Artesyn Embedded Technologies has announced the SharpSwitch™ PCIE-9205 PCI Express intelligent network interface card, which eliminates the need for a costly external load balancer in wireless communications, broadcast and streaming media applications. It is ideal for low power, dense computing, thanks to the Intel® Xeon® D series processor and Intel® Ethernet multi-host controller (code name Red Rock Canyon) which provides dual 100G Ethernet interfaces and 100G switch.
In virtualized environments with dynamic workloads, virtual switches are required to forward packets internally and connect virtual machines to the outside world. In many cases, these virtual switches are implemented with Open vSwitch, emulating the function provided by physical switches. But virtualized switching comes at a cost-- in certain configurations, Open vSwitch has been shown to require as much as half of the available processor cores for switching the traffic to and from the virtual machines (VMs) running on a given server.
By focusing on the minimal requirements for typical applications, and building on top of Intel® Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK), Artesyn has designed a massively accelerated virtual switch to address these weaknesses. By using the SharpSwitch PCIE-9205 as an Open vSwitch accelerator, the vast majority of the available processor cycles in the system can be used for payload VMs.
The SharpSwitch™ is optimized to work in Artesyn’s MaxCore™ PCIe platforms which leverage off-the-shelf PCIe cards to create very low latency and low OpEx systems for applications such as vRAN, mini-CRAN, video transcode, VoLTE and security gateways.