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Using Netronome SmartNIC vRouter with Contrail Networking


The Netronome SmartNIC vRouter technology covered in this document is available for evaluation purposes only. It is not intended for deployment in production networks.

Contrail supports Netronome Agilio CX SmartNICs for Contrail Networking deployment with Red Hat OpenStack Platform Director (RHOSPd) 13 environment.

This feature will enable service providers to improve the forwarding performance which includes packets per second (PPS) of vRouter. This will optimize server CPU usage and you can deploy more Virtual network functions (VNFs) per server.


  • Increased PPS capacity of Contrail vRouter datapath allowing applications to reach their full processing capacity.

  • Reclaimed CPU cores from Contrail vRouter off-loading allowing more VMs and VNFs to be deployed per server.

The goal of this topic is to provide a procedure for deploying accelerated vRouter compute nodes.

Before you begin:

  • Equip compute nodes with Netronome Agilio CX SmartNIC.

    For details, refer to Agilio CX SmartNICs.

  • Retrieve Agilio heat-template plugin.

    Register on Netronome support site at and provide Docker Hub credentials.

    Netronome will provide the TripleO templates for SmartNIC vRouter deployment on compute nodes. Also, Netronome will authorize Docker Hub registry access.

    For details, refer to Netronome Agilio vRouter 19xx deployment guide.

  • Note the following version tags:

    AGILIO_TAG="2.38-rhel-queens FORWARDER_TAG="2.38-rhel-queens



If you have multiple undercloud nodes deployed, you must perform the following procedure on the same node.

  1. Configure Agilio plugin.
    1. Extract the Agilio plugin archive and copy the agilio-plugin folder into the tripleo-heat-templates directory.

      [stack@queensa ~]$ tar -xzvf rhosp-contrail-agilio-heat-plugin-5-34.tgz agilio-plugin/ agilio-plugin/agilio-vrouter.yaml agilio-plugin/ agilio-plugin/ agilio-plugin/ agilio-plugin/agilio-env.yaml agilio-plugin/version agilio-plugin/ [stack@queensa ~]$ cp -r agilio-plugin/ tripleo-heat-templates/

    2. Navigate to the agilio-plugin directory on the undercloud node.

      [tripleo-heat-templates]$ cd agilio-plugin/

    3. Modify agilio-env.yaml file as per your environment.

      Reserve at least 1375*2 MB hugepages for virtio-forwarder.

      Sample agilio-env.yaml file:

    4. Add Docker Hub credentials to tripleo-heat-templates/agilio-plugin/ file to retrieve containers from AGILIO_REPO="" repository.


      [root@overcloud-novacompute-2 heat-admin]# docker ps -a | grep virtio_for 7d5af8a2591d "./" 30 seconds ago Up 15 seconds virtio_forwarder

      [root@overcloud-novacompute-2 heat-admin]# docker ps -a | grep agilio c7c611b5168b "./" 46 seconds ago Up 38 seconds agilio_vrouter

  2. Prepare the Contrail Networking cluster for deployment.
  3. Deploy the cluster by one of the following ways:
    • Add agilio-env.yaml to installing overcloud step as mentioned in Installing Overcloud topic.

      openstack overcloud deploy --templates ~/tripleo-heat-templates -e ~/overcloud_images.yaml -e ~/tripleo-heat-templates/environments/network-isolation.yaml -e ~/tripleo-heat-templates/environments/contrail/contrail-plugins.yaml -e ~/tripleo-heat-templates/environments/contrail/contrail-services.yaml -e ~/tripleo-heat-templates/environments/contrail/contrail-net.yaml -e ~/tripleo-heat-templates/agilio-plugin/agilio-env.yaml --roles-file ~/tripleo-heat-templates/roles_data_contrail_aio.yaml


    • Run the following command:

      -e ~/tripleo-heat-templates/agilio-plugin/agilio-env.yaml

On completing above steps successfully, refer to Netronome agilio-ovs-openstack-plugin GitHub Repository on how to spin up the accelerated VMs.