[Bridge] [RFC PATCH v2 net-next 04/10] net: bridge: switchdev: allow the data plane forwarding to be offloaded

Tobias Waldekranz tobias at waldekranz.com
Mon Jul 12 12:28:42 UTC 2021

On Fri, Jul 09, 2021 at 14:09, Vladimir Oltean <vladimir.oltean at nxp.com> wrote:
> Hi Grygorii,
> On Fri, Jul 09, 2021 at 04:16:13PM +0300, Grygorii Strashko wrote:
>> On 03/07/2021 14:56, Vladimir Oltean wrote:
>> > From: Tobias Waldekranz <tobias at waldekranz.com>
>> >
>> > Allow switchdevs to forward frames from the CPU in accordance with the
>> > bridge configuration in the same way as is done between bridge
>> > ports. This means that the bridge will only send a single skb towards
>> > one of the ports under the switchdev's control, and expects the driver
>> > to deliver the packet to all eligible ports in its domain.
>> >
>> > Primarily this improves the performance of multicast flows with
>> > multiple subscribers, as it allows the hardware to perform the frame
>> > replication.
>> >
>> > The basic flow between the driver and the bridge is as follows:
>> >
>> > - The switchdev accepts the offload by returning a non-null pointer
>> >    from .ndo_dfwd_add_station when the port is added to the bridge.
>> >
>> > - The bridge sends offloadable skbs to one of the ports under the
>> >    switchdev's control using dev_queue_xmit_accel.
>> >
>> > - The switchdev notices the offload by checking for a non-NULL
>> >    "sb_dev" in the core's call to .ndo_select_queue.
>> Sry, I could be missing smth.
>> Is there any possibility to just mark skb itself as "fwd_offload" (or smth), so driver can
>> just check it and decide what to do. Following you series:
>> - BR itself will send packet only once to one port if fwd offload possible and supported
>> - switchdev driver can check/negotiate BR_FWD_OFFLOAD flag
>> In our case, TI CPSW can send directed packet (default now), by specifying port_id if DMA desc
>> or keep port_id == 0 which will allow HW to process packet internally, including MC duplication.
>> Sry, again, but necessity to add 3 callbacks and manipulate with "virtual" queue to achieve
>> MC offload (seems like one of the primary goals) from BR itself looks a bit over-complicated :(
> After cutting my teeth myself with Tobias' patches, I tend to agree with
> the idea that the macvlan offload framework is not a great fit for the
> software bridge data plane TX offloading. Some reasons:

I agree. I was trying to find an API that would not require adding new
.ndos or other infrastructure. You can see in my original RFC cover that
this was something I wrestled with. 

> - the sb_dev pointer is necessary for macvlan because you can have
>   multiple macvlan uppers and you need to know which one this packet
>   came from. Whereas in the case of a bridge, any given switchdev net
>   device can have a single bridge upper. So a single bit per skb,
>   possibly even skb->offload_fwd_mark, could be used to encode this bit
>   of information: please look up your FDB for this packet and
>   forward/replicate it accordingly.

In fact, in the version I was about to publish, I reused
skb->offload_fwd_mark to encode precisely this property. It works really
well. Maybe I should just publish it, even with the issues regarding
mv88e6xxx. Let me know if you want to take a look at it.

> - I am a bit on the fence about the "net: allow ndo_select_queue to go
>   beyond dev->num_real_tx_queues" and "net: extract helpers for binding
>   a subordinate device to TX queues" patches, they look like the wrong
>   approach overall, just to shoehorn our use case into a framework that
>   was not meant to cover it.


> - most importantly: Ido asked about the possibility for a switchdev to
>   accelerate the data plane for a bridge port that is a LAG upper. In the
>   current design, where the bridge attempts to call the
>   .ndo_dfwd_add_station method of the bond/team driver, this will not
>   work. Traditionally, switchdev has migrated away from ndo's towards
>   notifiers because of the ability for a switchdev to intercept the
>   notifier emitted by the bridge for the bonding interface, and to treat
>   it by itself. So, logically speaking, it would make more sense to
>   introduce a new switchdev notifier for TX data plane offloading per
>   port. Actually, now that I'm thinking even more about this, it would
>   be great not only if we could migrate towards notifiers, but if the
>   notification could be emitted by the switchdev driver itself, at

I added pass-through implementations of these .ndos to make it work on
top of LAGs, but a notifier is much cleaner.

>   bridge join time. Once upon a time I had an RFC patch that changed all
>   switchdev drivers to inform the bridge that they are capable of
>   offloading the RX data plane:
>   https://patchwork.kernel.org/project/netdevbpf/patch/20210318231829.3892920-17-olteanv@gmail.com/

Really like this approach! It also opens up the possibility of disabling
it manually (something like `ethtool -K swp0 bridge-{rx, tx} off`). This
will allow you to run a DPI firewall on a specific port in a LAN, for

>   That patch was necessary because the bridge, when it sees a bridge
>   port that is a LAG, and the LAG is on top of a switchdev, will assign
>   the port hwdom based on the devlink switch ID of the switchdev. This
>   is wrong because it assumes that the switchdev offloads the LAG, but
>   in the vast majority of cases this is false, only a handful of
>   switchdev drivers have LAG offload right now. So the expectation is
>   that the bridge can do software forwarding between such LAG comprised
>   of two switchdev interfaces, and a third (standalone) switchdev
>   interface, but it doesn't do that, because to the bridge, all ports
>   have the same hwdom.
>   Now it seems common sense that I pick up this patch again and make the
>   switchdev drivers give 2 pieces of information:
>   (a) can I offload the RX data path
>   (b) can I offload the TX data path
> I can try to draft another RFC with these changes.

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