When proprietary software and a standard x86 CPU is no longer enough, consider an FPGA-based host CPU offload option.

NMA Vendors Can Offload CPU Intensive Functions to Hardware at 10, 40, 80 and 100Gbps

As a network monitoring appliance (NMA) vendor it is likely you rely on industry standard servers from Cisco, Dell, HP, or Super Micro for your hardware needs and spend much of your R&D budget on software. This generic hardware with proprietary software solution is often not powerful enough to handle the 10, 40, 80 and now 100 gigabits of network traffic these appliances receive.

Hardware-based Host CPU Offload Options

When software and a standard x86 CPU is not enough there are various hardware-based host CPU offload options available: 1) ASIC, 2) Network Processor (NPU) or, 3) FPGA.

Each option is bound by at least three requirements:

  1. The solution must fit into an industry standard server
  2. Require no major modification to the vendor’s software
  3. Be cost effective

The RTC Magazine article below illustrates the pros and cons of each of these options.

An FPGA-based Solution Meets all the Criteria and More

Accolade’s ANIC line of 1-100GE FPGA-based hardware adapters and ATLAS-1000 scalable 1U platform meet these requirements while offering distinct advantages.

  • PCIe Compliant – All adapters are fully PCIe compliant fitting seamlessly into any industry standard server.
  • API and Device Driver – Each adapter comes with a well-defined API and device driver which facilitates easy integration with any software application.
  • Cost Effective – ANIC’s are cost effective because they limit the need for horizontal server scaling; thereby saving appliance cost, rack space and power.
  • 100% Packet Capture – Each ANIC adapter has adequate onboard memory to absorb any size burst of traffic and therefore never drops a packet.
  • Host CPU Offload Functions – A variety of built-in pre-processing or host CPU offload functions such as packet filteringflow classification and deduplication are performed in hardware.
  • Future Proof – An FPGA is programmable, so as a vendor’s needs evolve the ANIC adapter can be reprogrammed (by Accolade engineers) to accommodate new offload and acceleration requirements.
Host CPU Offload Product Features Summary

wdt_ID Speed 1G 10G 10G 10G 10G/40G 10G/40G 100G 100G 100G
1 Model 4Ku 20ku 40ku 40kq 80ku ATLAS-1100 Service Node ANIC-200KFlex ANIC-100Kq ANIC-200Kq
2 Port/Type 4X1G SFP 2X10G SFP+ 4X10G SFP+ 1X40G QSFP+ 4X10G SFP+ 2X40G QSFP+ 8X10G SFP+ 4x10G SFP+ 1x40G QSFP+ 2x100G QSFP28 2x40G QSFP28 1X100G QSFP28 2X100G QSFP28
3 PCIe Interface Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x8 Gen3 x16 Gen3 x16 Gen3 x16
4 Dimensions(H x L inches) 4.25 x 6.5   4.25 x 6.25 4.25 x 6.25 4.25 x 6.25 4.25 x 6.25 1.75 x12.28x14 4.25 x 6.5 4.25 x 10.5 4.25 x 10.5
5 Memory 32MB 4G 4G 4G 4G 16/32G 8G 12G 12G
6 Timestamp 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 5.7 nS 4 nS 4 nS 4 nS
7 100% Packet
8 Gigamon, AristaTimestamp
9 Packet Merging
10 Packet Parsing

About Accolade

Accolade is the technology leader in FPGA-based Host CPU Offload and 100% Packet Capture PCIe NIC’s and Scalable 1U Platforms. Accolade’s line of 1-100GE products enable 100% packet capture, flow classification, flow shunting, deduplication, packet filtering and more. Our customers are global leaders in network monitoring & cybersecurity applications as well as in the network test and measurement, telecom and video stream monitoring markets.

FPGA Acceleration Features

100% Packet Capture | Flow Classification | Flow Shunting | Precise Time Stamping | Packet Merging | Packet Slicing | Packet Parsing | Packet Filtering | Deduplication | Host Packet Buffer | Packet Steering | Direct Memory Access (DMA) | Statistics (RMON1)

Free Product Evaluation

Resolve all your host CPU offload bottlenecks. Share Your Technical Requirements with our FPGA and software experts to tailor the optimal solution. Accolade offers a 60 day free product evaluation for qualified customers to fully test and evaluate our products.