaptable networking

Pensando offers P4 programming for fast and adaptable networking


Pensando Systems Inc., a startup that emerged from stealth mode late last year, built its distributed services platform to deliver software-defined services at the server edge. The heart of the Pensando platform is its custom programmable P4 processor called Capri, which supports distributed networking, storage and security services, according to mario baldi (pictured), Distinguished Technologist at Pensando.

“Pensando offers a platform that is a completely turnkey solution,” Baldi said. “Basically, the platform…is a controller that the user interacts with. Using an intent-based paradigm, the user defines policies, and the controller will push those policies on the map…in your data center.

Baldi spoke with Stu Miniman, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s live streaming studio, at Pensando’s Future Proof Your Enterprise event. They discussed Pensando’s platform, how P4 continues to evolve, and how Pensando uses its technology to help businesses navigate the edge. (*Disclosure below.)

P4 programming is simple for fast and adaptable networking

P4 is a programming language for packet processors that doesn’t assume you want to use certain products, according to Baldi. Thus, P4 makes it possible to specify what packets look like – that is, what the headers look like and how they can be parsed – and is specifically designed for packet processing.

“It’s based on the idea that you want to look up values ​​in tables, so it lets you define tables in keys that are used to look up those tables and find an entry in the table,” Baldi described. “When you find an entry, that entry contains an action in the parameters to use for that action. So the idea is that the packet descriptions you have in the program define how the packets should be handled.

When the appropriate table entry is found, the program specifies a sequence of tables that are searched and the header fields changed at the end. It’s very powerful for a number of reasons, according to Baldi.

“It’s simple, which is always good…especially in networking,” Baldi said. “Then it matches very well with what we need to do when doing packet processing, so writing a packet processing program is relatively easy and quick. And, last but not least, P4 matches the hardware really well. designed specifically to process packets – what we call…domain-specific processors.

When IT has these processes reaching good throughput, it can effectively take P4 and compile it to run at very high speeds on these processes, according to Baldi. Pesando adapted a card called Pensando Distributed Services Card which is built around an ASIC and has a very versatile architecture with its Capri platform.

“It is fully programmable at different levels. It has two network interfaces, so it can be used as a network adapter — but in reality because the board is fully programmable and has multiple processors inside, it can be used to implement very sophisticated services — things you wouldn’t even dream of doing with the typical network adapter,” Baldi concluded.

Watch the full video interview below and be sure to check out more Pensando coverage from SiliconANGLE and theCUBE. Event Protect the future of your business. (*Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the Future Proof Your Enterprise event. Neither Pensando Systems Inc., sponsor of theCUBE event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over the content of theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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