Intel DPDK vs Broadcom/Mellanox SDK


Anothe email thread to get some guidance on points to consider when
comparing new platforms that advocate using DPDK as the hardware
acceleration SDK vs the broadcom/mellanox.

The DPDK ones claim enhanced performance but every time i ask questions, i
get the logical and typical answer of “it depends”


Use the package that corresponds to the chipset in your equipment.
Ie. Broadcom/Mellanox chips use that SDK. Intel chips use DPDK.
With white box switches using Broadcom chips you will run into issues
If you don't use the Broadcom SDK. Obviously your mileage will vary
based on the actual application. If it isn't a hardware switch and is CPU based
like a home router, then there are a lot more factors and the CPU factors may
outweigh the chipset factors. You may want to look at a list related to home
routers for more guidance.


Can you please provide examples on issues that you highlighted with
broadcom? Are you saying i may not see the same with mellanox?


The Broadcom chips have some quirks that the Broadcom SDK handles and the DPDK does not.
Specifically related around port hang up after port flaps.
I am certain each chipset has quirks that are best handled by their SDK.
The vendor specific SDK is always going to work better with a their specific chipset.
That is just a given based on the vendor understanding their own chipset better.
But again for software switching other factors apply.


I might be running into this late. Yet we had a team that did performance tests for some of their virtualization services and ended up replacing intel cards with Mellanox.

Not sure about the details of the testd though