Software Technologies and Platforms

Every hardware solution has to come with a corresponding software package. While designers normally check the lowest levels of the software, such as drivers and boot procedures, this chapter describes much more than that. The software below the application layer has been divided into two major sections, the basic and extended platform, both of which are discussed with regard to their applicability to data, control and management plane processing.

4.1 Basic Software Platform

A basic software platform includes operating system(s), networking and security stacks and multiple low-level utilities used by the extended software platform and application modules. Different device drivers are also included in the basic software platform, but they are not discussed here, because all drivers are device-specific and cannot be discussed in general terms.

4.1.1 Operating Systems

There are many different operating systems (OSs), including multiple flavours for some of them. There are OSs applicable mostly for control plane implementations; others can be used predominantly in data plane processing; some can be considered potentially for both. Of course, not all of them are discussed here, there are just too many to choose from. Also, it is not the aim of this book to provide detail about operating systems and their architecture and each OS is described only in terms of its capability to support a particular hardware architecture and processing applicability ...

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