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Author: Joy Qin, Software Engineer at Alibaba Cloud

The much-anticipated PhoenixWing Initiative was officially launched at the 4th Networking Open Source Technology Ecological Conference in Beijing, China, on May 25th in 2024. Representatives from corporate members of SONiC community, including Alibaba, Cisco, Broadcom, Accton, Inspur, Huaqin and Ruijie, jointly announced the official kick-off of PhoenixWing.

Arpit Joshipura from Linux Foundation, Clarence Filsfils from Cisco, Hasan Siraj from Broadcom, Lihua Yuan from Microsoft and Dennis Cai from Alibaba sent endorsement videos to celebrate the kick-off. Eddie Ruan, Vice Chair of SONiC Technical Steering Committee, hosted this event and has also delivered a comprehensive introduction speech towards the technical background, incremental goals and long-term mission and prospects of PhoenixWing.

As Eddie points out, the name “PhoenixWing”, evokes the majestic scene of a phoenix soaring through the celestial heavens, symbolizing PhoenixWing’s journey towards achieving universal support and general compatibility of SRv6-related features at all kinds of SONiC hardware platforms.

The speech also mentioned that, the updates to be upstreamed to SONiC 202411 public release not only contain SRv6 features such as SRv6 VPN and SRv6 Policy with BFD offload, but also include infrastructure optimizations in terms of FPM communication channel optimization, BGP loading acceleration and prefix-independence convergence.

While the current goal of PhoenixWing is to validate the deployment readiness of SRv6 implementations in SONiC 202411 public release, and eventually integrate SRv6 features into multi-vendor SONiC hardware platforms to benefit all SONiC users with the advantage of SRv6, the future goal also includes to deliver a comprehensive set of verification test suites into SONiC inter-operations-capability lab, which assists users in terms of their customized deployments.

This initiative holds great importance for the whole industry as SONiC gets more and more recognized as a standard operating system in the network routing domain. The SRv6 solution in SONiC not only significantly reduces TCO, but also enriches SONiC with new features such as SRv6 USID compression function support and per-application traffic scheduling, etc.

As the first milestone achievement of the SONiC Routing Working Group, PhoenixWing represents the collective wisdom of the community corporate members. We believe that there would be more exiciting collaborative outcomes from the SONiC community in the future, which contribute to making the SONiC ecosystem getting more and more mature. We also expect more widespread SONiC applications apart from data center use cases.