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The $200M Funding Endorsement: SmartNICs are Rock Stars in Modern Data Centers

By Sujal Das | Jun 28, 2019

An announcement yesterday about a $200M investment in a data center silicon startup in Silicon Valley was a momentous revival of the glorious past. This has not happened in while, in such a mammoth scale. Even on a smaller scale, the focus lately has been on silicon related to machine learning and inferencing.

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ODSA Use Cases – The Business Value is Way Too Strong

By Sujal Das | Jan 23, 2019

It has been more than six months since the ODSA Workgroup started working together on an informal basis. The Workgroup has grown, released a very detailed technical white paper and is heading toward its first workshop on January 29.

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It’s Time for Disaggregated Silicon!

By Sujal Das | Oct 31, 2018

We have seen the value of disaggregation in many areas. Most recently, in the world of networking driven by the OCP community. It has enabled significant choice in how operators procure networking equipment and eliminated vertical, inflexible solutions and vendor lock-in. Is it now time for disaggregation at the silicon level?

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SmartNIC: An Orange Plus a Pear Does not Make an Apple

By Sujal Das | Oct 19, 2018

There is a significant shift in the world of server networking implemented using network interface cards (NICs). Moore’s Law is stalling or dying, and general-purpose CPUs cannot keep up with tasks related to software-defined networking, security and storage – I will refer to this as SDX. So far the NIC and the x86 CPU have been the vehicles for implementing SDX, but now that solution is grossly inadequate – it kills server productivity by taking away CPU cores from revenue-generating applications and stymies application performance. A SmartNIC is needed to address the challenge posed by SDX. Can the traditional NIC chip be combined with another, cheaper general-purpose CPU such as an Arm core to create a SmartNIC?

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OVS Offload Models Used with NICs and SmartNICs: Pros and Cons

By Sujal Das | May 23, 2018

As SmartNICs become more popular, more decision makers at companies are being asked to look at the way SmartNICs work – specifically the different offload models related to the OVS datapath, and the pros and cons of each model. In this blog, I will go through and explain these various models. As we go through each model, you will realize that not all of them require offload of the OVS datapath to NIC hardware. In some cases the datapath is actually moved up to the user space as well (some call it on-loading). I will cover all of them using a consistent tabular format for easy readability and comparison. Here we go…