Monday, October 5, 2020

NVIDIA unveils DPUs and Data-Center-Infrastructure-on-a-Chip SDK

 NVIDIA has begun sampling its second-generation family of BlueField data processing unit (DPUs) for accelerating data center infrastructure.

The new BlueField-2 DPU is designed to offload critical networking, storage and security tasks from server CPUs. The company says a single chip can deliver the same data center services that could consume up to 125 CPU cores. This frees up valuable CPU cores to run a wide range of other enterprise applications.

NVIDIA’s current DPU lineup includes two PCIe products:

  • The NVIDIA BlueField-2 DPU, which features all of the capabilities of the NVIDIA Mellanox ConnectX-6 Dx SmartNIC combined with Arm cores. Fully programmable, it delivers data transfer rates of 200 Gbps and accelerates key data center security, networking and storage tasks, including isolation, root trust, key management, RDMA/RoCE, GPUDirect, elastic block storage, data compression and more.
  • The NVIDIA BlueField-2X DPU, which includes all the key features of a BlueField-2 DPU enhanced with an NVIDIA Ampere GPU’s AI capabilities that can be applied to data center security, networking and storage tasks. Drawing from NVIDIA’s third-generation Tensor Cores, it is able to use AI for real-time security analytics, including identifying abnormal traffic, which could indicate theft of confidential data, encrypted traffic analytics at line rate, host introspection to identify malicious activity, and dynamic security orchestration and automated response.

BlueField-2 DPUs are sampling now and expected to be featured in new systems from leading server manufacturers in 2021. BlueField-2X DPUs are under development and are also expected to become available in 2021.

NVIDIA says its BlueField DPUs are being adopted by leading server manufacturers worldwide, including ASUS, Atos, Dell Technologies, Fujitsu, GIGABYTE, H3C, Inspur, Lenovo, Quanta/QCT and Supermicro.

NVIDIA is developing a novel data-center-infrastructure-on-a-chip (DOCA) architecture and programming that is intended to be analogous to its CUDA environment for GPUs. A new NVIDIA DOCA software development kit enables developers to rapidly create applications and services on top of NVIDIA BlueField DPUs. he DOCA SDK provides industry-standard open APIs and frameworks, including Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) and P4 for networking and security and the Storage Performance Development Kit (SPDK) for storage. 

  • NVIDIA is also participating in VMware's recently announced Project Monterey to integrate SmartNICs with VMware Cloud Foundation.
  • Red Hat plans to offer support for BlueField-2 DPUs with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift, components of Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud portfolio, which is used by 95 percent of the Fortune 500.
  • Canonical announced support of BlueField-2 DPUs and DOCA in its Ubuntu Linux platform, the most popular operating system among public clouds.
  • Check Point Software Technologies, a leading cybersecurity provider, is integrating BlueField-2 DPUs into its technologies, which more than 100,000 organizations worldwide use to protect themselves from cyberattacks.