As pressure on the data centre's agility and efficiency continue to rise, intelligent networking solutions must simultaneously deliver higher data throughput, greater flexibility, and offload more and more of the costly host CPU cycles to the NIC. Integrating compute and accelerator resources directly into the NIC boosts the server workload capacity by 2-3 times, without requiring any additional rack space and without adding significant power. Cloud and large data centre operators need the adaptability and scalability of programmable adapters in order to roll-out new services, features and advanced protocols without opening servers for a hardware upgrade.
Key features of the BlueField intelligent adapters:
In data centre server environments, the BlueField SmartNIC addresses a wide range of applications, including Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), security and network traffic acceleration. The fully programmable environment and DPDK framework support a wide range of standard software packages running in the BlueField ARM subsystem. Examples include:
"Our BlueField adapters effectively place a Computer in Front of the Computer", stated Gilad Shainer, vice president marketing, Mellanox Technologies. "They provide the flexibility needed to adapt to new and emerging network protocols, and to implement complex networking and security functions in a distributed manner, right at the boundary of the server. This brings more scalability to the data centre and enhances security by creating an isolated trust zone."
"We expect the BlueField SmartNIC adapters to be a compelling offering in the software-defined networking space", stated Bob Wheeler, principal analyst at The Linley Group. "Performance demands in this segment are growing rapidly and Mellanox is well positioned with the ubiquitous driver support of its broadly deployed ConnectX network controller. With the addition of the accelerators and ARM cores, BlueField will enable exciting innovations in server and storage applications."
"Mellanox BlueField intelligent adapters enable us to achieve higher performance and offload for complex networking and storage workloads", stated CT Sun, the chief architect and vice president of engineering at AIC. "We are pleased to embrace a new generation of Mellanox SmartNICs that enable AIC and our MAX I/O platform customers to create highly differentiated products by enabling fully software-programmable network processing."