The shift toward network function virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networks (SDN) represents the most transformative architectural networking trend in the past 20 years.
Both large public cloud providers who are extending the cloud closer to end users to improve their service offerings and communications service providers who are virtualizing their existing central offices to benefit from the implicit cost and power savings, are now applying this trend to the network edge.
This poses a number of challenges:
- The edge of the network has limited space and a fixed power supply, yet must serve thousands of users and even more devices.
- Solutions must be open, secure, and futureproof, and they must have especially low latency, especially with the advent of 5G, despite handling multiple protocols and interfaces.
- Today’s edge network must be capable of running numerous virtual networking applications all within the same edge site.
vEPC, vCPE, vCDN, vRouter, and vBRAS/vBNG are just a few of the popular SDN/NFV networking applications that might run in a virtual central office.
Ethernity Networks offers an array of solutions to solve these challenges, including FPGA-based ENET Flow Processor technology within SoCs and Smart NICs. FPGAs are fully programmable, non-proprietary, and offer efficient, deterministic low latency. FPGAs enable network isolation and segregation to prevent attacks on edge sites and user devices, and they offer IPSec VPNs and tunnel termination, addressing the security concern.
Ethernity’s scalable solutions can be mounted on existing servers, reducing the need for additional boxes and saving space. In fact, our single-server multi-NIC solution offers ultimate space and power efficiency and can run multiple virtual networking applications in a single box.
Today’s network equipment must be able to handle the exponential growth of internet and data center traffic. Software programmability alone won’t be enough to enable generic hardware to scale easily with growing bandwidth demands. The ubiquitous hardware must be re-programmable in order to optimize the system’s overall performance. That will allow vendors and service providers to leverage NFV and SDN in a “work smarter, not harder” manner, to meet the growing demands of end users. The combination of software with programmable hardware is the only way to truly implement the vision of NFV and SDN. Ethernity’s offerings support the creation of re-programmable hardware solutions.