PINS creates a hybrid model, bringing SDN programmability to traditional networking. By adding an optional externally programmable stage to the forwarding pipeline of each switching device, networks can be built in traditional ways and augmented with advanced functionality with the aid of an external SDN controller.
- Hybrid Control Plane Support: Gives network operators a choice on network control plane and which parts run where (locally or remotely).
- Opt-In Path Towards SDN: The P4Runtime server is added to SONiC as an optional interface enabling users to implement new functionality using SDN, and to incrementally migrate towards an SDN solution.
- Familiar Interface: P4 is used to model the SAI pipeline, and enables users to control all essential networking features, including L2 bridging, L3 routing, ACLs, tunnels, and more.
- Rapid Innovation: New features can quickly be modeled in P4 and exposed to control plane applications using P4Runtime.
- Automated Validation: P4Runtime enables tools to be used to test and validate every packet path automatically in the forwarding pipeline.