HPE Ethernet Switches Review

The SDN features are centrally manageable and provide system-wide traffic control. However, the hardware table doesn't include byte count, so I installed flow rules in the software table.


Valuable Features:

The Software-Defined Networking (SDN) features I find most valuable are:

  • Directly programmable and configurable
  • Centrally manageable
  • Control traffic system-wide

Room for Improvement:

I think that the HP Openflow switches should be improved in terms of the open-flow byte-count statistics.

I used SDN because my master thesis is about the visualization of traffic in the network per application with SDN, so I have worked with HP switches almost along all this year. In my thesis the byte count was very important for the conclusions, but I noticed that this feature had some problems and errors.

My little experience tells me that everything starts because the hardware table (table 100) doesn't have the byte count. So I had to install the flow rules in the software table (table 200) which has a limit-rate, that may be the reason for the relative errors that I found.

I used a host as an iPerf server and another one as an iPerf client and then I compared the open-flow byte count against the byte count provided by the iPerf console.

Use of Solution:

I have used this solution for six months.

Stability Issues:

The switch manual say that the device supports up to four mirrorings. But when I configured two port mirrorings, the SDN controller interface was blocked and the mirrorings didn't work. 

Scalability Issues:

The Openflow hardware table doesn't provide a byte-count statistic, and the software table provides a byte-count statistic but with errors. 

I found that the possible reason for this is that the software-limit rate of the switch, which is 10,000 pps maximum, with an advice in the switch manual that if we increase the limit-rate above 1,000 pps, it is possible that this increases CPU and impacts system performance.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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