Networking systems, for example, normally include control-plane and data-plane software (shown in Figure 1). The control plane is responsible for managing and maintaining protocols (such as OSPF, SNMP, IPSec/IKE) and other special functions such as high-availability processing, hot plug and play, hot swap, and status backup. Control-plane functions include management, configuration, protocol hand-shaking, security, and exceptions. These functions are reliability sensitive but not extremely time sensitive. Normally, control-plane data packets/frames only occupy ~5% of the overall system load.
To read the entire article, click here.