Aggregating multiple small packets into a large packet provides many advantages. For example, multiple small packets can share a single copy of common Ethernet/IP/UDP headers to reduce the percentage of network bandwidth spent on transmitting headers. In the past, packet aggregation and disaggregation were done by a server CPU or a switch CPU, resulting in low throughputs. In this paper, we design and implement packet aggregation and disaggregation functions in the packet processing pipelines of P4 switches. Our novel designs allow packets with various sizes of payload to be aggregated and disaggregated purely in the data plane of a P4 switch. Experimental results show that the achieved throughputs of our aggregation and disaggregation methods can reach 100 Gbps, which is the line rate of the used P4 switch.
- Packet aggregation
- packet disaggregation