The Linux Foundation launched a project Monday to speed performance of network functions by allowing them to run in the Linux kernel rather than user space of the operating system.
IO Visor is designed to complement open projects such as OPNFV, OpenStack and OpenDaylight, as well as open hardware initiatives including the Open Compute Initiative.
"IO Visor is creating an open source project that enables agility in how networks operate, how they can be programmed, and brings kernel level performance to a broader community," Jim Zemlin, executive director for the Linux Foundation , told Light Reading. Agility and programmability are key characteristics of the New IP, and of course performance has always been important.
Applications for IO Visor include network functions, as well as tracing and security, says Wendy Cartee, VP product management and marketing for PlumGrid Inc. , a founding member of the project, along with Barefoot, Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM), Canonical, Cavium Inc. (Nasdaq: CAVM), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and SUSE Inc.
The software is designed to avoid the need to recompile or reboot the kernel when services running in the user space require I/O functions in the kernel, Cartee says. Any function that requires I/O, such as a hypervisor, will be able to create, load and unload in the kernel space at runtime without recompiling or reloading any software.
IO Visor will enable VNFs that run in the user space, such as NAT, load balancing and even switching and routing, to run in the kernel instead, Cartee says.
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