NVIDIA has launched the NVIDIA Mellanox ConnectX-6 Lx SmartNIC — a highly secure and efficient 25/50 gigabit per second (Gb/s) Ethernet smart network interface controller (SmartNIC) — to meet surging growth in enterprise and cloud scale-out workloads.
ConnectX-6 Lx, the 11th generation product in the ConnectX family, is designed to meet the needs of modern data centers, where 25Gb/s connections are becoming standard for handling demanding workflows, such as enterprise applications, AI and real-time analytics.
The new SmartNIC extends accelerated computing by leveraging software-defined, hardware-accelerated engines to offload more security and network processing from CPUs.
Accelerated security features such as IPsec in-line cryptography and Hardware Root of Trust, and a 10x performance improvement for Connection Tracking, enable Zero Trust security throughout the data center. Best-in-class RDMA over converged Ethernet (RoCE), advanced virtualisation and containerisation, and NVMe over Fabrics storage offloads provide highly scalable and performant networking.
The server industry is rapidly transitioning from 10GbE to 25GbE network speeds with very fast growth expected. With increasing requirements being placed on the network, more offloads need to be performed on SmartNICs.
The Mellanox ConnectX-6 Lx provides:
- Two ports of 25Gb/s, or a single port of 50Gb/s, Ethernet connectivity with PCIe Gen 3.0/4.0 x8 host connectivity
- Security features including Hardware Root of Trust, Connection Tracking for stateful L4 firewalls, and in-line IPSec cryptography acceleration
- GPUDirect® RDMA acceleration for NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) storage, scale-out accelerated computing and high-speed video transfer applications
- Zero Touch RoCE (ZTR) for scalable, easy-to-deploy, best-in-class RoCE without switch configuration
- Accelerated switching and packet processing (ASAP2), with built-in SR-IOV and VirtIO hardware offloads for virtualization and containerization, to accelerate software-defined networking and connection tracking for next-generation firewall services
ConnectX-6 Lx is sampling now, with general availability expected in Q3 2020. Like all products in the ConnectX family, it is compatible with the Mellanox SmartNIC software stack. Together with Mellanox Spectrum® switches and the LinkX® family of cables and transceivers, ConnectX SmartNICs enable the most comprehensive end-to-end solution for high-performance networks.
Broad Industry Support
Mellanox SmartNICs and software are used in cloud, hyperscale and enterprise data centers, high-performance computing, cybersecurity, and financial services systems around the world. Here’s what some of NVIDIA’s technology partners are saying about SmartNICs:
Scott Tease, general manager of High-Performance Computing and Artificial Intelligence at Lenovo Data Center Group, said: “Lenovo offers best-of-breed solutions that are engineered, tested, and certified for cloud, HPC, artificial intelligence, and hyperscale computing workloads. Mellanox ConnectX SmartNICs enable secure, efficient, high-speed connectivity that accelerates networks and provides critical business advantages for our clients.”
Rashid Khan, director of networking at Red Hat, said: “Security is critically important for any enterprise data center or cloud deployment. We worked closely with Mellanox to develop Connection Tracking, which helps drive secure upstream and downstream networking capabilities. Connection Tracking enables software-defined networking and security to lock down critical resources and data; it offers stateful security at each server, and can be offloaded onto Mellanox ConnectX SmartNICs, reducing CPU cycles for optimal hardware utilization.”
Michael McNerney, vice president of Marketing and Network Security at Supermicro, said: “As the leader in high-performance server and storage system technology, Supermicro strives to provide customers with superior performance, features and improved TCO to maximize the value from their data center. As more and more enterprises transition from 10GbE to 25GbE, ConnectX-6 Lx offers our customers a feature-packed 25GbE SmartNIC that can accelerate their network and applications at a competitive price point.”