Network Processing Forum expands its Interface Management implementation agreement to include IPv6 and tunneling

December 8, 2003

2 Min Read

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Network Processing Forum (NPF) today announced it expanded its Interface Management API specification to include support for tunneling and IPv6. The Interface Management Application Programming Interface (API) Implementation Agreement (IA), originally released in September of 2002, provides a uniform programming interface to configure, manage and administer the external network ports of a networking system such as a router or a switch. The API was expanded to include support for additional interfaces including IPv6 logical interface, IPv6 in IPv4 tunnel, and IPv4 and IPv6 tunnel interfaces. Establishing standard external port configuration interfaces greatly simplifies the process of incorporating network processing components from multiple silicon vendors and protocol stack vendors. This enables system developers to build uniquely competitive products in shorter time frames and at lower costs.

"The NPF will continue to ensure that our interface specifications include support for today's latest networking protocols and applications," said Serge Audenaert, board member of the Network Processing Forum. "The IA addresses important interfaces specified by our member companies and it includes provisions for implementers to add additional interface types if needed."

A network element such as a router or a switch has one or more physical end points or links, through which it is connected to other network elements. Typically, one or more layer-2 protocols are associated with a link such as Ethernet, ATM, POS and others depending on the link type. Each of these protocols has their own unique set of attributes that need to be configured and managed by the network processing components of a system. Traditionally, network processing device vendors provided proprietary APIs to manipulate and manage these interfaces, but this prohibited the use of multi-vendor components and minimized the applicability of third party software stacks. The Interface Management API IA establishes a consistent configuration and management interface for today's most common link types.

The new revision of the Interface Management API IA continues to be device-independent and operating system-independent, making router and switch control plane applications portable. In addition to the tunneling interfaces, the expansion includes support for IPv4 multicast-receive addresses and interface query function. Designers are not limited to the interface structures defined in the IA but can add new types of interfaces beyond those specified in the IA by following the rules specified in the NPF Software Conventions IA.

"An API that standardizes the configuration interface of how network processing elements (NPE), such as a network processor and framer, behave on a system's external network ports, will accelerate the adoption of network processing technologies," said Vinoj Kumar, chair of the NPF Software Working Group. "This expanded IA will make sure that System OEMs have the external interface uniformity that they need to easily incorporate multi-vendor silicon and software into their new networking system designs."

Network Processing Forum (NPF)

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like