OVS Driver and Agent Workflow

OVS Driver and Agent Workflow

Blueprint about Common Service chaining driver describes the OVS driver and agent necessity for realizing service function chaining.

Problem Description

The service chain OVS driver and agents are used to configure back-end Openvswitch devices to render service chaining in the data-plane. The driver manager controls a common service chain API which provides a consistent interface between the service chain manager and different device drivers.

Proposed Change

Design:

 Port Chain Plugin
+-------------------------------+
|  +-------------------------+  |
|  |    Port Chain API       |  |
|  +-------------------------+  |
|  |    Port Chain Database  |  |
|  +-------------------------+  |
|  |    Driver Manager       |  |
|  +-------------------------+  |
|  |    Common Driver API    |  |
|  +-------------------------+  |
|               |               |
|  +-------------------------+  |
|  |        OVS Driver       |  |
|  +-------------------------+  |
+-------|----------------|------+
        |rpc             |rpc
   +-----------+   +-----------+
   | OVS Agent |   | OVS Agent |
   +-----------+   +-----------+

A OVS service chain driver and agents communicate via rpc.

OVS Driver

The OVS Driver is extended to support service chaining. The driver interfaces with the OVS agents that reside on each Compute node. The OVS driver is responsible for the following:

  • Identify the OVS agents that directly connects to the SF instances and establish communication with OVS agents on the Compute nodes.
  • Send commands to the OVS agents to create bridges, flow tables and flows to steer chain traffic to the SF instances.

OVS Agent

The OVS agent will manage the OVS using OVSDB commands to create bridges and tables, and install flows to steer chain traffic to the SF instances.

Existing tunnels between the Tunnel bridges on each Compute node are used to transport Port Chain traffic between the CNs.

The OVS Agent will create these tunnels to transport SFC traffic between Compute nodes on which there are SFs. Each tunnel port has the following attributes:

  • Name
  • Local tunnel IP address
  • Remote tunnel IP address
  • Tunnel Type: VXLAN, GRE

The OVS agent installs additional flows on the Integration bridge and the Tunnel bridge to perform the following functions:

  • Traffic classification. The Integration bridge classifies traffic from a VM port or Service VM port attached to the Integration bridge. The flow classification is based on the n-tuple rules.
  • Service function forwarding. The Tunnel bridge forwards service chain packets to the next-hop Compute node via tunnels, or to the next Service VM port on that Compute node. Integration bridge will terminate a Service Function Path.

The OVS Agent will use the MPLS header to transport the chain path identifier and chain hop index. The MPLS label will transport the chain path identifier, and the MPLS ttl will transport the chain hop index. The following packet encapsulation will be used:

IPv4 Packet:
+----------+------------------------+-------+
|L2 header | IP + UDP dst port=4790 | VXLAN |
+----------+------------------------+-------+
-----------------------------+---------------+--------------------+
Original Ethernet, ET=0x8847 | MPLS header   | Original IP Packet |
-----------------------------+---------------+--------------------+

This is not intended as a general purpose MPLS implementation but rather as a temporary internal mechanism. It is anticipated that the MPLS label will be replaced with an NSH encapsulation (https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-ietf-sfc-nsh/) once NSH support is available upstream in Open vSwitch. If the service function does not support the header, then the vSwitch will act as Service Function Forwarder (SFF) Proxy which will strip off the header when forwarding the packet to the SF and re-add the header when receiving the packet from the SF.

OVS Bridge and Tunnel

Existing tunnels between the Tunnel bridges on each Compute node are used to transport Port Chain traffic between the CNs:

 CN1                                 CN2
+--------------------------+        +-------------------------+
|  +-----+       +-----+   |        |  +-----+      +-----+   |
|  | VM1 |       | SF1 |   |        |  | SF2 |      | SF3 |   |
|  +-----+       +-----+   |        |  +-----+      +-----+   |
|     |.           ^|.     |        |   ^| |.         ^|.     |
| +----.-----------.-.--+  |        | +-.---.---------.-.---+ |
| |    ............. .. |  |        | | .   ........... .   | |
| | Integration Bridge. |  |        | | .Integration Bridge | |
| |           ......... |  |        | | ......   ........   | |
| +-----------.---------+  |        | +-------.--.----------+ |
|            |.            |        |         .| .            |
| +-----------.---------+  |        | +-------.--.----------+ |
| |           .................................  ..................>
| |    Tunnel Bridge    |-------------|   Tunnel Bridge     | |
| +---------------------+  | Tunnel | +---------------------+ |
|                          |        |                         |
+--------------------=-----+        +-------------------------+

Flow Tables and Flow Rules

The OVS Agent adds additional flows (shown above) on the Integration bridge to support Port Chains:

  1. Egress Port Chain flows to steer traffic from SFs attached to the Integration bridge to a Tunnel bridge to the next-hop Compute node. These flows may be handled using the OpenFlow Group in the case where there are multiple port-pairs in the next-hop port-pair group.
  2. Ingress Port Chain flows on the Tunnel bridge to steer service chain traffic from a tunnel from a previous Compute node to SFs attached to the Integration bridge.
  3. Internal Port Chain flows are used to steer service chain traffic from one SF to another SF on the same Compute Node.

The Port Chain flow rules have the higher priority, and will not impact the existing flow rules on the Integration bridge. If traffic from SF is not part of a service chain, e.g., DHCP messages, ARP packets etc., it will match the existing flow rules on the Integration bridge.

The following tables are used to process Port Chain traffic:

  • Local Switching Table (Table 0). This existing table has two new flows to handle incoming traffic from the SF egress port and the tunnel port between Compute nodes.
  • Group Table. This new table is used to select multiple paths for load-balancing across multiple port-pairs in a port-pair group. There are multiple buckets in the group if the next hop is a port-pair group with multiple port-pairs. The group actions will be to send the packet to next hop SF instance. If the next hop port-pair is on another Compute node, the action output to the tunnel port to the next hop Compute node. If the next hop port-pair is on the same Compute node, then the action will be to resubmit to the TUN_TABLE for local chaining process.

Local Switching Table (Table 0) Flows

Traffic from SF Egress port: classify for chain and direct to group:

priority=10,in_port=SF_EGRESS_port,traffic_match_field,
 actions=strip_vlan,set_tunnel:VNI,group:gid.

Traffic from Tunnel port:

priority=10,in_port=TUNNEL_port,
 actions=resubmit(,TUN_TABLE[type]).

Group Table Flows

The Group table is used for load distribution to spread the traffic load across a port-pair group of multiple port-pairs (SFs of the same type). This uses the hashing of several fields in the packet. There are multiple buckets in the group if the next hop is a port-pair group with multiple port-pairs.

The group actions will be to send the packet to next hop SF instances. If the next hop port-pair is on another Compute node, the action output to the tunnel port to the next hop Compute node. If the next hop port-pair is on the same Compute node, then the action will be to resubmit to the TUN_TABLE for local chaining process.

The OVSDB command to create a group of type Select with a hash selection method and two buckets is shown below. This is existing OVS functionality. The ip_src,nw_proto,tp_src packet fields are used for the hash:

group_id=gid,type=select,selection_method=hash,fields=ip_src,nw_proto,tp_src
 bucket=set_field:10.1.1.3->ip_dst,output:10,
 bucket=set_field:10.1.1.4->ip_dst,output:10

Data Model Impact

None

Alternatives

None

Security Impact

None.

Notifications Impact

There will be logging to trouble-shoot and verify correct operation.

Other End User Impact

None.

Performance Impact

It is not expected that these flows will have a significant performance impact.

IPv6 Impact

None.

Other Deployer Impact

None

Developer Impact

None

Community Impact

Existing OVS driver and agent functionality will not be affected.

Implementation

Assignee(s)

Work Items

  • Port Chain OVS driver.
  • Port Chain OVS agent.
  • Unit test.

Dependencies

This design depends upon the proposed Neutron Service Chaining API extensions

Openvswitch.

Testing

Tempest and functional tests will be created.

Documentation Impact

Documented as extension.

User Documentation

Update networking API reference. Update admin guide.

Developer Documentation

None

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