Accolade ANIC host CPU offload adapters or SmartNICs are typically used for security and network monitoring applications that rely on passive traffic. In other words, traffic that is not live but rather a copy of live traffic. Traffic is typically redirected to the ANIC adapter via an optical TAP or an Ethernet switch SPAN port. The ANIC SmartNIC ingests the passive traffic, performs various optimizations and then forwards the resultant packets to host memory for processing by the CPU.
There is however no reason the ANIC adapter cannot process live traffic as well. In fact, we have customers that do just that. In this scenario the ANIC adapter is inline and is performing FPGA-based optimizations on the live traffic as it goes in one port of the adapter and out the other back into the live network. Along the way, the ANIC adapter can programmatically, selectively peel off traffic that is of interest to the host application. For example, traffic for a specific IP flow(s) may be of interest for security, performance or even lawful intercept related purposes.
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