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Thursday, March 10 • 10:00am - 10:30am
Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI)

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Live Stream - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPuqCX4PLmw

Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI) has been officially accepted by the Open Compute Project (OCP) as a standardized C interface to program hardware ASICs. SAI came into existence as network operators started seeking ways to adopt a more dynamic, programmable infrastructure. The lack of a common and well understood way to program network switch ASIC’s is a source of reduced agility, increased complexity, poor reliability, and greater cost. SAI helps by being a standardized C API to program ASICs.

SAI allows software to program many different switch chips without undergoing any changes. This helps us to keep the base router platform simple, consistent, and stable. It also reduces the time to market, and enables the adoption of the latest available hardware easily. It breaks the software-hardware coupling and allows us to pick the best fit of software and hardware on a “need by application” or a “need by network” basis. By providing simple, consistent interfaces for applications and protocol stacks that orchestrate and automate cloud services, it helps consume the underlying complex and heterogeneous hardware easily.

This helps in shifting our focus to applications that require integrating our network with our cloud. SAI is, therefore, a big step towards open networking software. Today SAI has 10 contributors, and features that range from basic L3 functionality to more complicated QoS, PFC with RDMA, and buffer management. The SAI demo hosted live at the Microsoft booth will display these features and the power of open networking by integrating 5 different NOS, 5 different switch platforms, 5 different ASICs, over 6 *same* SAI implementations.

avatar for Kamala Subramaniam

Kamala Subramaniam

Architect, Microsoft
Kamala Subramaniam is an architect in Azure Networking at Microsoft. She drives the success of the Azure Cloud Switch and the adoption of the Switch Abstraction Interface. She works closely with several operators and vendors in the industry at the OCP to innovate the open networking space.

Thursday March 10, 2016 10:00am - 10:30am
Lower Level: LL21A/B