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Re: What should be the abstraction for ethernet switches?

On Wed, May 11, 2011 at 09:45:34AM -0700, Matt Thomas wrote:
> On May 10, 2011, at 7:36 PM, Daniel Carosone wrote:
> > Please look at solaris' dladm infrastructure.
> While interesting, it doesn't seem to address the issue.  It seems
> to manage the vlan and agr functionality but not bridging.

There's an equivalent of our bridge(4) as well as a TRILL-capable mode
for it in there.  While it's true that this currently is a software
bridge between normal nics, the way the stack is arranged there's no
reason why some other device couldn't provide several of the functions
in hardware - much as the stack allows different hardware capabilities
WRT vlan tagging.

> A system i have has a gige interface connecting to a VSC7385 5 port
> switch thus providing 4 external ports.  Each of these ports has its
> own link media attributes and vlan settings and the switch itself
> can provide multiple bridging domains. 

That's a pretty common arrangement for commodity routery-type boxes,
among others. There are also PCI cards that have a similar arrangement.

> For now, I'm completely ignoring that the switch exists and things
> just work for a simple LAN.  But if I want VLAN tagging, bridging,
> or aggregation the switch needs to get involved. 

In such a framework, a driver or config parser could arrange for the
various components (ports and a bridge and maybe an aggr) to be
automatically constructed in the right topology. Depending on the
flexibility of the switch, admin commands to adjust this (such as
creating a second bridging domain) will get mapped to switch config
calls rather than changing the config of the soft switch.  Each
function would be provided by a device-specific driver that operates
the same as the software one in the same framework.


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