Terminology

Stateful Flow Management

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Napatech SmartNIC
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User Guide

There are a number of specific terms to understand when using Napatech Stateful Flow Management.

Terminology

Term Explanation
Actions Actions exist in both the hardware and software (HW and SW). Actions apply the rule that has been defined for processing that particular flow. The most common actions are forward, drop, and metadata collection (metrics include packet and byte count, and state information includes flags and flow state).
Fast Path (FP) The FP is where all identified flows are handled.
Flow Info record A record that contains information about the flows that are ongoing or terminated.
Flow Match actions For each flow, one or more actions are configured to run when a packet matches that flow. These are either Receive (Rx) actions or Transmit (Tx) actions.
Flow Matcher There is a Flow Matcher in both the hardware (SmartNIC) and software (application). The Hardware (HW) Flow Matcher looks up the flow first, and only passes it to the Software (SW) Flow Matcher if it cannot match it to a previously processed flow.
Flow Status record A record that contains information about flow configuration results, for example, whether the configuration of a specific flow is successful.
Flow Stream A stream type that configures new flows, deletes existing flows, and receives any form of information from the Flow Matcher.
Flow Table There is a Flow Table in both the hardware and software (HW and SW).
Hardware Flow Scrubber The HW Flow Scrubber reads the HW Flow Table and times out inactive flows.
Receive (Rx) actions An action that is based on receipt. Multiple actions are possible. Most actions are Rx actions, which are defined based on information in the Flow Table. Examples include drop and fast forward.
Software Learning (SL) SL processes any previously unknown flow packets and decides the actions that will be applied next time that flow is encountered. SL also programs the Hardware (HW) and Software (SW) Flow Tables and Actions.
Slow Path (SP) The SP is where all unknown flows are handled.
Transmit (Tx) action An action that is based on transmission. Multiple actions are possible. An example is checksum calculation.