Cloud-native routing at unprecedented scale


This article was published in Telecom TV on July 23, 2020. You can read the original article here


RtBrick’s pioneering routing software has increased the performance of disaggregated IP networks to new levels, so now they even surpass the capabilities of traditional chassis-based routers. The company has achieved this step-change in performance by programming the underlying off-the-shelf hardware to run multiple parallel processing threads. These high-performance switches are being adopted by carriers because they are a fraction of the cost of traditional routers, and because they enable a more ‘cloud-native’ approach to their operations, giving them the flexibility to run software from any vendor.

“Scaling to these levels is hard because you need performance in three different dimensions at the same time,” said Hannes Gredler, founder and chief technology officer at RtBrick. “You need to support networks with thousands of nodes, terminate millions of subscribers and manage huge routing tables. And in the event of a hardware failure, you need to be able to reinstate all of this in seconds.”

RtBrick’s routing software can now support networks with more than a thousand nodes, terminate up to one hundred thousand subscribers on a single control plane, and support ten million BGP paths, which is more than ten times the size of the current Internet.

“With multithreading we can surpass anything that traditional routing systems can achieve,” added Gredler. “And it speeds up convergence across all three dimensions. A network with thousands of nodes can be remapped in a couple of milliseconds and a full view of the entire Internet can be learnt in tens of seconds.”

At the same time, RtBrick’s vBNG (virtual Broadband Network Gateway) software can bring one thousand new subscribers online in a second - usually referred to as one thousand CPS (Calls Per Second). This is faster than any traditional BNG on the market.

The RtBrick developments, part of its RtBrick FullStack software (RBFS), also allow deeper packet look-ups than have previously been possible, with up to eight levels of inspection, which will allow operators to offer more complex IP services across their off-the-shelf hardware.

“Our customers have seen what the hyper-scalers have done with their IT operations,” Gredler concludes. “Now they can scale their IP networks in the same cloud-native way.”

The RBFS scale enhancements are available now.