Linaro Ltd., the collaborative engineering organisation developing open-source software for its member companies, has launched the first Long Term Support (LTS) Monarch release of OpenDataPlane.

The OpenDataPlane project is an open-source, cross-platform set of application programming interfaces (APIs) for the networking Software Defined Data Plane. The code released is production ready and has been demonstrated by Linaro Networking group (LNG) members and their partners.

“This new OpenDataPlane Monarch LTS release provides real-world applications a stable and optimized set of APIs that run on accelerated ARM Cortex-based SoCs and SmartNICs. They can even run on commodity x86 hardware due to the high level of abstraction offered that can span the different architectures,” said François Frédéric Ozog, LNG Director at Linaro.

This Monarch LTS release of OpenDataPlane (ODP) will enable other projects to leverage the acceleration provided by the ODP APIs knowing that the code base will be fully supported for the foreseeable future. Work has already begun on network protocol stacks such as OpenFastPath (OFP), products like the NGiNX web server accelerated with ODP and OFP and libraries like OpenSSL that provide crypto acceleration via ODP. In addition, ODP and ODP-based products, such as OFP, NGiNX and OpenSSL, can now be made available as packages in widely known Linux distributions such as CentOS, Debian and OpenEmbedded.

Reference implementations of OpenDataPlane provided by LNG as well as production grade implementations provided by various silicon partners will be available with this release. To accompany the release, Linaro has also launched a validation test suite that permits users and vendors to verify API compatibility between different ODP implementations. The specification, LNG reference implementations, and validation test suite are available today at OpenDataPlane.org. Performance implementations supporting hardware platforms offered by Cavium, Inc. and NXP will be available later this month.

OpenDataPlane is developed jointly by LNG members and the wider open-source community to represent the interests of application developers, silicon vendors and software solution providers.

“To meet the challenges associated with next-generation 5G networks, delivering an energy-efficient, high-performance and low-latency data plane which delivers application portability and vendor interoperability is critical,” said Phil Bourekas, director of network segment marketing, ARM. “The LTS Monarch release of ODP allows application developers to adopt it with confidence, and is a milestone in enabling the ARM ecosystem to offer differentiated hardware innovations with stable and consistent APIs across the entire network infrastructure.”

“OpenDataPlane is an important part of our networking vision as it brings together all networking Systems on Chips (SoCs) enabling portability, high capacity and power efficient implementation,” said Jarmo Hillo, Head of Processor Technology at Nokia Bell Labs. “This new Monarch release realises ODP’s original commercial promise and we look forward continuing our collaboration and integration with OpenFastPath to meet the ever evolving needs of the networking market.”