Docker Containers - Build Your Network Your Way

Modern data-centers have evolved from monolithic architectures running applications on a single host or virtual machine into lightweight containers.

  • As lightweight, stand-alone, executable software packages, containers include code, runtime, system tools, system libraries, and settings – everything they need to run.
  • Docker containers help to reduce conflicts between teams running different software on the same infrastructure, by isolating applications from one another and the underlying infrastructure.
  • Containerized software supports both Linux and Windows-based applications, while running consistently in either environment.

Docker Containers and Mellanox Spectrum

Docker is the world’s leading open-source software container platform. Docker provides an additional layer of abstraction and automation of operating-system-level virtualization on Windows and Linux. By allowing independent “containers” to run within a single Linux instance, Docker avoids the overhead of starting and maintaining virtual machines.

Mellanox’s Spectrum-based 25GbE and 100GbE switches offer end-users the ability to create their own unique differentiation since they are the only solution in the market to enable tailored applications by direct access to Spectrum SDK on top of Docker containers.

Tailor-make your network operating system using containers on top of Spectrum switches

Find below a list of different types of Docker applications that run on Mellanox Spectrum switches:

  • Mellanox application – a container based application developed and fully supported by Mellanox
  • 3rd party application - subject to Docker hub support policy
  • Demo / example – applications for which no formal support is provided

See below list of docker based applications available

NMOS IS-04: Media network discovery & registration

Application Type: 3rd party
Application location:
AMWA NMOS Discovery and Registration Specification (IS-04): IS-04 is an AMWA NMOS Specification for Discovery and Registration of networked media resources It has been developed by the Advanced Media Workflow Association as part of the Networked Media Open Specifications initiative. The formal IS-04 specification is provided at the GitHub repository. Click here for more details on the discovery and registration.

Source location:

sFlowRT: sFlow collection & graphical representation

Application Type: Demo
Application location:
The sFlow-RT analytics engine receives a continuous telemetry stream from sFlow Agents embedded in network devices, hosts and applications and converts them into actionable metrics.
Grafana allows you to query, visualize, alert on and understand your metrics no matter where they are stored. Create, explore, and share dashboards with your team and foster a data driven culture.
InfluxDB is an open-source time series database developed by InfluxData. It is written in Go and optimized for fast, high-availability storage and retrieval of time series data in fields such as operations monitoring, application metrics, Internet of Things sensor data, and real-time analytics. It also has support for processing data from Graphite.

Telemetry Agent: Telemetry streaming agent

Application Type: Mellanox
Application location:
The NEO telemetry agent is a software module designed to run inside a Docker container operated on a Mellanox Spectrum switch system. The agent collects data on the switch and streams it out to an external data collector for processing, analysis and presentation. The telemetry agent is using industry-standard protocols for control and data streaming, as follows:
  • The control of the telemetry agent is done using a JSON-RPC protocol with the OpenConfig telemetry schemas. The user can use the NEO application as a centralized controller to deploy and manage telemetry agents across the network. Alternatively, customers and partners can integrate the agent into their solutions and control it through the control APIs.
  • The telemetry agent can stream out data to a 3rd party collector over gRPC protocol. There are various open-source and commercial big data platforms that can accept and store the data.
The following diagram illustrates a typical use-case for the NEO telemetry agent: As illustrated in the figure above, the NEO telemetry agent can be controlled by the NEO application or by a 3rd party controller. For information on how to control the agent using the NEO application.

For detailed description please refer to the Telemetry Agent User Manual at the following location.

Embrionix emSET Controller: Embrionix SDI-to-IP controller

Application Type: 3rd party
Application location:
The emSET software is a server/client software that can be run on Windows or on Linux platforms. The software discovers Embrionix IP products and provides full access to configure, control and monitor each devices. The Server software can be installed on a PC or VM running seperated or along side to the client application. Multiple instances of clients GUI can be run in parallel through an internet web browser. This software supports emSFP-Gateway modules, as well as emFUSION and emVIEW standalone devices in any encapsulation formats.
IP flow routing can be achieved through the use of a simple routing control panel.

NEO on Container: NEO data-center network orchestration

Application Type: Mellanox
Application location: available soon
Mellanox NEO — высокоэффективная платформа для оркестрации сетей ЦОД, предназначенная для упрощения подготовки сетей, отслеживания и эксплуатации современных ЦОД. NEO предоставляет надежные возможности автоматизации, которые расширяют существующие инструменты, начиная с промежуточного хранения и начальной настройки сети до повседневных операций. NEO служит сетевым API для решений Mellanox Ethernet и обеспечивает интеграции с партнерскими решениями VMware, OpenStack, Nutanix, Cumulus Networks и многими другими.
Click here for more details on NEO.

Spectrum Programmable Hybrid Pipeline: Time-switched application use case

Application Type: Demo
Application location: contact product management for demo location
The Spectrum Programmable Hybrid Pipeline (SPHP) as a time-switched application uses a P4-compiled application running on a docker container to match RTP timestamps on received media streams. All media flow time stamps are synchronized/locked, while all packets from the same frame carry the same stamp. Switches between flows are at the new timestamp value (exact match or regex). Together, these capabilities enable the following advantages:
  • Operational legacy protocols (IGMP/ PTP/ PIM/…) along the per flow- timed switch implementation
  • Network/endpoint links carry only relevant data, enabling the link to carry more streams
  • Reduced frame buffer and latency at the endpoints matches up RTP timestamps on received media streams

DHCP service: DHCP server on you private network

Application Type: Demo / Example
Application location:
Detailed description is provided on the attached deployment guide.

Please refer to the Mellanox open source policy here.
Different types of licenses are described within this document.

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