Use cases for Agilio include compute nodes for IaaS or SaaS, Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), and non-virtualized service nodes, among others. In these use cases, it is common to have a large number of network overlays and/or security policies that are enforced on the server - potentially several thousands of policies per VM. Agilio provides the ability to support very high flow and policy capacities without degradation in performance.
Netronome Agilio CX SmartNICs and Agilio software track the features of standard OVS, which are continuously evolving and include server-based networking functions such as flexible match-action forwarding, network overlay control with tunneling protocols such as VXLAN and NVGRE, and fine-grained statistics and meters. These features enable functions such as L2/L3 forwarding, network virtualization, security, load balancing and analytics. For additional information, read the Agilio OVS Software Product Brief
Standard OVS architectures consist of both user space and kernel space components. The OVS switch daemon runs in user space and controls the switch, while the kernel module implements the packet data fast path. Netronome’s transparent offload architecture replicates the kernel packet data fast path on the SmartNIC, accelerating packet throughput while dramatically decreasing server CPU utilization. For additional details on Netronome’s Transparent Offload Architecture, read the Agilio OVS Software Architecture White Paper.
Standard OVS without acceleration struggles with packet processing which ties up valuable server CPU resources and creates a bottleneck that starves applications. Netronome Agilio SmartNICs accelerate OVS and provide better CPU efficiency, lower complexity, enhanced scalability and increased network performance. For detailed benchmarking results, read the Virtual Switch Acceleration with OVS-TC white paper.
When OVS is offloaded and accelerated using the Agilio solution, server throughput increases significantly while freeing up CPU cycles for more VMs and applications. This means that more application-level work can now be accomplished by a fixed pool of compute servers. Alternatively, the same amount of work can now be accomplished with significantly fewer servers. This leads directly to savings on equipment costs and overall data center power and cooling, as well as the ability to better monetize existing resources. This ROI calculator shows the value of the Agilio 40GbE SmartNIC when used in a rack of servers with OVS.