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DPDK Governing Board Meeting Minutes Summary – April 30, 2024

By Governing Board Minutes

This board meeting featured: a financial update & membership updates by Robin Giller of Intel, DPDK Board Vice Chair and Treasurer; 2024 Summit updates for APAC (Bangkok) and North America (Montreal) by Evi Harmon, Events Coordinator of the Linux Foundation; tech stack updates on DPDK’s expansion, by Thomas Monjalon of Nvidia, Lead Maintainer of DPDK; and February 2024 Marketing Update and Vote  by Ben Thomas, Marketing Coordinator of The Linux Foundation.

Robin Giller began the meeting with financial updates. He noted that all  membership renewals have been paid for 2024, which will bring the project to 100% renewals for the third straight fiscal year in a row. The project’s financial posture is healthy, and is projected to remain so through the end of 2024. Key planned expenditures for this year include the DPDK Asian Summit in Bangkok (July 2024); the DPDK North American Summit in Montreal (September 2024); the purchase of new servers for the UNH Community Lab; and the salary of the project’s tech writer, hired earlier this year. 

Evi Harmon then discussed the two DPDK events for 2024, including the Asian Summit, slated for Bangkok, Thailand from Jul. 8-9; availability has been cleared at a Bangkok Hotel and the contract is being finalized and signed this week; more details are forthcoming. Registration will be $20 for in person and virtual; all of the sessions will be recorded and will go on youtube after the event. There will be a reception on July 8th. Swag will include t-shirts and stickers. The event’s website and CFP will go live during the weeks ahead, and publicity has already begun.

The DPDK Summit North America will take place in Montreal from Sep. 24-25, 2024; availability of two hotels has been confirmed but neither has been locked in. Today’s meeting identified the hotel of choice and gave Ms. Harmon permission to lock it in. A contract will be finalized very shortly and more details are forthcoming. A website, publicity and a CFP will follow. 

Thomas Monjalon then discussed DPDK’s planned evolution in three areas: hyperscaling/cloud, security, and AI, and laid out strategies for expansion in all three sectors. 

The meeting wrapped with a summary of marketing accomplishments by coordinator Ben Thomas, who tied the Governing Board’s fiscal allocations for marketing/publicity in 2023 and its accompanying paid promotion budget to a dramatically expanded presence online and an upsurge in impressions and clicks. Mr. Thomas described organic upward trends in DPDK Downloads, website traffic, social media engagement, YouTube views, and engagement rates in our owned media. This positive momentum has persisted into Q124, particularly with notable growth in social media metrics. Q124 has demonstrated overall positive momentum, with PR mentions (earned media) rebounding from Q3-Q4 2023. Notably, February saw double the average number of mentions. The meeting concluded with Mr. Thomas’s request of the Governing Board for another paid marketing allocation from the budget for 2024, which received unanimous approval from all present.

DPDK Governing Board Meeting Summary – February 8, 2024

By Governing Board Minutes

This board meeting featured: a UNH Community Lab update from Patrick Robb of the University of New Hampshire, a 2024 Events update from Events Coordinator Evi Harmon of The Linux Foundation, a marketing update from Marketing Coordinator Ben Thomas of The Linux Foundation, an outreach update from Sr. Project Coordinator Nathan Southern of the Linux Foundation, and a financial overview/ membership renewal update from Vice Chair/Treasurer Robin Giller, of Intel. 

Patrick Robb began by outlining recent Community Lab news. The Lab added a Windows Server 2022 VM utilizing the MSVC Preview compiler for build testing, and stood up the TS-Factory Ethernet Device testing framework, extending ethdev testing coverage on lab hardware. It also completed a NIC hardware refresh. It also recently hired one freelance part time DTS developer and is in the process of interviewing another.  The Community Lab is also exploring the option of purchasing new servers to augment its capabilities. 

As a result of current limitations, the Lab may look to the Governing Board to support the purchase of new servers in the near future. The lab currently has a very heterogeneous set of server brands, which increases operational overhead, but  limits its ability to automate system monitoring, etc. Making the Lab environment more homogeneous would have  key benefits. If new servers can be obtained for the Community Lab, it will streamline the onboarding of new NICs in the future, which may have some requirements not met by the present server inventory. 

Mr. Robb and Aaron Conole plan to present a concrete server update proposal to the DPDK Governing Board in the near future. Mr. Conole noted that he recently did a Community Lab inventory, and one of his chief concerns is making sure that the quality of the performance testing is on par with the best capability that can be provided.

Evi Harmon then provided an update on 2024 DPDK events. She has, per a Board prompt, been exploring options on behalf of the project for two 2024 events – one in North America (likely either Mexico or Montreal, QC) and an APAC one in either Bangkok, Thailand or Beijing, China. However, Mexico has not been responsive to venue requests. 

Seven Montreal venues responded to the Event Team’s inquiries, vs. two in Beijing and 7 in Bangkok. For Montreal, available dates include: the week of Aug 6, Aug 13, Aug 20, Aug 27, Sept 4, Sept 10 and Sept 24. In regard to the APAC event: this is being pursued as a two-day, one-track event for up to 75 attendees, without a reception but AM/PM breaks and lunch. For Bangkok and Beijing, available dates include: week of Sept 4, Sept 10, Sept 24, Oct 15, Oct 22 and Oct 29.

Ms. Harmon plans to continue to source venues for all three cities and obtain firmer costs, and a subsequent meeting will be set up with leadership during the next few weeks to make a firm decision between one of the two aforementioned APAC locations. 

Ben Thomas updated  DPDK marketing effort for 2024 is off to a strong start, between the meetings that have been held, the content Mr. Thomas is developing, and his own increased familiarity with the tech stack in general, as well as the community. There are many user stories and developer spotlights in the pipeline. Mr. Thomas has rebranded the DPDK newsletter, and he is tracking all of the stats on the created content. Mr. Thomas foresees the quality improving further, as he becomes better acquainted with the tech itself and the community at large.

Mr. Thomas also took some 2023 benchmarks from the content that has been created and the social media channels, newsletter, etc., and built on those targets to establish 2024 benchmarks. Currently, he is measuring the impact of the content and marketing activities. Mr. Thomas displayed the uptick in traffic to the DPDK website since he onboarded. The focus is on owned instead of earned media, but is also doing earned 3rd party PR to help drive traffic.

Nathan Southern and Robin Giller reported that all members but one have either paid their renewals for 2024 or have a payment in process. None to date have declined a renewal. Fiscally, the project remains on strong footing.  

Finally, Mr. Southern reported back on DPDK’s request of year-over-year interest collection on its standing surpluses, and noted that the Linux Foundation Board of Directors has approved this request for all projects. A summary of exact figures is forthcoming to the board. Mr. Southern will forward the Linux Foundation’s Investment Policy Statement to the DPDK Governing Board when it becomes available. 

DPDK Governing Board Meeting Summary – January 11, 2024

By Governing Board Minutes

The chief emphases of this meeting were primarily twofold:  1) To discuss deliverables for Marketing Coordinator Ben Thomas’s 2024 agenda; 2) To begin event planning for two 2024 events, one in Asia and one in Europe or North America.

Marketing Discussion:

The board previously doubled the number of hours to which Mr. Thomas has committed and increased the spend in tandem. Mr. Thomas discussed the planned expansion of his platform over the next 12 months. At the heart of the 2024 strategy is an expansion of created content: demand generation – i.e., more webinars, blogs, user stories. These have been broken down into monthly deliverables, website maintenance, content management, social media  mgmt, meetings with maintainers, video content/editing, newsletter, end user stories, PR network monitoring/scraping, and monthly analytics reported to the board. The newly relaunched Outreach/Marketing team, which meets once a month, will help drive and shape these efforts.

Event Discussion:

After extended discussion, the board agreed to rotate its main Summit event from year to year between Europe and North America, to accommodate west coast contributors/board members and European ones equally. The 2024 Summit will be held in North America. The board agreed to pursue either Mexico (city to be determined) or Montreal for the North American event (mid-Q3). 

For the 2024 APAC DPDK event, the board is weighing either Beijing or Bangkok as possible locations. Evi Harmon, Events Coordinator for the project through The Linux Foundation, agreed to source venues for Mexico City, Cancun/Riviera Maya, Montreal, Beijing and Bangkok, and return to the Governing Board with more detailed information for venues in all of the aforementioned cities.

DPDK Governing Board Meeting Summary – 12/7/23

By Governing Board Minutes

The DPDK Governing Board met for a special session on December 7, 2023, to review and vote on two key elective items for 2024, atop a basic table stakes budget that was unanimously approved in a November 2023 session. 

These items are as follows.

-Doubling Linux Foundation Marketing Coordinator Ben Thomas’s monthly commitment to roughly 60 hours per month from his current commitment of 30 hours per month. Mr. Thomas’s stated high level deliverables for 2024 include but are not limited to: improving performance and shareability on the website; increasing the type and frequency of content for social media and user stories; boosting the community reach and engagement of video content; improving the timing and content of email communications; expanding blog content and collateral; and boosting strategic PR outreach.

-Hiring two part-time undergraduates from the University of New Hampshire to work in the Community Laboratory. These students will be further developing the DPDK Testing Suite (DTS), used to more effectively and expediently vet code submissions.

Of the 9 Governing Board members present for this session, all voted unanimously to approve each proposed measure as an addendum to the table stakes budget.

DPDK Governing Board Meeting Summary – 4/26/23

By Governing Board Minutes

Introduction of New Participants:

Two new participants in the project were introduced to the board: tech writer David Thomas, who begins his contract on the project on June 12th, and marketing coordinator Benjamin Thomas of the Linux Foundation.

Community Lab Updates

A winter storm temporarily deprived the Community Lab of power in January. More recently, FIPS testing has been brought online, catching up the DPDK sample application to the formats used by NIST and their ACVP API, the automated process to move their encryption test vectors to/from their systems for validation. This was merged into the 22.11 release. Arm brought a new hardware system into the lab based on the Ultra CPU. Test coverage has also been extended for all applicable OSes to arm64 systems, effectively doubling the coverage. The Lab is continuing to contribute to the DTS improvements and merge into the DPDK main line. The RFC patch for DTS smoke tests has been submitted for the 23.07 release.  And finally,  in terms of bare metal and NIC enhancements, per the 2023 lab plans, each Gold member has been contacted about their desired NIC upgrade(s) or expansion(s) for the lab’s coverage. Initial responses led to a multiphase plan including: the purchase of three NICs, with three direct installs into existing servers and the third installed into a server donated by intel; the development of a plan for a 4th NIC that will involve retiring an older NIC, having a gold member request to select an alternate, and exploring alternate server install locations; and the gathering of information on two additional requests that were non-NICs/development platforms. 

Tech Board Updates

DPDK 23.03 was released recently. In addition to this there were still some new devices/drivers/libraries happening on the project – including support for Arkville cards, which is an RTL for FPGAs for the PCI side. There was a new driver to support one of Intel’s new IPU chips, a smart NIC with an ASIC, and there was a machine learning library MLL – a library to expose some machine learning accelerators had by Marvell on their chips under SLCs.  In addition to the new hardware/drivers/libraries, DPDK has new crypto, new algorithms, updates to many drivers. In terms of hardware offloading, for RT flow, there are new rules.  Regarding LTS releases, 3 streams are in progress: 20.11, 21.11, and 22.11. 

Financial Updates

The project retains a healthy financial surplus. Current projections for 2023 expenditures have increased slightly given the hire of David Thomas as Tech Writer, the approval of travel reimbursements for Governing Board and Tech Board Members for the Dublin 2023 Userspace Event, and a slight increase in marketing allotments for coordinator Benjamin Thomas. The project’s revenues for 2023 are now projected to be close to its expenditures. 

Marketing Updates

Newly appointed marketing coordinator Ben Thomas, from the Linux Foundation, laid out a metric-driven strategy to more effectively and broadly reach the DPDK community in the months ahead. He observed that outstanding work is happening around the project and in its community, but DPDK needs a greater volume of content, sent out more frequently and strategically, to keep everyone informed of recent developments. Mr. Thomas presented a two-phase strategy to make this happen, that included maintaining current membership status through 2024 renewals by increasing brand awareness, and increasing the user and contributor base by boosting community reach and awareness.  Mr. Thomas then laid out a plan for systematically mapping out the KPIs across the website and across social media, falling into categories including website, social media, live video webinars, email communications, blogs and collateral, and PR outreach. These strategies will be carried out in the months ahead.

Event Updates

The DPDK Governing Board previously approved budget coverage of select Governing Board and Tech Board expenses for Userspace 2023, to take place in Dublin, Ireland from Sep. 12-13, 2023. The project is still working on securing a venue for the event, and exploring several options with Events Coordinator Evi Harmon, of the Linux Foundation. In the weeks and months ahead, Ms. Harmon’s team plans to coordinate various critical aspects of event planning that include launching the CFP, setting up and launching an event website, setting up event registration, and ultimately posting the speaker agenda once it has been decided by the Program Committee. The Events Team will be onsite in Dublin during Userspace to ensure a successful experience for all onsite and virtual attendees. 

DPDK Governing Board Meeting Summary – 2/2/23

By Governing Board Minutes

Marketing Evaluation: A discussion took place regarding a pending choice between a proposed customization of the current Linux Foundation Tier 3 marketing package and a proposed outsourcing to Open Infra, a small marketing agency in Frisco, Texas. Hilary Carter, SVP of Research and Communications for Linux Foundation, joined the meeting and led board members through a deck that presented many of the benefits associated with retaining Linux Foundation as our marketing arm; the board also reviewed the presented benefits of outsourcing. Ultimately a formal decision was deferred by the board until a successive Governing Board meeting. The board requested a comparison of the two options with quantified breakdowns of deliverables in the interim. A formal vote and decision will take place at the next Governing Board meeting on the basis of these findings. 

Member Renewal and Budget Discussion: Most members have either paid their 2023 LF project renewals or set renewals in motion; those that haven’t have expressed a firm commitment to doing so.

A 2023 budget review detailed the carryover from 2022, as well as the projected membership dues and expenses for 2023, including rough high-level projections for marketing and events, bearing in mind that forthcoming decisions in both areas will help define and shape these costs more precisely. Overall the project is in a strong place fiscally with a surplus, and the Governing Board voted to approve the 2023 budget with no immediate objections presented.

Events Discussion: A discussion took place regarding options for a single in-person DPDK event, likely to take place in September 2023. The team has explored various cities as possibilities and leans toward Dublin, Ireland given the logistical feasibility of this choice, the presence of several tech heavyweights in that area and the strong turnout for prior Open Source events over the past year.  With this in mind, the LF events coordinator has been asked to run high-level costs, including venue costs, for Dublin at that time. It was agreed that said event will be a hybrid one, with live and virtual options. Specific costs from the coordinator will be reviewed by Board Members via email, and formal decisions on venue and event budget made in successive Governing Board meetings. 

The DPDK Community Lab: Reflecting on 2022 and Looking Ahead

By Blog

Hosted by The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL), the DPDK Community Lab exists to provide prompt and reliable continuous integration(CI) testing for all new patches submitted to DPDK by its community of developers. Every time a patch is submitted to DPDK Patchwork, it is automatically applied to the main DPDK branch, or the appropriate next- branch, and run across our test beds. Now entering its 6th year in operation, the Community Lab has progressed beyond its initial goal of simply providing performance testing results. Test coverage is also provided for functional, unit, compile, and ABI testing across a wide array of environments. This has brought greater development stability and feedback to the DPDK developer community, and also to DPDK gold project members who are eligible to host their resources (NICs, CPUs, etc.) at the UNH-IOL lab. This is a great value provided not only to DPDK at large, but also to the participating vendors who would otherwise have to host this testing in house at a significant cost or develop their products without the reliable and timely feedback that CI testing provides.

In 2022, the Community Lab again expanded on its existing operations. Members of the Community Lab submitted patches to DPDK and DTS in order to increase testing and demonstrate DPDK functions. This year, we also broadened the reach of our testing on a hardware coverage level and test case level. With new Arm servers, updated NICs from our participating members, and our furthered use of containerization, we have greatly diversified the set of environments under testing. Specific examples of developments and happenings in the Community Lab this year include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Submitted patches to DPDK in order to bring its FIPS compliance and FIPS sample application up to date with new processes from NIST, and set up CI infrastructure to test and demonstrate these capabilities across crypto-devs and algorithms. 
  • Expanded hardware testing coverage by introducing newer, higher capacity NICs, as well as expanded our test coverage on ARM based systems.
  • Expanded DPDK branch coverage, including the new LTS “staging” branches. By incorporating these branches into the CI testing process, we can provide greater stability for LTS backporting. 
  • Participated in the DPDK Test Suite (DTS) working group to develop the new DTS and incorporate it into the DPDK main repository. Our contributions included collecting feedback from the community to determine requirements for DTS, setting new formatting standards and development best practices to provide high quality code, and developing a testing approach that provides a consistent environment between users by containerizing DTS.
  • Developed and upstreamed a container building system to the DPDK-CI repository.
  • Updated our Linux distribution test coverage list based on community feedback.
  • Worked with Microsoft to bring DPDK unit testing to Windows.
  • Made the necessary changes in our internal infrastructure and in DPDK to enable OpenSSL unit testing in the lab.

We’re proud of the work we’ve done at the DPDK Community Lab, and we’re looking forward to the 2023 goals. We will work to maintain the test coverage we’ve built up over years and push to demonstrate and test more features according to the desires of the community and our participating vendors. On the hardware side, we aim to introduce new NICs for testing, and incorporate other types of hardware accelerators where possible. Ideally, we will also partner with more DPDK gold member companies to provide our CI testing on their platforms and equipment. Another goal is to expand our traffic generator options so we can provide testing on a broader range of environments. On the software side, the Community Lab will continue making contributions toward the development of new DTS, implementing an email based retesting framework, and increasing our contributions and involvement with the DPDK continuous integration repo. We want to strengthen CI testing within our own lab, but also across the entire community. We’re going to continue engaging with the DPDK CI community, and as always, anyone interested in our work or CI testing in general can find us bi-weekly at the DPDK Community CI meetings. We look forward to writing another blog post in one year’s time to review and reflect on the progress made in the lab during the 2023 calendar year!

DPDK Governing Board Meeting Summary – 10/11/22

By Governing Board Minutes

Brief Summary of Governing Board Minutes from 10/11/22

Introduction: Two new arrivals on the project, Robin Giller of intel (replacing St. Leger) and Evi Harmon of LF Marketing (replacing Emily Ruf) introduced themselves and discussed their professional backgrounds.

Changes in Representation: A discussion took place on the pending replacement of the Governing Board Chair. The group also discussed the prospective addition of a vice chair to DPDK, which will necessitate modifications to the language of the current DPDK charter. The group agreed to formally make this decision regarding new charter language, and proceed with the vice chair nomination, via email.

Marketing and Events Updates: The group recapped on registration numbers and attendance for Userspace, and also discussed issues tied to the virtual experience on Zoom for Userspace attendees and strategic ways to enhance the virtual (remote) experience in the future. Several End User Stories were reviewed, as well as forthcoming marketing and outreach efforts.

Financial Updates: DPDK is in healthy financial shape at present, but the networking industry in general faces some key challenges over the coming year. The project is currently in the process of going through membership renewals for 2023.  We need Governing Board approval on the Statement of Work for the University of New Hampshire Community Lab for 2023.

UNH Lab Updates: Operational costs for the Lab in 2023 have increased slightly despite no changes to the SOW. The Governing Board requested additional clarity on this and agreed to seek it via email prior to approving said budget.

Tech Board Updates: The GB tech board rep discussed some concerns regarding the merge of a new Google Driver, tied to the fact that the base code has an MIT license, and the DPDK charter only covers a BSD license. The group discussed the proposed modification of the DPDK charter to cover both licenses. The process of hiring a tech writer is underway. The group also discussed the addition of KPI trackers in the near future.

Discussion re: Changing Perceptions of DPDK: Some concerns were raised during the Userspace event about the  public perception that DPDK has a high barrier to entry. Comments shared at Userspace indicated a concern about DPDK’s high barrier to entry. A team is now looking into the comment to see if it’s a widely shared view, and if it is, what might the project community do about it. 

DPDK Governing Board Meeting Summary – August 23, 2022

By Governing Board Minutes

Brief Summary of Governing Board Minutes from 8/23/22

We did have a quorum present for this meeting, with 8 governing board representatives present.

Introduction: As chair, Jim St. Leger called the meeting to order and welcomed Daniel Havey of Microsoft as Doug Stamper’s interim replacement. 

Changes in Representation: Jim St. Leger announced that he will be departing DPDK as the Intel rep and corresponding chair, to be replaced as Intel representative by Robin Giller. Nominations for chair will be collected via email for a replacement chair by Nathan Southern as PM. Mr. Southern went over this basic process and how it will break down. Mr. St. Leger also discussed changes in the member directory and encouraged governing board representatives who have never sat in on the tech board to do so, likewise encouraged participation in the marketing and events team.

Financial Updates: Rashid Khan discussed project’s overall financial health, and surplus with $1.14 million in the bank by EOY 2022. All sponsors are current on dues owed. Total cost of Userspace $150k, attendance records somewhat low for in person but many virtual attendees. Some financial headwinds noted for 2023, and on that note, the project’s Golden Deck needs to be updated. Mr. Southern agreed to follow up with Mr. Khan on this subject in September. Mr. Khan recommended that we identify someone to champion the use of funds moving forward.

DPDK Marketing and Events: Mr. Southern gave a brief marketing update – around 70 commits for userspace, 30 in person, 40 virtual. 18 commitments for hackathon on September 6th. Remote registration fees have been waived and around $1000 refunded for those who already paid said fees. No sponsorships have been secured. Several leads on End User Stories including a concrete one from a tech board rep that has materialized.

Tech Board Update:

Maxime Coquelin briefly reviewed all of recent DPDK releases and their corresponding release dates; Mr. St. Leger asked Mr. Coquelin about the transition from four releases a year to three anf if this is helpful for the community. Mr. Coquelin didn’t yet have a definitive answer but agreed to add the subject to the September tech board meeting in Arcachon France at Userspace.

Tech Writer Updates: Mr. Southern indicated that we have received applications/interest from 8 promising candidates and will be shepherding them through the interview process.

There were no Community Lab or DTS WG updates presented at this meeting.





DPDK Governing Board Meeting Summary – July 12 2022

By Governing Board Minutes

Brief Summary of Governing Board Minutes from 7/12/22

Community Lab: Aaron Conole discussed key strides in critical areas such as HW upgrades, replacement of failed hardware, repair of Broadcom platform issues, and ongoing work on updated container definitions, even as the lab strives for improvements with OpenSSL crypto testing, and confronts challenges such as the need for new lab servers and self-service retesting, and the integration of FIPS testing. Aaron plans to reach out to vendors to request hardware refreshes and audit all hardware, tagging old equipment. Will report back to GB on any related budgetary requirements.

Tech Board Update: Hackathon will take place at Userspace on 9/6., and the tech writer hire process is underway. In light of Olivier Matz’s resignation, the TB is down to 10 members. The TB is also requesting backup servers from Linux Foundation, which Nathan is helping to facilitate.

DPDK Marketing: The website, CFP and registration are live for Userspace 2022, and the final event schedule will be published in the first week of August. A tech board and governing board meeting will be held on location on 9/6 and 9/8 respectively in France with both in person and remote options; TB and GB members have free admission. Sponsorship packages are available and Nathan will share with the community. 

Jill Lovato is soliciting End User Stories and should be contacted with any relevant material.

There were no DTS or Financial Updates at this meeting.