Packet Steering

Steering Methods

An ANIC adapter is configured to intelligently steer packets in to specific host packet buffers (HPB). The benefit of packet steering is that each thread in a multithreaded application (often utilizing multiple CPU cores) can process packets from its own HPB. In this way a security or networking application can take advantage of parallel processing of data thus achieving higher levels of speed and efficiency.

There are three different ways to steer packets into a HPB:

  1. ANIC adapter is configured to use its own internal algorithms to evenly and efficiently distribute or load balance packets across a specified number (from 1 to 64) of HPBs. This is done to ensure that no processing thread is overwhelmed with data while others are starved.
  2. Based upon the results of packet filtering, packets can be steered to specific HPBs. For example, packets that match a specific packet filter rule might all be steered to the same HPB for processing.
  3. Based upon flow classification, packets are steered to specific HPBs. In other words, specific flows are identified and explicitly steered to a specific HPB for processing.

U-Turn (Retransmit)

Packet traffic is typically transferred across the PCIe bus (DMA) for consumption by the host application. However there may be circumstances under which select traffic must be locally redirected or retransmitted out of one of the ANIC network ports. Packet filtering or flow classification can be used to identify which specific packets or flows must be redirected out a given port.

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