Last week we had the opportunity to meet with Cavium ahead of their big show at OCP Summit 2018. One of the projects Patrick sent me notes on was the Cavium Project Packet Trakker. Essentially what the Cavium Packet Trakker module does is provide low-level telemetry data enabled by their XPliant switch silicon. This allows a switch vendor, for example, to get telemetry data when an egress port experiences a short burst at 100Gbps. While some vendors like Cisco and Arista have this, Packet Tracker gives other vendors hardware enabled capabilities for detailed telemetry data.
Cavium Project Packet Trakker Press Release
Here is an excerpt from the official press release:
Cavium, Inc., a leading provider of semiconductor products that enable secure and intelligent processing for enterprise, data center, cloud, wired and wireless networking, today announced the availability of Packet Trakker, a programmable network telemetry suite supported by Cavium’s XPliant family of programmable Ethernet switches.
The need to manage the interaction between network infrastructure resources and constantly changing application workloads to maintain data center performance has never been more important. Within the XPliant software defined networking framework, Packet Trakker enables comprehensive data center infrastructure performance management. Networks built with XPliant switches can now deploy Packet Trakker to provide the following operational benefits:
- Maintenance of a detailed history of switch resource utilization data and network performance logging that is used to perform performance validation.
- Exportation of detailed real-time switch utilization and network performance data that can be used to identify network resource contention patterns and isolate which workloads are causing resource contention.
- Enabling the use of programmable instrumentation data gathering contexts that enable fine grained control of how telemetry information is organized for consumption by visualization tools and analytics engines.
- Monitoring of system health and immediately alarms system management applications to circumstances that can cause data center performance degradation and equipment failure.
- Microburst detection and identification of flows that destabilize application performance.
- Tracking of latency fluctuations that negatively impact application behavior predictability.
- Detection of packet loss that is destructive to applications performance, which can be avoided through notification of pre-congestion in transmit queues.
- Identification of inconsistent configurations or packet processing exceptions.
Packet Trakker integrates with Network Operating Systems (NOS) and analytics engines, to deliver a comprehensive set of telemetry features that monitor network status in real-time and at scale. This technology assists data center network operators in dynamic remediation operations that continuously improve network efficiency and application quality of experience. Furthermore, the XPliant programmable switch architecture is future proofed for the continuously evolving world of Software-Defined Networking.
“I am pleased with the amount of positive feedback we continue to receive from customers utilizing Packet Trakker hardware acceleration to monitor networks more closely and accurately than legacy solutions,” said Eric Hayes, VP/GM Switching Platform Group at Cavium. “I am excited to see how the flexibility of the XPliant Packet Architecture will further innovation of real-time granular telemetry in order to reliably deploy new network services.”
“Packet Trakker is an intriguing powerful technology to address some of the critical challenges in today’s networks,” says Gavin Cato, Senior Vice President for Networking Development Engineering at Dell EMC. “Packet Trakker deployed on Dell EMC switches such as the S5148-ON has the ability to provide deeper insights into device resources and advance network analytics for better network operations.”