The Third Generation IP Routing Suite

Flock Networks have upgraded the IP routing suite to match the demands of the modern network. Using 30 years of network architecture and network operations experience, we have created the third generation of IP routing suite.

Read this white paper to see how advanced the Flock Networks IP routing suite is in theory. Download the software to see how advanced it is in practice.

Fast IP routing

The Flock Networks IP routing suite is designed for unparalleled performance and massive scale. It has been implemented from scratch so it can excel on modern hardware. Each component of the IP routing suite is able to run in parallel, without being slowed down or interrupted by any other component.

Other IP routing suites have to copy large volumes of routing information between operating system processes. Due to its unique design, the Flock Networks IP routing suite only needs to move a handful of bytes between threads.

The Flock Networks IP routing suite uses thread pools to achieve linear scale vs router CPU cores. On a router with four logical CPU cores it can signal one billion BGP route updates across one thousand BGP neighbors in under 90s from startup. If that is too slow for your network requirements then just choose a router with more CPU cores.

Secure IP routing

Most IP routing suites in production today were originally implemented decades ago in the insecure C language. IP routers are the most critical part of the Internet infrastructure. Implementing IP routers using an insecure language is no longer acceptable.

The Flock Networks IP routing suite is written exclusively in Rust. Rust guarantees memory safety at compile time. Rust code has been shown to reduce Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure’s (CVE’s) by around 70% when compared to C / C++.

Uniform IP routing

We believe it is time for routers to become as uniform and interchangeable as the compute nodes and end systems they connect.

The Flock Networks IP routing suite supports a uniform configuration on each router. For example an entire OSPF Autonomous System can be deployed with each router requiring only a handful of lines of identical JSON configuration.

"area": [
    {
        "area_id": "0.0.0.0",
        "intf": [ { "name": "^en" } ]
    }
]

The REST remote monitoring API is based on Open Standards (HTTP + JSON). This makes it trivial to remotely query any state in a Flock Networks router. For example the entire IP Route Table (RIB) can be download and imported using three lines of Python.

you@your-host:~$ python3
>>> import requests
>>> r = requests.get('http://r02:8000/ribv4/prefix?ipv4_net=*/sort/json')
>>> r.json()
[{'ip_net': '0.0.0.0/0', 'origin': 'Ospfv2', 'next_hops': [{'intf_id': 2, 'ip_addr': '10.0.1.168'}, {'intf_id': 4, 'ip_addr': '10.0.3.176'}]}, {'ip_net': '10.0.1.0/24', 'origin': 'Kernel', 'next_hops': [{'intf_id': 2}]}, {'ip_net': '192.168.122.0/24', 'origin': 'Ospfv2', 'next_hops': [{'intf_id': 2, 'ip_addr': '10.0.1.168'}, {'intf_id': 4, 'ip_addr': '10.0.3.176'}]}]

Get Involved

If you are interested in deploying and testing this modern approach to IP Routing please get involved. The Flock Networks IP routing suite will run on any Linux system, including SONiC. The software is free to download and the User Guide can be viewed here.

If you would like to hear more, or have any feedback, please email us at info@flocknetworks.com. We will only ever use your email address to contact you directly. We will not pass it on to anyone else.

Flock Networks Ltd, Company Number 12235913, incorporated 2019.