Accelerating vBRAS Data Plane Throughput

Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor-powered Advantech SKY-8000 Servers with Ethernity FPGA-based SmartNIC provide processing power for virtualized broadband remote access servers (vBRAS)

Communications service providers (CSPs) are growing more confident in the ability of network functions virtualization (NFV) to deliver carrier-grade voice and data services. This is thanks to the maturing NFV ecosystem and the growing number of virtualized customer premises equipment (CPE) deployments and trials of virtualized core network applications. Now CSPs are looking to virtualize very high throughput systems such as broadband remote access servers (BRAS).
A BRAS is a dedicated device in a service provider network in which multiple internet traffic sources converge for connection to the access network. The BRAS (also known as a broadband network gateway, or BNG) must terminate subscriber point-to-point protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE) tunnels and routing traffic to and from digital subscriber line access modules (DSLAMs).
Virtualizing the BRAS is challenging because the data plane must be highly scalable to handle widely fluctuating throughput levels and numbers of simultaneous tunnels. It must also support a wide range of network functions from subscriber authentication to routing, service policy control, content filtering, and IP address management.

Advantech and Ethernity, both Intel® Network Builders partners and members of the Intel Network Builders Network Edge Ecosystem, have built a server solution with the performance needed for advanced vBRAS solutions. The solution combines Advantech’s Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor-powered SKY Edge Servers with Ethernity ACE-NIC FPGA SmartNIC accelerator cards and can work with a number of different vBRAS virtual network functions (VNFs). The network functions that have traditionally been handled by dedicated BRAS hardware can be decoupled from the hardware by NFV. But the challenge is to maximize throughput without impacting CPU efficiency.
Read the paper, describing in detail how Advantech and Ethernity have developed an effective vBRAS hardware that offers maximum performance at the network edge.