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titleP4 rationale

The RARE project objective is to provide a networking solution to Research & Education institution use cases. While we witnessed the birth of several control plane such as GNU Zebra, Bird, exaBGP, etc. The common point of these softwares is that they don't have the capability (yet) to be coupled easily with a hardware dataplane. Simply put, these software control plane cannot be used without specific/important development in order to run on an equipment able to forward nx100GE links at a high Mpps rate. 

There have been attempts with DPDK and other kernel bypass mechanism, that enabled higher throughput processing capability, but this is not comparable to commercial/vendor equipment's packet processing power. 


  • opens you the door to software AND hardware dataplane programmability
  • gives you the possibility to implement YOUR own packet processing algorithm 
titleRARE contro control plane: freeRouter

In the RARE project, we are using a software control plane called freeRouter:

  • It is an open source control plane
  • It has been deployed since 2014 and benefits from hours of production in various environment
  • Interworking has been extensively and continuously tested with major equipment vendors
  • Last but not least freeRouter's maintainer is in the RARE team which allowed Rapid Application development and prototyping in order to build control plane and P4 dataplane communication.