Tag Archives: ConnectX-3

Top Three Network Considerations for Large Scale Cloud Deployments

The rapid pace of change in data and business requirements is the biggest challenge when deploying a large scale cloud.  It is no longer acceptable to spend years designing infrastructure and developing applications capable to cope with data and users at scale. Applications need to be developed in a much more agile manner, but in such a way that allows dynamic reallocation of infrastructure to meet changing requirements.

Choosing an architecture that can scale is critical. Traditional “scale-up” technologies are too expensive and can ultimately limit growth as data volumes grow. Trying to accommodate data growth without proper architectural design, results in un-needed infrastructure complexity and cost.

The most challenging task for the cloud operator in a modern cloud data center supporting thousands or even hundreds-of-thousands of hosts is scaling and automating network services.  Fortunately, server virtualization has enabled automation of routine tasks – reducing the cost and time required to deploy a new application from weeks to minutes.   Yet, reconfiguring the network for a new or migrated virtual workload can take days and cost thousands of dollars.

To solve these problems, you need to think differently about your data center strategy.  Here are three technology innovations that will help data center architects design a more efficient and cost-effective cloud:

1.  Overlay Networks

Overlay network technologies such as VXLAN and NVGRE, make the network as agile and dynamic as other parts of the cloud infrastructure. These technologies enable automated network segment provisioning for cloud workloads, resulting in a dramatic increase in cloud resource utilization.
Overlay networks provide for ultimate network flexibility and scalability and the possibility to:

  • Combine workloads within pods
  • Move workloads across L2 domains and L3 boundaries easily and seamlessly
  • Integrate advanced firewall appliances and network security platform seamlessly

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Accelerating Red Hat’s new OpenStack cloud platform with Mellanox Interconnect

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform is a new leading Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) open-source solution for building and deploying cloud-enabled workloads. This new cloud platform gives customers the agility to scale and quickly meet customer demands without compromising on availability, security, or performance.

Red Hat built an industry leading certification program for their OpenStack platform. By achieving this technology certification, partners can assure customers that their solutions have been validated with Red Hat OpenStack technology.  Anyone who earns this new certification will be able to show that they can accomplish the following tasks:

•             Install and configure Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.

•             Manage users, projects, flavors, and rules.

•             Configure and manage images.

•             Add compute nodes.

•             Manage storage using Swift and Cinder.

 

Mellanox is listed in the Red Hat marketplace as a certified Hardware partner for Networking (Neutron) and Block Storage (Cinder) services. This ensures that Mellanox ConnectX-3 hardware was tested, certified, and now supported with Red Hat OpenStack technology.

Mellanox Technologies offers seamless integration between its products and Red Hat OpenStack services and provides unique functionality that includes application and storage acceleration, network provisioning, automation, hardware-based security, and isolation. Furthermore, using Mellanox interconnect products allows cloud providers to save significant capital and operational expenses through network and I/O consolidation and by increasing the number of virtual machines (VMs) per server.

With Mellanox ConnectX-3 card and OpenStack plugins, customers will benefit from superior performance and native integration with Neutron:

 

Mellanox OpenStack solution extends the Cinder project by adding iSCSI running over RDMA (iSER). Leveraging RDMA, Mellanox OpenStack delivers 5x better data throughput (for example, increasing from 1GB/s to 5GB/s) and requires up to 80% less CPU utilization.

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Mellanox ConnectX-3 adapters equipped with onboard embedded switch (eSwitch) are capable of performing layer-2 switching for the different VMs running on the server. Using the eSwitch will gain higher performance levels in addition to security and QoS. The eSwitch configuration is transparent to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform administrator by using the Mellanox neutron plugin. By implementing a technology called SR-IOV (Single Root IO Virtualization) and running RDMA over eSwitch, we were able to show a dramatic difference (x20) compared to when using para-virtualized vNIC running a TCP stream connectivity.

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Learn more:

Mellanox and Red Hat OpenStack joint solution - click here

View the Mellanox certificationclick here

eli karpilovski
Author: Eli Karpilovski manages the Cloud Market Development at Mellanox Technologies. In addition, Mr. Karpilovski serves as the Cloud Advisory Council Chairman. Mr. Karpilovski served as product manager for the HCA Software division at Mellanox Technologies. Mr. Karpilovski holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the Holon Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from The Open University of Israel.

ConnectX-3 Pro Hardware Offload Engines

ConnectX-3 Pro,  a new addition to the ConnectX-3 family, is showing significant CPU overhead reduction and performance improvement while running NVGRE, dramatically improving ROI for cloud providers by reducing the application running cost.

We conducted initial tests to measure the performance improvements and the CPU overhead reduction while utilizing the ConnectX-3 Pro NVGRE hardware offload engines.

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Results show 2x performance improvement and 40% CPU overhead reduction!

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ConnectX-3 Pro supports VXLAN hardware offload engines on top of the NVGRE one and is the first adapter in the market that supports hardware offload engines for overlay networks, i.e., NVGRE and VXLAN.

 Gadi Singer Author: Gadi Singer – Product Manager, Adapter Drivers. Gadi manages the Adapters Product Line at Mellanox Technologies. He served as Marketing Product Manager for the HCA Software division at Mellanox Technologies from 2012 to 2013. Prior to joining Mellanox, Gadi worked at Anobit and PMC-Sierra as a Product Line Manager. Mr. Singer holds a BSc degree in Electrical Engineering from Ben-Gurion University in Israel.