"Service providers require their application delivery solution to offer the highest performance and efficiency to provide the best possible experience to their users", stated Paul Oh, Head of Business Development at NGINX. "By utilizing Solarflare NICs with NGINX Plus, customers can benefit by enabling the same amount of packet processing to be done with far less cores and servers."
According to Ahmet Houssein, vice president of marketing at Solarflare, "Application delivery is a killer app for our software defined NICs because the network stack in the Linux kernel is so often a bottleneck. Implementing XtremeScale NICs dramatically increases the efficiency of application delivery servers by reducing the number of CPUs needed to handle large volumes of packets."
It's simple. XtremeScale Fabrics allows IT organisations to deploy fewer NGNIX servers. NGNIX performance testing by Solarflare indicates most competitive 10Gb NIC implementations require about six cores to achieve 80% wire-rate. In contrast, a Solarflare XtremeScale NIC achieves 90% wire-rate performance utilizing only two cores. In this test case, two thirds less servers are needed for the same amount of work.
High frequency trading, web servers and load balancers are at the top of the performance pyramid because they handle millions of packets per second and need ultra-high bandwidth and ultra-low latency network connections. Looking forward, Big Data analytics is emerging fast as a foundation for a broad range of business applications. This massive new market is driving a pervasive need for high performance networks, and a corresponding trend towards NIC fabrics for granular, packet-level traffic engineering.
One problem these applications face is the networking stack inside every Linux distribution has a limit on how many packets per second it can manage. When the limit is reached, CPUs become busy receiving packets, packets are dropped, and applications are starved of CPU. In response, companies like Solarflare have pioneered a form of software defined networking where fabric services are placed alongside other applications in "user space" to bypass the kernel, while network engineers can access and control the kernel bypass application for each server through well defined APIs.
The NIC fabric hardware and software deployed by hyperscale Cloud service providers is proprietary. Solarflare has developed an XtremeScale Fabric platform which provides server-level granularity and scalability and is now commercially available. The platform consists of: