Tuesday, December 21, 2021

NVIDIA's BlueFiled DPU claims performance record: 41.5 million IOPS

NVIDIA is reporting a new performance benchmark for DPUs:  two BlueField-2 data processing units reached 41.5 million input/output operations per second (IOPS) — more than 4x more IOPS than any other DPU.

The BlueField-2 DPU delivered record-breaking performance using standard networking protocols and open-source software. It reached more than 5 million 4KB IOPS and from 7 million to over 20 million 512B IOPS for NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF), a common method of accessing storage media, with TCP networking, one of the primary internet protocols.

To accelerate AI, big data and high performance computing applications, BlueField provides even higher storage performance using the popular RoCE network transport option.

In testing, BlueField supercharged performance as both an initiator and target, using different types of storage software libraries and different workloads to simulate real-world storage configurations. BlueField also supports fast storage connectivity over InfiniBand, the preferred networking architecture for many HPC and AI applications.

Testing Methodology

The 41.5 million IOPS reached by BlueField is more than 4x the previous world record of 10 million IOPS, set using proprietary storage offerings. This performance was achieved by connecting two fast Hewlett Packard Enterprise Proliant DL380 Gen 10 Plus servers, one as the application server (storage initiator) and one as the storage system (storage target).

Each server had two Intel “Ice Lake” Xeon Platinum 8380 CPUs clocked at 2.3GHz, giving 160 hyperthreaded cores per server, along with 512GB of DRAM, 120MB of L3 cache (60MB per socket) and a PCIe Gen4 bus.

To accelerate networking and NVMe-oF, each server was configured with two NVIDIA BlueField-2 P-series DPU cards, each with two 100Gb Ethernet network ports, resulting in four network ports and 400Gb/s wire bandwidth between initiator and target, connected back-to-back using NVIDIA LinkX 100GbE Direct-Attach Copper (DAC) passive cables. Both servers had Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version 8.3.