Network virtualization has emerged as a powerful technique to deploy novel services and experimental protocols over shared network infrastructures. Although recent research has highlighted field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) as attractive platforms for high performance network virtualization, these devices remain inaccessible to the larger networking research community due to the absence of user-friendly programming models. A programming model that can abstract the intricacies of the hardware platform while being aware of the underlying resource constraints is highly desirable. In this paper, we present ReClick, a framework to efficiently design and deploy reconfigurable data planes for FPGA-based network virtualization systems. A hardware-agnostic programming model is described that allows developers to focus on the virtual data plane semantics rather than the implementation details. The framework exposes interfaces similar to the popular software router development framework, Click, and promotes design reuse. Optimization strategies are included in ReClick which use similarities between virtual data plane configurations to implement multiple planes in an area-efficient manner. Data planes exhibiting up to 1 Gbps data rate have been automatically compiled and tested in hardware in a Net FPGA platform.
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