& cplSiteName &

Mellanox Adds to Net Security – It's Sorta Complicated

Brian Santo
12/6/2016
50%
50%

Mellanox Technologies has enabled stateful packet processing at 400Gbit/s, which makes it possible to do deep packet inspection at a blazingly fast rate, which means anyone running a data center can employ DPI to increase network security without taking much of a performance hit, if any at all.

In addition to performing DPI in the service of firewall functions and distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection, other general use cases include load balancing, NFV offload and supporting OpenFlow/P4.

What Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: MLNX) announced specifically was the availability of deep packet inspection and stateful packet processing software libraries written to work with its recent NPS-400 Network Processing unit (NPU). The combination of the software and the NPU's acceleration capabilities enables DPI processing for application recognition at processing rates of up to 400Gbit/s, in conjunction with handling of 100 million flows with an average packet size of 400 bytes, the company said.

The common alternative is to leave the task to the processors most commonly used in servers -- Xeon general processing units (GPU) from Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC). A Xeon set to perform DPI might be able to do so at tens of Gbit/s, however, Mellanox executives told Light Reading.

Using Mellanox's new software working in conjunction with its NPU, Mellanox customers can build intrusion detection systems and intrusion prevention systems and to accelerate processing capabilities for switch routers, including top-of-rack (ToR) switches in data centers.


Want to know more about how to secure data, networks and services? Check out our security channel here on Light Reading.


"Think of it as embedding in the top-of-rack switch the ability to protect the entire rack, to do firewall and DDoS prevention for the entire rack," said Mellanox Vice President of Marketing Kevin Deierling.

"These functions cost cycles on the x86," he continued, using an alternate reference for the Intel processors. "We propose to move those functions off the x86, and leave the x86 to perform business functions."

The approach doesn’t obviate the use of Xeons (or any other GPU). Mellanox is proposing to relieve server GPUs from having to perform what are essentially housekeeping functions, and make quicker work of them to boot.

The stateful packet processing and the deep packet inspection libraries enable developers to delve deeper into the network packets for better understanding of network flows. This brings to IT managers the ability to enhance security and prevent malicious access to their data centers, the company said, adding that the same capabilities allow cost-effective load balancing, network monitoring or any other appliances based on network flow recognition.

Qosmos , a company that specializes in using DPI in SDN/NFV networks, is using the Mellanox technology. Thibaut Bechetoille, CEO of Qosmos, said in a statement, "Deep packet inspection drives L7 applications intelligence in the network and we expect further deployment of L7 services at more and more places in the network."

The software libraries are available as part of the NPS-400 software development kit and can be obtained in source code format as part of standard licensing and support agreements. In addition, these libraries are compatible with the SDK released through opennpu.org in open source.

— Brian Santo, Senior Editor, Components, T&M, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
SmartNICs aren't just about achieving scale. They also have a major impact in reducing CAPEX and OPEX requirements.
Hot Topics
Nokia Bell Labs & Verizon Stretch Fixed 5G to the Home
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/13/2017
Juniper's New Contrail VP Hails From Google
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 11/15/2017
Eurobites: Telefónica Reckons Plastic Is Fantastic for FTTH
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 11/15/2017
Animals with Phones
Why Cats Don't Run Tech Support Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives