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The Linux Foundation Announces the IO Visor Project to Advance IO and Networking Technologies

August 18, 2015

The content we consume online is being overtaken by bandwidth hungry video. Add cloud services, IP communications and other types of data, and it quickly becomes obvious that networks have to start using an intelligent approach to manage their infrastructure. Operators are implementing a range of optimization efforts to exploit all their resources and more effectively manage the data, traffic and users in their network. To address these and other pressing issues, the Linux Foundation along with its founding members announced the IO Visor Project to advance IO and networking technologies and introduce new solutions.

Because the current ecosystem requires faster service delivery and higher efficiency, virtualization is being utilized to address the flexibility, performance and scalability organizations need. This project is designed to boost IO and networking technologies as the virtualization environment continues to grow in computing, storage and networking.

As cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) become the norm, a fundamental change in the way IO and networking subsystems are designed will be necessary.

Along with Linux, the members of the project include, Barefoot Networks, Broadcom, Canonical, Cavium, Cisco, Huawei, Intel, PLUMgrid and SUSE, who will build an open programmable data plane for IO and networking applications.

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“IO Visor will work closely with the Linux kernel community to advance universal IO extensibility for Linux. This collaboration is critically important as virtualization is putting more demands on flexibility, performance and security,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director, The Linux Foundation. “Open source software and collaborative development are the ingredients for addressing massive change in any industry. IO Visor will provide the essential framework for this work on Linux virtualization and networking.”

According to the foundation, the neutral forum of the project will give participants a venue where they can have access to development tools for the creation of high-speed, event-driven functions for distributed network environments from the data center and on.  

In addition to other benefits, the goal is for the collaboration to bring universal IO extensibility to the Linux Kernel and enable infrastructure/IO developers to create, publish, and deploy applications in live systems without having to recompile or reboot kernel code. If all goes according to plan, additional networking, tracing, and security applications will be built.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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