Alveo and Flow Mapping
All Accolade FPGA features are available on Xilinx Alveo Accelerator Cards and there is a comprehensive list on page 2 of the solution brief on the Xilinx website. We have recently discussed many of them in various blog posts, but one quite interesting and useful capability that we do not talk about so much is flow mapping. Simply put it is a mechanism that can be used to segregate application traffic for inspection by different analytic tools.
Computer networks have a heterogenous mix of application traffic and often a network monitoring solution is deployed to analyze a specific type of traffic. For example, suspicious traffic might be flagged and sent to a security analysis tool for further inspection. This could occur because after examining with DPI (deep packet inspection) software a previously unknown application might be traversing the network. Since this is the first time seeing this application type, further analysis is required to make sure it is legitimate. At the same time, streaming video traffic might need to be segregated to analyze its specific characteristics. The security and streaming video analysis tools are likely separate software applications running on different servers.
So how do we efficiently segregate and forward traffic to the appropriate tool? This is where flow mapping comes in. With flow mapping a host DPI application can direct an Alveo card to apply a unique VLAN tag to certain application flows (e.g. suspicious traffic) and subsequently all flows with that specific VLAN tag will be forwarded to the appropriate analysis tool.
To learn more about how Accolade can help you with flow mapping or other needs, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.