[ovs-dev] [patch net-next RFC 10/12] openvswitch: add support for datapath hardware offload

Jamal Hadi Salim jhs at mojatatu.com
Mon Aug 25 16:15:30 UTC 2014

On 08/25/14 10:17, Thomas Graf wrote:
> On 08/25/14 at 09:53am, Jamal Hadi Salim wrote:

> fdb_add() *is* flow based. At least in my understanding, the whole
> point here is to extend the idea of fdb_add() and make it understand
> L2-L4 in a more generic way for the most common protocols.
> The reason fdb_add() is not reused is because it is Netlink specific
> and only suitable for User -> HW offload. Kernel -> HW offload is
> technically possible but not clean.

I dont think we have a problem handling any of this today.

> The only reason swdev is needed at all is to represent the port model
> and to allow for non flow based models built on top of the same
> hardware abstraction. I see now reason why br_fdb cannot be represented
> through swdev as soon as the code is stable.

This is where our (shall i say strong) disagreement is.
I think you will find it non-trivial to show me how you can
actually take the simple L2 bridge and map it to a "flow".
Since your starting point is "everything can be represented via a flow
and some table" - we are at a crosspath.

> The point I was trying to make earlier is that it is very hard to
> program both protocol aware and generic filtering hardware through
> a single NDO. It will make the driver specific part complex.

The tc filter API seems to be doing just that.
You have different types of classifiers - the h/w may not be able
to support some classifier types - but that is a capability discovery

> If you are saying we need yet another classifier model in the kernel
> then I'm not sure that is needed in the presence of cls/act, iptables,
> and nftables. They seem suitable to represent non flow based models
> and I see nothing that would prevent an offload through swdev for them.

I am saying two things:
1) There are a few "fundamental" interfaces; L2 and L3 being some.
Add crypto offload and a few i mentioned in  my presentation. We
know how to do those. example; there is nothing i cant do with
the rtmsg that is L3. or the fdb/port/vlan filter for L2.
This flow thing should stay out of those.

2) The flow thing should allow a variety of classifiers to be
handled. Again capability discovery would take care of differences.


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