Gaogang Xie, Peng He, Hongtao Guan, Zhenyu Li, Yingke Xie, Layong Luo, Jianhua Zhang, Yonggong Wang, and Kave Salamatian, PEARL: A Programmable Virtual Router Platform, IEEE Communication Magazine, Special Issue on Future Internet Architectures: Design and Deployment Perspectives. The special issue is scheduled to appear in July, 2011.


Programmable routers supporting virtualization are a key building block for bridging the gap between new Internet protocols and their deployment in real operational networks. This article presents the design and implementation of PEARL, a ProgrammablE virtuAl Router pLatform with relatively high-performance. It offers high flexibility by allowing users to control the configuration of both hardware and software data paths. The platform makes use of fast lookup in hardware and software exceptions in commodity multi-core CPUs to achieve high speed packet processing. Multiple isolated packet streams and virtualization techniques ensure isolation among virtual router instances.