Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Netronome enhances Agilio SmartNIC for OPNFV Danube

Netronome, a provider of intelligent networking solutions, has announced support for the latest OPNFV software release, OPNFV Danube, and integration into its Agilio SmartNIC platform, which is claimed to improve networking performance by up to 4x and to reduce CPU consumption by over 5x.

Netronome noted that at the OPNFV Summit in Beijing, Open-NFP.org is hosting the OPNFV Data Plane and VNF Acceleration Mini-Summit, which will feature technical sessions focused on acceleration of VNFs within the framework of OPNFV Danube-supported data planes such as Open vSwitch (OVS) and the Fast Data project (FD.io). Participants in the sessions include China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI), Guangzhou Research Institute at China Telecom, OPNFV, Open-NFP, SK Telecom, Spirent Communications and ZTE.

Netronome explained that designers and operators of cloud and telco data centre networks recognise the need for server acceleration and offload to realise the TCO benefits of NFV. SmartNICs can play a key role in efficiently delivering acceleration, while acceleration and offload of portions of VNF functions can offer further cost benefits.

During the OPNFV Data Plane and VNF Acceleration Mini-Summit, OPNFV community members are proposing an open framework and API to cover NFVi and VNF acceleration designed to promote broad cooperation and collaboration in the industry. The minis-summit is hosted by Open-NFP.org, a global, community-driven organisation that seeks to enable open, collaborative development in the area of data plane acceleration for network functions processing in server networking.

Open-NFP hosts 40-plus open projects and comprises over 100 developers, including service providers, OEMs, research institutions and academia. The portal also offers developers support via a P4- and C-based data plane software development environment and open source code related to Netronome Agilio SmartNICs.

Sessions to held during the event will cover areas including:

1.         NFVi acceleration models and offload architectures for OVS and VPP data planes using SmartNICs.

2.         VNF acceleration models and offload architectures for NFV using SmartNICs.

3.         An open API model for enabling NFVi and VNF acceleration, including the use of sandbox functions based on the P4 and/or C programming languages.

4.         A proposal for developing and testing VNF acceleration under the umbrella of the OPNFV Pharos Labs initiative, leveraging resources and support from the Open-NFP community.

Regarding the demonstration, Nick Tausanovitch, VP of solution architecture at Netronome, said:

-           "Enhancements to OVS-DPDK and introduction of new data plane technologies such as FD.io improve networking performance, however, these technologies rely on x86 compute cycles for networking functions, bringing down server efficiency while starving VNFs of bandwidth and reducing the CPU cycles available".


-           "The Agilio SmartNIC platform from Netronome, integrated with the OPNFV Danube software platform release, relieves such bottlenecks, enabling service providers to deliver new 4G and 5G services faster and more economically".



  • At Mobile World Congress in February, Netronome announced that its flagship Agilio CX SmartNIC platform has been integrated into a range of NFVi solutions from OEMs, including Juniper Networks, Mirantis and Nuage Networks (Nokia) to help telcos prepare their data centre infrastructure for the growth in data and new services.
  • Netronome also announced that Ericsson had added support for the Agilio CX SmartNIC platform within its NFVi solution to enable offload and accelerated datapath processing and to keep virtual machines (VMs) and VNFs hardware independent for rapid onboarding.

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