Netronome Announces Acceleration of Data Plane Functions Based on the OPNFV Danube Software Platform

June 12, 2017

Netronome Agilio SmartNIC Platform Based on OPNFV Danube Boosts Networking Performance and Efficiency by More than 20X

SANTA CLARA, CA, June 12, 2017 – Netronome, a leader in high performance intelligent networking solutions, today announced support for the latest OPNFV software release, OPNFV Danube, and integration into its Agilio® SmartNIC platform, which helps improve networking performance by up to 4X while reducing CPU consumption by more than 5X. At the OPNFV Summit in Beijing, will host the OPNFV Data Plane and VNF Acceleration Mini-Summit, and will feature technical sessions focused on acceleration of VNFs within the framework of OPNFV Danube-supported data planes such as Open vSwitch (OVS) and the Fast Data project ( Community participants in Mini-Summit sessions include China Mobile Research Institute, Guangzhou Research Institute at China Telecom, OPNFV, Open-NFP, South Korea Telecom, Spirent Communications, ZTE and others.

“We are pleased to see Netronome leverage OPNFV Danube into its Agilio SmartNIC platform; the boost in performance and reduction in CPU production realized is impressive,” said Heather Kirksey, executive director, OPNFV. “As part of the upcoming OPNFV Summit in Beijing, the Mini Summit focused on OPNFV Data Plane and VNF Acceleration will provide a great opportunity for the community to discuss technical details on what’s next.”

“Enhancements to OVS-DPDK technologies and introduction of new data plane technologies such as provide incremental improvements to networking performance,” said Nick Tausanovitch, vice president of solution architecture at Netronome. “However, these technologies rely on x86 compute cycles for performing networking functions, bringing down server efficiency while starving VNFs of networking bandwidth and greatly reducing the CPU cycles available to them. The Agilio SmartNIC platform from Netronome, integrated with the OPNFV’s Danube software platform release, relieves such bottlenecks, enabling service providers to deliver new, innovative 4G and 5G services faster and more economically.”

Designers and operators of modern cloud and Telco data center networks clearly recognize the need for server acceleration and offload in order to realize the full TCO benefits of NFV. SmartNICs play a key role in delivering such acceleration in an efficient way. Acceleration and offload of portions of the VNF functions themselves will enable further TCO benefits. At the OPNFV Data Plane and VNF Acceleration Mini-Summit, OPNFV community members will propose an open framework and API to cover NFVi and VNF acceleration that will enable broad cooperation and collaboration in the industry.

The OPNFV Data Plane and VNF Acceleration Mini-Summit is being hosted by, a worldwide, community-driven organization that enables open and collaborative development in the area of data plane acceleration for network functions processing in server networking. Open-NFP hosts over 40 open projects and has over 100 developers including service providers, OEMs, research institutions and academia. The portal also offers developers support with a P4- and C-based data plane software development environment and open source code related to Netronome Agilio SmartNICs.

“A number of Open-NFP activities and projects are around service provider applications in areas such as NFV data plane acceleration, hardware accelerated VNFs, security, and in-band network telemetry,” said Dr. Bapi Vinnakota, managing director of Open-NFP. “The Open-NFP community and available resources are ideally suited for developing and testing VNF acceleration using SmartNICs using specifications developed in OPNFV.”

The OPNFV Summit takes place in Beijing, China, June 12-15. The OPNFV Data Plane and VNF Acceleration Mini-Summit will be held Monday, June 12, between 9:00 AM and 12:30 PM.

Specific sessions will cover:

  • NFVi acceleration models and offload architectures for OVS and VPP data planes using SmartNICs
  • VNF acceleration models and offload architectures for NFV using SmartNICs
  • An open API model for enabling NFVi and VNF acceleration, including the use of sandbox functions using P4 and/or C programming languages
  • A proposal for developing and testing VNF acceleration under the umbrella of the OPNFV Pharos Labs initiative, utilizing resources and support from the Open-NFP community

Supporting Quotes

“As the industry moves towards large-scale deployments of NFV, the need to maintain high performance and efficiency of the server infrastructure is key to maximizing TCO benefits,” said Huang Lu, bearer network technology manager at China Mobile Research Institute. “Solutions that offload and accelerate critical NFV functions should be hardware agnostic and provide open APIs for VNF acceleration.”

"With NFV, the days of proprietary hardware and software are gone. We support efforts to define open APIs for hardware acceleration and offload such as are being discussed at the OPNFV Data Plane and VNF Acceleration Mini-Summit in Beijing,” said Liang Ou, SDN/NFV architect of Guangzhou Research Institute, China Telecom. “Guangzhou Research Institute of China Telecom has successfully applied Netronome’s Agilio LX 40G SmartNIC to implement the PPP offloading function for broadband vBRAS, achieving good results. We will continue to cooperate with Netronome in performance optimization.”

“5G Telco data centers must be highly TCO-optimized and flexible to embrace many vertical industries and their services,” said Dr. DongJin Lee, manager, Network Technology R&D Center, 5G Tech. Lab at SK Telecom. “It is crucial that VNFs be able to take advantage of open hardware and software that can effectively utilize NFV acceleration technologies and their APIs to handle increasing amount of traffic volume.”

“As the industry moves towards large-scale deployments of NFV, the need to create and measure benchmarks for performance and efficiency of the server infrastructure is key,” said Malathi Malla, director of products and marketing, virtual and cloud solutions at Spirent Communications. “Netronome and Spirent solutions help understand impact of CPU offloads, accelerate and fine tune the performance of NFVi and VNFs, thereby allowing customers to bypass virtualization bottlenecks.”

“SmartNICs have proven that acceleration of the NFVi data plane provides significant benefits in performance and efficiency of the service provider infrastructure that is needed on upcoming 5G deployments,” said Xiankui Xiong, chief engineer of wireless research institute, ZTE. “The next logical step is to provide further benefits through VNF acceleration and offload. Adding this capability to SmartNICs can achieve these goals, as long as the solution remains flexible and open.”

Supporting Resources

About Netronome

Netronome enables customers to increase the efficiency of their modern data center infrastructure, reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) and driving significantly higher revenue per server. Server-based networking has enabled rapid innovation and transformed the economics for data center compute and networking. However, such deployments are facing significant scaling and efficiency challenges with the rapid adoption of 10GbE and higher bandwidth network infrastructure. Netronome brings back much-needed scale and efficiency, without compromising flexibility or the speed of innovation needed in today’s cloud networks running businesses of all sizes. Netronome is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA. To learn more about Netronome and its products, please visit

Netronome, the Netronome logo, and Agilio are trademarks or registered trademarks of Netronome Systems, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners in the United States and other countries.


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