Agilio vRouter Software

Agilio vRouter software, combined with Agilio SmartNICs improves server-based networking performance and restores valuable CPU cores by offloading the Contrail vRouter datapath to Netronome’s SmartNICs. The solution improves the vRouter data plane performance for VNFs and VMs to 20-30Mpps which enables drastic improvements to cloud workloads performance as well as increases the network performance and efficiency by up to 5X. Netronome’s Agilio vRouter provides the ability for servers to scale up through increasing vRouter data path performance while at the same time saves on the number of deployed servers increasing effective server output and decreasing data center TCO.

Agilio vRouter

The solution targets cloud networking in the form of public and private clouds, Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), and virtual private clouds (VPCs) as well as Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) in service provider networks where it is common to have a large number of network overlays and/or security policies that are enforced on the compute node.

Features

Netronome Agilio SmartNICs and Agilio vRouter software track the features of Open Contrail, which are continuously evolving and include server-based networking functions such as flexible match-action forwarding and network overlay control with tunneling protocols including MPLS over UDP/GRE and VXLAN. The solution supports acceleration via an exact match flow cache for Ethernet and IPv4/v6 traffic for L2/L3 overlays all under complete configuration control via Contrail Networking. Also supported are DPDPK, SR-IOV, and Netronome’s Express Virtio (XVIO) which provides hardware independence and VM mobility. The solution enables high-performance functions such as L2/L3 forwarding, network virtualization, security, load balancing and analytics. For additional information, please see the Agilio vRouter Software product brief.

Architecture

The Agilio adapters and software will transparently receive configuration directly from the Contrail vRouter datapath hosted in the kernel. As a result, the vRouter functionality, configuration, and control channels are completely preserved. This transparent offload allows the Agilio solution to integrate with the Contrail controller and vRouter subsystems seamlessly.

The common tunneling configurations that Agilio vRouter supports for L2 and L3 overlay networking include MPLS over GRE, MPLS over UDP, and VXLAN. The networking performance achieved is accomplished by offloading and accelerating lookups and actions for Contrail vRouter tables such as Next Hop, interface tables, IPv4/v6 FIBs, L2 forwarding and flow tables among others.

ROI Calculator

When vRouter 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 running Contrail vRouter.

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Benchmarks

The integration of Netronome’s Agilio Platform and Contrail Networking software transparently offloads Contrail’s virtual routing datapath processing for networking functions to the Agilio SmartNICs, thereby freeing up the CPU cores that would otherwise have been used for processing data packets. These freed-up CPU cores can now perform other compute-intensive tasks and enable a greater amount of workloads to be deployed per server. The solution provides 5X better performance and efficiency while only using one core for the vRouter datapath compared to 8 in standard software-only configurations.

vRouter performance chart

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