Nokia, ARM, Enea craft new TCP/IP stack for the cloud

Originally published at theregister by Richard Chirgwin on December 8, 2015.

A group of major vendors has put forward an open source TCP/IP stack they say is designed to reinvigorate the ancient and rather crusty protocol.

Nokia, ARM, and Enea are offering up both code and tutorials here for their OpenFastPath user-space TCP/IP implementation.

As The Register has previously noted, user-space networking is designed to get TCP/IP out of the kernel space, for two reasons: kernels have absorbed a lot of code over the years; and using the kernel for packet processing involves extra operations to get packets into memory, pass them to the kernel, and push them back out to the interface.

They say the stack is optimised for OpenDataPlane (ODP) programming interfaces. This will let OpenFastPath take advantage of acceleration in systems-on-a-chip that support ODP, and make the protocol programmable via the ODP environment.

As well as the three founding companies, the OpenFastPath Foundation claims support from AMD, Cavium, Freescale, HP and Linaro.

The group is hoping future contributors will work on interfaces for the open source Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK, here). Currently, data plane integration happens via the ODP-DPDK layer. ®