Vector Packet Processing 103: Ligato & VPP Agent
Welcome back to our guide on Vector Packet Processing. In today’s post number three from our VPP series, we will take a look at Ligato and its VPP Agent.
Ligato is one of the multiple commercially supported technologies supported by PANTHEON.tech.
What is a VNF?
A Virtual Network Function is a software implementation of a function. It runs on single or multiple Virtual Machines or Containers, on top of a hardware networking infrastructure. Individual functions of this network may be implemented or combined together, in order to create a complete networking communication service. A VNF can be used as a standalone entity or part of an SDN architecture.
Its life-cycle is controlled by orchestration systems, such as the increasingly popular Kubernetes. Cloud-native VNFs and their control/management plane can expose REST or gRPC APIs to external clients, communicate over a message bus, or provide a cloud-friendly environment for deployment and usage. It can also support high-performance data planes, such as VPP.
What is Ligato?
It is the open-source cloud platform for building and wiring VNFs. Ligato provides infrastructure and libraries, code samples, and CI/CD processes to accelerate and improve the overall developer experience. It paves the way towards faster code reuse, reducing costs, and increasing application agility & maintainability. Being native to the cloud, Ligato has a minimal footprint, plus can be easily integrated, customized, and extended, deployed using Kubernetes. The three main components of Ligato are:
- CN Infra – a Golang platform for developing cloud-native microservices. It can be used to develop any microservice, even though it was primarily designed for Virtual Network Function management/control plane agents.
- SFC Controller – an orchestration module for data-plane connectivity within cloud-native containers. These containers may be VPP-Agent enabled or communicate via veth interfaces.
- BGP Agent – a Border Gateway Protocol information provider. You can also view a Ligato demonstration done by PANTHEON.tech here.
The platform is modular-based – new plugins provide new functionality. These plugins can be set up in layers, where each layer can form a new platform with different services at a higher layer plane. This approach mainly aims to create a management/control plane for VPP, with the addition of the VPP Agent.
What is the VPP Agent?
Quick starting the VPP Agent
- Pull the latest image from Docker, which includes VPP + VPP Agent
- Or clone the repository from Ligato GitHub
- Install Kafka
- Install ETCD
For this example, we will work with the pre-built Docker image.
Install & Run
Run the downloaded Docker image:
docker pull ligato/vpp-agent
docker run -it --name vpp --rm ligato/vpp-agent
Using agentctl, configure the VPP Agent:
docker exec -it vpp agentctl -
Check the configuration, using agentctl or the VPP console:
For a detailed rundown of the Quickstart, please refer to the Quickstart section of VPP Agents Github.
We have shown you how to integrate and quickstart the VPP Agent, on top of Ligato.
Our next post will highlight gRPC/REST – until then, enjoy playing around with VPP Agent.
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