Packet and Netronome Innovate on Smart Networking-Focused Edge Compute Hardware

December 18, 2018

New Design Deployed in Open19 Form Factor Leverages Netronome SmartNICs to Efficiently and Securely Route Traffic in a Microserver Built Specifically for Cloud-Native and Edge Workloads

NEW YORK, NY, December 18, 2018 - Packet, the leading bare metal cloud for developers, and Netronome, a leader in high-performance intelligent networking solutions, today announced a new hardware platform that efficiently powers cloud-native workloads at the edge. The joint design, which will be deployed throughout all of Packet’s cloud and edge sites, combines the latest in disaggregated computing architecture in a cost-effective bare metal form factor.

Cloud-native and edge workloads demand stringent cost, power and latency parameters without compromising security and the pace of innovation. Packet’s new compact microservers meet these requirements while providing the tenant isolation needed in a bare metal environment. Due to its ultra-compact and low-power design (<100W per microserver), up to 120 microservers can fit in a single 42U rack, enabling the build-out of performance-driven edge infrastructures while maintaining real estate and power requirements. 

“With this platform we are bringing the lessons of hyperscale providers directly to the edge with a disaggregated, accelerator-based architecture and a custom designed hardware model,” said Zachary Smith, CEO of Packet. “We see cloud-native network workload driving huge demand at the infrastructure edge and the combination of SmartNIC technology and eBPF expertise from Netronome brings not only significant cost savings but also unique performance capabilities to our content, IoT and Telco customers.”

Each of Packet’s new Edge cloud microservers with integrated Netronome SmartNIC technology delivers up to 25Gb/s throughput while enabling highly scalable security policies and control close to the cloud-native applications. As a result, Packet is able to deploy less complex, lower power and more cost-effective top-of-rack switch solutions. At the same time, developers are empowered with access to deep network acceleration capabilities through the use of eBPF programming for innovating in the areas of switching, security, telemetry and load balancing.

“We have witnessed a dramatic increase in the usage of eBPF due to the inherent advantages it provides to developers and operators of cloud-native infrastructure – owing to the programmable sandbox environment it runs in,” said Joe Stringer, Linux eBPF subsystem developer and contributor at the Cilium project. “The ability to transparently offload eBPF in edge cloud microservers with SmartNICs brings that flexible sandbox into hardware, allowing developers to more rapidly build and tune their applications to run at line-rate.” 

With the end of Moore’s Law and the rise of cloud-native principles, hardware is evolving to take advantage of new disaggregated architectures. As the data collected and processed at the edge grows, the need for low-latency networking and application offload at breakthrough economics becomes critical.

“New edge-based technologies and applications such as autonomous vehicles, AI, and augmented reality are heavily latency dependent and require the strongest of security without sacrificing performance,” said Niel Viljoen, CEO and founder of Netronome. “Packet’s new Netronome SmartNIC-accelerated, low-latency Edge cloud infrastructure with eBPF offload will enable developers to effectively utilize the massive amounts of collectable data on the edge to build and test highly secure, real-time applications.” 

Packet and Netronome worked closely with ODM partners to design and manufacture the dense, high performance networking model needed to support powerful microservers that are highly efficient on a cost per watt basis. The investments made by the companies are cross architecture and will extend to Intel, AMD and Ampere.

The microserver is built leveraging the open infrastructure designs from the Open19 Foundation, enabling hyperscale efficiency on common rack and power infrastructure, while enabling an edge-friendly operating model that lowers the cost to deploy compute in remote locations.

Supporting Resources

About Netronome
Netronome designs and markets server networking and coprocessor platforms, including its market leading silicon accelerators, boards and software, enabling customers to increase the efficiency and security of their modern data center infrastructure. Netronome products reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) and drive significantly higher server performance resulting in increased revenue per server for service providers. The evolution of lower cost and standards-based software-defined networking implemented in servers has enabled rapid innovation and transformed the economics for data center compute and networking. However, such new deployments continue to face significant scaling and efficiency challenges with the rapid move from 10GbE to 25/50GbE and higher bandwidth network infrastructure requirements. Netronome brings back much-needed scale and efficiency, without compromising flexibility, simplicity or the speed of innovation needed in today’s cloud networks running businesses of all sizes. Netronome has a global footprint and is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA.

About Packet
Founded in 2014, Packet’s proprietary technology automates physical servers and networks without the use of virtualization or multi-tenancy to provide on-demand compute and connectivity. Customers can either build on Packet’s public cloud service, deploy customized hardware in Packet’s facilities, or leverage advanced automation software to enable their own private compute infrastructure.

The company is headquartered in New York City and maintains an advanced global IP network between its data center locations in New York Metro (Parsippany, NJ), Sunnyvale (CA), Dallas (TX), Amsterdam (NL) and Tokyo (JP) and 13 regional Edge Compute locations. Packet is a member of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) where it donates and manages the CNCF Community Infrastructure Lab.  Additionally, Packet supports many open source projects, including, NixOS, Docker, and