A wide number of organizations need to peer to ensure connectivity. There are a number of challenges for providers who do this, especially as part of their service offerings. Several factors are critical. First is managing a large number of peering relationships. Second is ensuring performance as the RIB and FIB grow in size. Finally, addressing the cost of high-speed ports is important as more traffic drives the need for connections from 10Gb to 40Gb to 100 Gb.
Volta allows each peering relationship to have a dedicated virtual router. Each virtual router runs the bulk of the control plane in the cloud so processing can scale cost-effectively. This approach has a separate instance of the routing protocols for each virtual router, enhancing scalability, reliability, and customization of each virtual router.
Volta has unique capabilities that consolidate the RIBs from all virtual routers associated with a given white box switch. The RIB is then compressed up to ~80%, which allows a functionally full routing table to fit in the tablespace of typical switch ASIC. This ensures that all traffic stays in the fast path and avoids the performance pitfalls of route caching.
White box switches greatly reduce the cost per port, especially for high-speed ports, compared with the legacy routers that are typically used. With Volta, a single 1 U white box switch can support up to 255 separate virtual routers. In this multi-tenant scenario, each virtual router is a separate set of processes in the cloud as its own administrative domain and can be configured to meet a given customer’s exact requirements. This leads to simplification of the configuration data with faster service delivery and more robust solutions for the customers, with a reduction of CAPEX and OPEX.