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David B. Tuttle, Principal Engineer  
Profile, Products, Projects, Publications


Crossbeam Logo Crossbeam Systems Inc.
80 Central Street, Boxborough MA

Crossbeam Systems was founded in 2000 by an assortment of experienced networking people from the Wellfleet - Bay Networks - Nortel corporate descendancy. The early products included both the modular X-Series switching and security platforms and the integrated C-Series appliances. All of the products provide an optimized packet handling infrastructure surrounding an application environment based on Red Hat Linux. Software partner companies Check Point, McAfee, Sourcefire, IBM Proventia, Imperva, Trend Micro, and Websense provide a variety of networking applications packaged and tested for the Crossbeam platforms.

RedBall   Crossbeam Systems – CrunchBase Profile
RedBall   Ruffolo appointed Crossbeam Systems CEO – March 2010
RedBall   Crossbeam, Check Point Expand Partnership – May 2010
RedBall   Crossbeam, McAfee Partner on Security – October 2010

The Crossbeam X-Series provides a very high performance packet handling environment based on patented traffic handling technology, in a common-carrier-class non-stop hardware and software package. Internally, the software distribution includes four distinct versions of Red Hat Linux and a total of about 20 Linux kernel configurations, plus a couple of embedded Linux systems for the specialized network I/O modules (NPMs). A fully configured X80-S runs with 2 or 4 NPMs, 8 or 10 Application Processor modules (APMs), and 2 Control Processor modules (CPMs). The APM-9600 boards include two 6-core 'Westmere' processors with 12 or 24 GB of ECC SDRAM.

PDF   Crossbeam X-Series X20, X30, X50 datasheet
PDF   Crossbeam X-Series X60, X80S datasheet
PDF   Crossbeam X-Series NPM, APM, CPM blades

Notable projects & activities:

  • As an independent contractor, designed and developed an experimental set of modifications to Red Hat Linux that allowed an Intel-compliant SMP-HT Xeon® platform to operate with up to 4 independent Linux UP system environments.
  • Designed and developed software-based memory and I/O partitioning, virtual devices for serial console and network interfaces, secondary kernel build and command-line bootloader.
  • With a CheckPoint network firewall running in all processors, throughput was linear (2x - 4x); traditional 4-way SMP-HT maxed out at less than 1.6x.
  • Source control organization, build support and build integration for Octeon™ Linux
  • Kernel platform drivers for Octeon™ packet accelerator engines, with user-space interfaces
  • Octeon™ 64-bit port of EZchip NP-2 support libraries (EZdriver)
  • EZdriver board support package and host driver implementation for NP-8600
  • "FrankenBoard" bring-up with Octeon evaluation board acting as control host for EZchip EZsystem2 evaluation platform
  • SDK and Linux kernel update for supporting Cavium Octeon Plus™ in 2nd-generation NP6 modules
  • Assisted in x86_64 support for APM and conversion of CPM system base to x86_64 Linux
  • Technology exploration of IPMI, SSI, platform management, etc.
  • Technology and market exploration of requirements for IPv6 networking
  • Source control and build support for new NPM module (3rd generation NP6, new EZchip)
  • Crash data capture and crash reporting update for new APM modules, for x86 and x86_64
  • Major cleanup of complicated, hierarchical 'make' procedures for XOS (4 Linux builds for the Cavium Octeon, 18 Linux kernel builds for APMs, an x86_64 Linux build with KVM & QEMU virtualization, then an x86_64 Linux distribution for the CPM that packages all of the results)
  • Preferred virtual machine memory management for Red Hat EL v5.4 with KVM and QEMU
  • Source import, source control organization and build support for KVM, QEMU, 'libvirt', Red Hat EL v5.4 kernel for x86_64

Documents, presentations, papers:

  • Condensed [MP-Split] Project Statement - Sep. 2004
  • MP-Split Multiple Linux Support for Intel SMP, COS-based Prototype for C30i - Mar. 2005
  • MP-Split Multiple Linux Support for Intel SMP, XOS Implementation for APMs - July 2005
  • Octeon™ Linux Extensions for NPM-4 and CSM - Nov. 2005
  • Platform Software for NPM-4 - Dec. 2005
  • NextGen Build Tree for XOS Development - Aug. 2006
  • Octeon™ Initialization for NPM-8600, XOS Release 8.0 - Fall 2007
  • IDT 88K8483 SPI Usage on the NPM8600 - January 2008
  • Linux Modifications for NPM-8600 - Feb. 2008
  • IPv6 for X-Series - Introduction & Overview - June 2008, PowerPoint


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This page last updated on  24-Feb-2013.