By Ron Breault
As a Product Manager working on Wind River Titanium Server NFV software platform, I’m one of the lucky ones who gets to see new product features first hand, before they are widely rolled out to the market. At Wind River we use an Agile Development Methodology, so the pace of product advancement is steady, with new capabilities being added regularly. Because of this, you start to take such changes for granted after a while. This past week though, I was shown a new feature coming to VNFs running on Titanium Server which immediately makes you stop and take notice!
Our Engineering team has worked closely with our partners at Intel to bring the wonders of dedicated hardware acceleration into the world of NFV!
Through a series of targeted updates to our product, Titanium Server will have the ability to detect, recognize and inventory select hardware assist devices, managing their physical assignment and exposing them to the VNFs that can benefit from them. Such VNFs are typically involved in computationally intensive encryption or compression activities, often though protocols such as SSL and IPsec, among others. The devices we’re enabling with this feature are those comprising the Intel® Communications Chipset 89xx series (a.k.a. Coleto Creek).
Without this new feature, such VNFs were limited to computations performed by their assigned virtual CPU resources, in some cases, leveraging specialized CPU instructions (e.g. AES-NI) to achieve higher performance when possible. But when a VNF is able to leverage the right acceleration hardware, the results are extraordinarily more powerful, with performance ranging from 2X better to 20X better depending on the specific use case involved! With such results, it’s no wonder that ETSI has been working hard over the past year to investigate how acceleration devices can be incorporated into the standard ETSI NFV architecture (e.g. ETSI document IFA001, “Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV); Acceleration Technologies; Report on Acceleration Technologies & Use Cases”)
This highly desirable new feature is one of many coming with the next release of Titanium Server. Watch out for additional updates in the new year; we’ve got much more in store! If you’re interested or would like to learn more, please contact us at +1-800-545-WIND. We’re excited to be bringing this to market and would be happy to chat with you about it!