Open vSwitch without stale ports

Open vSwitch is growing every day and being used in large-scale deployments. Usually, that means there are few ports configured in the vswitch that will be always available, like physical Ethernet ports and several other ports providing networking connectivity to virtual machines or containers. Those other ports are software devices and very often they cannot be reused after a reboot or a system crash for example.

This blog post will talk about how to make sure the vSwitch comes up clean after a system crash or bad shutdown. The idea is that once vSwitch is up, there is no need for another component (usually a remote controller) to iterate over a large number of stale ports and clean them up.

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Direct Kernel Open vSwitch Flow Programming

Typically, users will interact with the Open vSwitch kernel datapath by way of the ‘ovs-ofctl’ utility to program OpenFlow rules into the ‘ovs-vswitchd’. However, this isn’t the only mechanism for forwarding packets via the openvswitch kernel module. An additional direct flow-programming interface is available using the ‘ovs-dpctl’ utility to add flows to the kernel. This post will cover influencing the movement of packets through the openvswitch kernel module using the ‘ovs-dpctl’ utility.

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