Cost-down middle-box for SOHO

A global data traffic management leader needed to provide low-cost solutions for its middleboxes. These were to be deployed in remote small offices of its clients.

Alumnus ported the client’s ELinOS-based proprietary operating system and BSP packages from their Intel-based middleboxes into OpenWRT-based, cheaper switch hardware. The designated hardware uses an ARM-based CPU and Atheros AR8327 switching SoC. This reduced costs significantly while maintaining expected service quality.

Alumnus also fixed multiple issues with NAND flash drivers and file Systems, stabilised OpenWRT and provided performance optimizations.

Certain aspects of their kernel logic were rewritten to adapt to a different arrangement of the physical ports, and hence their mapping to software port (net_devices). This helped in handling their corresponding send/ receive buffers and the packet learner scheme for packet and QoS offloading to the SoC.

Alumnus’ solution improved the network throughput significantly while reducing costs.

Technology stack:

OpenWRT, ELinOS, C, gcc, Linux Kernel, Network Stack, TCP/IP, router, bridge, switch, QoS, Bash script, buildroot

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