A few years ago, Intel released its Data Plane Development Kit (Intel® DPDK) software. The DPDK library is provided to OEMs under a BSD licensing model, enabling the design of high performance networking software based on either pipelined or run-to-completion architectures. It runs in Linux userspace, providing optimizations for Intel® architecture platforms such as data plane libraries, optimized NIC drivers (queue and buffer management, packet flow, classification, poll-mode NIC drivers along with a simple API Interface and standard tool chain) and run-time environment (low overhead, run-to-completion model optimized for fastest possible data plane performance).


DPDK is a key environment for enabling the use of Intel architecture platforms in data plane applications. DPDK, however, is a complex technology and in-depth networking software expertise is required to use it efficiently. Since 2007, 6WIND has been working with Intel to optimize its 6WINDGate™ networking software suite for Intel embedded processors and to provide the most advanced and comprehensive suite of pre-integrated data plane and control plane protocols on top of DPDK, including high availability capabilities.


As a member of the Intel Intelligent Systems Alliance, 6WIND provides support either for the stand-alone Intel DPDK or for DPDK integrated with 6WINDGate. Therefore, customers can benefit not only from 6WIND’s full support of DPDK but, more importantly, from the in-depth system expertise 6WIND developed through designing high performance networking software.


You can download the Intel – 6WIND white paper “Optimized Data Plane Processing Solutions using the Intel® DPDK” from our Web site for more information about 6WINDGate for Intel architectures.


In addition to functions and NIC drivers provided with the standard DPDK distribution, 6WIND also provides valuable add-ons to DPDK for increased system functionality and performance. These include:

  • Support for non-Intel NICs such as the Mellanox ConnectX®-3 EN series,
  • Crypto support via both Intel® Multi-Buffer Crypto software and Cave Creek hardware,
  • DPDK drivers for external crypto engines such as Cavium’s Nitrox®,
  • Drivers for enabling DPDK in virtualized environments such as VMware VMWNET3 and KVM-XEN VIRTIO.


Providing these add-ons is very important because network software developers are accustomed to having all the required drivers available in a Linux environment and they expect to use them in the DPDK environment as well. It’s likely one of the most important limitations that I hear about from engineering teams using DPDK.


6WIND provides these add-ons as part of the private DPDK branch maintained by 6WIND and fully synchronized with Intel's on-going releases of the baseline library.


We encourage you to check our roadmap for future add-ons and we would be very pleased to learn about your DPDK requirements so that we can better adapt our plans to meet them.