Sunday, October 11, 2015

Advantech Unveils 2nd Generation Ultra-High End Appliance

Advantech introduced its next-generation, ultra-high end network appliance tailored for network and security platform manufacturers looking to scale application throughput to hundreds of gigabits per second.

Advantech's FWA-6522C optimizes packet delivery from high-speed network interfaces into CPU sockets and into the virtual machines by adding an extra layer of intelligence in front of the Intel Xeon processors. The FWA-6522C increases throughput and reduces latency by integrating a Netronome Flow Processor (NFP) to route high-speed traffic to the destination Intel Xeon physical or virtualized cores. The NFP is a fully programmable flow processor which is connected to the Intel Xeon processors using four PCIe x8 Gen3 interfaces. To eliminate architectural bottlenecks, stateful packet processing and application-aware load balancing can be easily offloaded to the NFP via user space APIs, or using industry standard SDN interfaces such as OVSDB and Openflow. The FWA-6522C also provides acceleration for the Open vSwitch datapath.

The new FWA-6522C upgrades Advantech’s previous generation ultra-high end appliance with the Intel Xeon Processor E5-4600 v3 product family, which provides 50% more cores, threads and cache than previous generation for faster application response.

The quad socket FWA-6522C also increases memory density supporting up to 1TB of RAM which is essential in highly complex applications. The FWA-6522C provides up to 400 Gbps of flexible network I/O through four PHY Mezzanine Modules with various network interface choices up to 100 GbE and optional advanced LAN bypass. Its unique system design improves PCIe connectivity and thermal performance in a compact 2U rackmount footprint. Carrier-grade IPMI and BIOS features include hardware-redundant BIOS and fail safe HPM.1 firmware updates of all components for advanced reliability.

Advantech said its FWA-6522C enables demanding packet processing applications such as network/cybersecurity and network analytics to offload compute intensive functions like packet classification, load balancing, flow state tracking and virtual switching to cost-effectively meet 100 GbE networking needs.

“With the arrival of 100 GbE interfaces, whitebox server platforms struggle to run data plane intensive applications dealing with over 100 million flows. Complex packet classification and flow load balancing tasks cannot be handled efficiently by commodity hardware. To efficiently scale network applications while avoiding complexity of bladed system architectures a new breed of system is required”, said Peter Marek, Senior Director x86 Solutions, Advantech. “The FWA-6522C’s innovative design overcomes limitations of whitebox architectures in high-end networking. The integrated workload-specific processor offloads flow and packet processing tasks so that customers can fully exploit the increased CPU horsepower of the FWA-6522C to boost performance of next-generation high-end network applications.”

“Advantech’s FWA-6522C ultra-high-end appliance sets a new benchmark for application performance for those looking to scale x86-based systems for throughput and port density, including 100 gigabit Ethernet,” said Jarrod Siket, senior vice president of marketing and general manager of the networking and communications business unit at Netronome. “Netronome’s smart flow processing platforms offload and secure virtualized servers and appliances at cloud scale, and are purpose-built for SDN and NFV designs.”


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