DPDK Project now part of The Linux Foundation in bid to expand open source community and drive development

The Linux Foundation announced Monday that the DPDK Project (Data Plane Development Kit) community has moved to The Linux Foundation. The Linux Foundation provides a neutral home that promotes collaboration around open source technologies, such as a technical governance model that enables the growth of developer communities.

The DPDK Project includes members from the telecommunications industry, network and cloud infrastructure vendors, as well as multiple hardware vendors.

Gold members of the project are ARM, AT&T, Cavium, Intel, Mellanox, NXP, Red Hat and ZTE Corporation. Silver members of DPDK include 6WIND, Atomic Rules, Huawei, Spirent, and Wind River. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), University of Limerick, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Tsinghua University are associate members.

DPDK is the Data Plane Development Kit that consists of libraries to accelerate packet processing workloads running on a wide variety of CPU architectures. In a world where the network is becoming fundamental to the way people communicate, performance, throughput, and latency are increasingly important for applications like wireless core and access, wireline infrastructure, routers, load balancers, firewalls, video streaming, and VoIP.

By enabling very fast packet processing, DPDK is making it possible for the telecommunications industry to move performance-sensitive applications like the backbone for mobile networks and voice to the cloud. It was also identified as a key enabling technology for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) in the original ETSI NFV White Paper.

DPDK was created in 2010 by Intel and made available under a permissive open source license. The open source community was established at DPDK.org in 2013 by 6WIND and has facilitated the continued expansion of the project.

Since then, the community has been continuously growing in terms of the number of contributors, patches, and contributing organizations, with 10 major releases completed including contributions from over 400 individuals from 70 different organizations. DPDK now supports all major CPU architectures and NICs from multiple vendors, which makes it ideally suited to applications that need to be portable across multiple platforms.

Over 20 open source projects build on DPDK libraries, including MoonGen, mTCP, Ostinato, Lagopus, Fast Data (FD.io), Open vSwitch, OPNFV, and OpenStack. Strengthening the ecosystem around DPDK will enable it to meet the needs of the users and projects that depend on it and helps to foster open innovation.

The Linux Foundation and the DPDK community have worked to establish a governance and membership structure for the DPDK Project to nurture a vibrant and open community, and also provide financial support to help the community. A Governing Board will guide marketing, and consider business impact and alignment with the community. The Technical Board, which is in charge of the technical direction of DPDK, is already established and consists of key contributors who lead ongoing maintenance and evolution of the project.

“We’re seeing the telecom industry become more collaborative, largely because of commitment in open source and other standards-type processes,” said Chris Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs. “The Linux Foundation has a history of aligning the open source communities, and DPDK’s transition to The Linux Foundation helps promote more open collaboration for network packet processing.”

“Cavium welcomes the move of the DPDK Project to The Linux Foundation,” said Larry Wikelius, Vice President Software Ecosystem and Solutions Group, Cavium. “In the last two years, we have expanded DPDK to support Cavium’s ARMv8 processors as well as our range of adapters and Ethernet NICs, which brings significantly more choice to builders of high performance Cloud, NFV, and premise-based networking equipment. Cavium is also driving enhancements to allow hardware schedulers/load balancers to better utilize every core in the most efficient way.”

“Intel has long appreciated the strong value that DPDK provides as a high performance packet processing building block, enabling the move to efficiently virtualize network solutions on open platforms,” said Sandra Rivera, Vice President and General Manager, Network Platforms Group at Intel. “We look forward to continuing to work with The Linux Foundation and DPDK community by contributing and innovating for optimized solutions that accelerate and scale deployments of NFV and SDN.”

“Mellanox is committed to open source development and looks forward to driving DPDK forward as part of The Linux Foundation,” said Amit Krig, Vice President of Software Engineering, Mellanox Technologies. “We have been an active participant since the project was first initiated, and will work with the expanded community to optimize DPDK to deliver both performance and efficiency for network intensive applications.”

“NXP is pleased to participate in the leadership of the new DPDK Project within The Linux Foundation,” said Richard House, Vice President of Global Software Development of NXP. “DPDK is an important technology that supports the development of open standards in networking software. NXP is delighted to work with other leading semiconductor, network equipment, and software developers on the continued development of DPDK within an open forum.”

“Open source communities continue to be a driving force behind technology innovation, and open networking and NFV are great examples of that. Red Hat believes deeply in the power of open source to help transform the telecommunications industry, enabling service providers to build next generation efficient, flexible and agile networks,” said Chris Wright, Vice President and Chief Technologist, Office of Technology at Red Hat. “DPDK has played an important role in this network transformation, and our contributions to the DPDK community are aimed at helping to continue this innovation.”

“DPDK is a key technology that enables the communications industry to move to a virtualized infrastructure. As a global leader in telecommunications and information technology, we see strong open source community support as an essential element to building high performance networking solutions for the cloud infrastructure,” said Zhang Wanchun, Vice President of ZTE and Principal of Wireless Product R&D Institute, ZTE. “We will consistently support the development of the DPDK project and collaborate with industry peers to help build and shape this technology for the future.”

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