Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Netronome Launches Data Plane Hardware/Software for SDN + NFV

 Netronome introduced its platform architecture to augment virtual switch implementations with hardware acceleration NICs in standard servers for SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV) designs.

The new products include a suite of FlowNIC PCIe Gen3 cards that scale up to 200 Gbps, along with a new FlowEnvironment software package that provides standards-based APIs and configuration protocols for virtual switch offload and acceleration.

The FlowNIC-6xxx family is a high-performance PCIe Gen3 adapter available in 2x40, 4x40, 1x100 and 2x100 gigabit Ethernet options. The cards feature up to four PCIe Gen3 x8 interfaces, delivering unmatched host bandwidth to standard single, dual and quad socket servers. The cards feature 216 programmable cores to keep pace with the rapid change in SDN protocols and standards. Additional hardware accelerators are provided for cryptography, nanosecond accuracy time-stamping, SR-IOV, VMDq, and RoCE. Massive on-chip and on-board memories deliver 24M flow table entries, and 128K wildcard rules to satisfy the requirements of the most demanding SDN and NFV applications.

Netronome said its new FlowEnvironment software delivers more than a 20X increase to virtual switching performance and significantly increases the number of virtual machine instances available per server. The FlowEnvironment includes standards-compliant support for Open vSwitch (OVS) 2.0, OpenFlow 1.4, Intel™ DPDK, and network virtualization protocols such as NV-GRE and VXLAN. The production-ready software provides standard APIs and is fully supported across Netronome’s FlowProcessors that scale up to 400 Gbps. The software is supported on both existing NFE-32xx acceleration cards and the new FlowNIC-6xxx cards.

"Netronome solves the scalability problem of virtual switch implementations in the intelligent network locations where the highest throughput and I/O densities are required, while maintaining the rapid evolution of a software-based edge,” said Niel Viljoen, founder and CEO, of Netronome. “With broad applicability to any virtualized server, the new products are optimized for use in servers running network and security applications, such as SDN middleboxes, SDN gateways and NFV appliances.”

Hyperscale data centers are leading a revolution that is migrating into service provider and enterprise network designs. A complex infrastructure is replaced with a simplified packet core built using merchant switch silicon, surrounded by a new, software-based, intelligent edge. The intelligent edge is comprised of standard servers that are responsible for hosting business applications, and also providing network and security services, while simultaneously directing traffic among virtual machines across a sophisticated overlay network. These network functions are implemented within a virtual switch and consume valuable processing resources. Consequently the complex and varying workloads stifle both application and networking performance.

“NTT Communications has been at the forefront of advancing SDN technologies with commercial use for our cloud computing, datacenter and network services for many years,” said Mr. Yukio Ito, director, member of the board, and senior vice president of service infrastructure at NTT Communications. “We’re evaluating Netronome’s solution of processors, software and NICs and expect to use them to extend our SDN offering into the Cloud-VPN Gateway with close collaboration with NTT Innovation Institute, Inc.”

“FirePower platforms have routinely set industry benchmarks for performance and security effectiveness in data center deployments,” said Tom Ashoff, vice president of engineering, Cisco Systems. “Netronome flow processors and software provide us the feature set and programmability to continue to keep pace with the rapid changes in these hyperscale networks.”

Netronome’s processors, software and FlowNICs are available to OEMs, ODMs and hyperscale network operators. Complete solutions can be purchased direct from Netronome, and through a premier set of partners and suppliers.

“We are pleased that so many customers and partners have chosen Netronome’s processors, software and NICs to help fulfill their vision for SDN and NFV,” said Jarrod Siket, senior vice president of marketing, at Netronome. “This complete solution benefits our customers by enabling their standard servers to reach line rate network performance while returning valuable, and previously wasted, compute resources to the applications and services that need them most.”