Netronome Launches Data Plane Hardware and Software for SDN and NFV Designs

March 04, 2014

Santa Clara, CA – March 4, 2014 – Netronome, the leading provider of data plane processing solutions for software-defined networks (SDN), today announced a platform architecture to augment virtual switch implementations with hardware acceleration NICs in standard servers for SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV) designs. The new products include a suite of FlowNIC™ PCIe Gen3 cards that scale up to 200 Gbps, along with a new FlowEnvironment™ software package that provides standards-based APIs and configuration protocols for virtual switch offload and acceleration.

“Netronome solves the scalability problem of virtual switch implementations in the intelligent network locations where the highest throughput and I/O densities are required, while maintaining the rapid evolution of a software-based edge,” said Niel Viljoen, founder and CEO, of Netronome. “With broad applicability to any virtualized server, the new products are optimized for use in servers running network and security applications, such as SDN middleboxes, SDN gateways and NFV appliances.”

Hyperscale data centers are leading a revolution that is migrating into service provider and enterprise network designs. A complex infrastructure is replaced with a simplified packet core built using merchant switch silicon, surrounded by a new, software-based, intelligent edge. The intelligent edge is comprised of standard servers that are responsible for hosting business applications, and also providing network and security services, while simultaneously directing traffic among virtual machines across a sophisticated overlay network. These network functions are implemented within a virtual switch and consume valuable processing resources. Consequently the complex and varying workloads stifle both application and networking performance .

“NTT Communications has been at the forefront of advancing SDN technologies with commercial use for our cloud computing, datacenter and network services for many years,” said Mr. Yukio Ito, director, member of the board, and senior vice president of service infrastructure at NTT Communications. “We’re evaluating Netronome’s solution of processors, software and NICs and expect to use them to extend our SDN offering into the Cloud-VPN Gateway with close collaboration with NTT Innovation Institute, Inc.”

“FirePower platforms have routinely set industry benchmarks for performance and security effectiveness in data center deployments,” said Tom Ashoff, vice president of engineering, Cisco Systems. “Netronome flow processors and software provide us the feature set and programmability to continue to keep pace with the rapid changes in these hyperscale networks.”

The FlowNIC-6xxx family packs the industry’s highest performance and port density into a PCIe Gen3 adapter, including 2×40, 4×40, 1×100 and 2×100 gigabit Ethernet options. The cards feature up to four PCIe Gen3 x8 interfaces, delivering unmatched host bandwidth to standard single, dual and quad socket servers. The cards feature 216 programmable cores to keep pace with the rapid change in SDN protocols and standards. Additional hardware accelerators are provided for cryptography, nanosecond accuracy time-stamping, SR-IOV, VMDq, and RoCE. Massive on-chip and on-board memories deliver 24M flow table entries, and 128K wildcard rules to satisfy the requirements of the most demanding SDN and NFV applications.

Netronome’s new FlowEnvironment software delivers more than a 20X increase to virtual switching performance and significantly increases the number of virtual machine instances available per server. The FlowEnvironment includes standards-compliant support for Open vSwitch (OVS) 2.0, OpenFlow 1.4, Intel™ DPDK, and network virtualization protocols such as NV-GRE and VXLAN. The production-ready software provides standard APIs and is fully supported across Netronome’s FlowProcessors™ that scale up to 400 Gbps. The software is supported on both existing NFE-32xx acceleration cards and the new FlowNIC-6xxx cards.

Netronome’s processors, software and FlowNICs are available to OEMs, ODMs and hyperscale network operators. Complete solutions can be purchased direct from Netronome, and through a premier set of partners and suppliers.

“We are pleased that so many customers and partners have chosen Netronome’s processors, software and NICs to help fulfill their vision for SDN and NFV,” said Jarrod Siket, senior vice president of marketing, at Netronome. “This complete solution benefits our customers by enabling their standard servers to reach line rate network performance while returning valuable, and previously wasted, compute resources to the applications and services that need them most.”

Supporting Testimonials:
“SDN and NFV are two emerging applications where OEMs and ODMs are applying x86-based designs. Netronome’s new software and NICs are powered by their NFP flow processors, which are already established as field-proven coprocessors to the x86, making them ideally suited for these new growth segments.”
– Bob Wheeler, principal analyst, The Linley Group

“Advantech is already providing the broadest range of x86 based networking platforms in the industry. By tightly integrating Netronome’s silicon for flow processing into our next generation products and adding platform software based on open standards such as OpenFlow we create a new breed of equipment with a unique combination of flow and service processing capabilities. These new platforms put greater flexibility and extra performance into the hands of customers so they can respond quickly to changing market demands and derive more value from SDN faster.”
– Peter Marek, senior director x86 solutions, Advantech Networks & Communications Group

“Operational SDN and NFV environments need hardware to be effective – it’s not just about software. Netronome is innovating in the data plane by integrating key SDN, OpenFlow, and NFV functionality into the design of their new processors. Service providers will want to examine the possibilities of using equipment with this silicon for their SDN and NFV deployments.”
– Michael Howard, principal analyst at Infonetics Research

“Xinguard’s family of SDN products are widely used in OpenFlow network solutions. Netronome’s flow processing solutions help customers overcome the limitations of common switching solutions, when applications require support for a large number of flows, high throughput and additional computing resource.”
– Kae Hsu, chief executive officer, Xinguard Inc.

“SDN is beginning its transition from labs and early adopters into the main stream of networking. Tallac is excited to be working with leading technology providers like Netronome to accelerate this transition by proving the value of OpenFlow and clarify SDN benefits for real-world networks and decision makers.”
– Matt Davy, co-founder and principal solutions architect, Tallac Networks

“With virtualization technology, the networking industry is embedding service-awareness directly into the infrastructure, to increase flexibility, utilization, and operating efficiencies. By combining Qosmos Network Intelligence Technology and Netronome’s FlowEnvironment and accelerated FlowNICs, COTS servers can provide the most advanced stateful L4-L7 inspection technology at the throughputs and latencies that the industry requires.”
– Jerome Tollet, CTO, Qosmos

“Opzoon is a global leader, providing cloud and data center networking solutions to government and enterprise networks. Netronome’s technologies enable standard servers to excel in next-generation data centers when used in demanding use-cases, like SDN gateways to legacy IP/MPLS networks.”
– Mr. Wang Bo, general manager, basic network division, Opzoon

“SDN and NFV create new opportunities for AIC to broaden the reach of our appliance solutions. Many of the virtualized network functions found in those designs require acceleration that is uniquely delivered by Netronome’s acceleration cards and software.”
– CT Sun, chief architect/VP of engineering, AIC

“ServiceMesh, a CSC company, was pleased to demonstrate our Agility cloud management platform managing Netronome SDN gateway at the recent TM Forum demo. We look forward to adding OpenFlow support to our SDN management capabilities to extend integration with leading firms like Netronome and provide complete cloud management solutions for our clients.”
– James Houghton, director, general manager, global field operations, Service Mesh/CSC

“Netronome’s flow processors and software are ideally suited for our products targeting next-generation network designs. Netronome delivers large-scale, flow-aware processing that meets the most challenging networking requirements.”
– Xia Yingchun, chief director of engineering, Switch Product Line ZTE

“The PLUMgrid platform provides secure Virtual Network Infrastructure for OpenStack across different hypervisor for public and private clouds. Using Netronome’s solution, PLUMgrid’s multitenant Virtual Network Domain solution easily extends over an MPLS backbone, across multiple locations under SDN control.”
– Pere Monclus, founder and CTO, PLUMgrid

“Procera’s Network Application Visibility Library (NAVL) library uses sophisticated techniques to accurately identify dynamic applications and protocols. Maintaining a small x86 processing and memory footprint is imperative for high performance DPI applications. With the standard APIs available in Netronome’s FlowEnvironment software, the NAVL engine and Netronome’s FlowNICs work in tandem to provide unparalleled classification accuracy with high performance in standard servers.”
– Shawn Sweeney, director of product management, Procera

“Netronome has played an important role in helping TM Forum demonstrate the SDN use-cases outlined in our collaboration with the Open Data Center Alliance. In the TM Forum’s work, Netronome’s close integration with Openstack-compatible cloud management systems indicates that SDN technologies are ready for commercial adoption.”
– Bob Cohen, director, Enterprise Cloud Leadership Council, TM Forum

“The Open Networking Foundation’s mission is to accelerate the adoption of open SDN and we are developing the OpenFlow protocol as the standard interface between the control and forwarding planes. We are excited to see our member companies lead by example with significant commitment of resources to our Foundation’s work, and with the commercial development of data center applications based on our latest OpenFlow 1.4 specification.”
– Dan Pitt, executive director, Open Networking Foundation

“Lanner services a large portion of the network communications market with our industry-leading appliances. Many of the emerging opportunities that target data centers now require hardware acceleration that fits within industry standards. Netronome’s solutions uniquely meet the requirements of our shared customers for their new designs.”
– Terence Chou, VP marketing, Lanner

“SDN has driven a decoupling of hardware and software and often dictates the use of generic server platforms. However many high-performance applications require network acceleration to boost performance. Silicom is a leader in extending processing and software solutions from leaders like Netronome, into high volume hardware solutions for leading OEMs and ODMs.”
– Shaike Orbach, CEO, Silicom

“Netronome’s NFP-6xxx flow processors take advantage of Intel’s 22nm breakthrough 3-D TriGate technology which delivers an unmatched combination of performance, gate density and power efficiency – all of which are paramount requirements of hyper-scale data centers.”
– Sunit Rikhi, vice president, Technology and Manufacturing Group; GM, Intel Custom Foundry

Supporting Resources
Follow Netronome for the latest news and information on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Netronome

Netronome is the leading developer of high-performance networking solutions for cloud, data center, service provider and enterprise communications products. Netronome flow processing solutions increase the performance of virtualized servers by offloading compute-intensive workloads such as network virtualization, security, flow classification, content processing, deep packet inspection and dynamic load balancing. Netronome products are used by networking OEMs, ODMs worldwide and include FlowProcessors, FlowNICs and FlowKit software. Netronome’s processors are supported by comprehensive tools and a broad ecosystem of premier partners. Netronome’s products are developed in labs in Santa Clara, CA, Boxborough, MA and Pittsburgh, PA. To learn more about Netronome and its products, please visit