Smart or Dumb NICs on Software Gone Wild
Hardware vendors are always making their silicon more complex and feature-rich. Is that a great idea or a disaster waiting to happen? We asked Luke Gorrie, the lead developer of Snabb Switch (an open-source user-land virtual switch written in Lua) about his opinions on the topic.
TL&DL version: Give me a dumb NIC, software can do everything else.
If you want to know more, listen to Episode 93 of Software Gone Wild.
1. +1 to Bruno’s comment on Nitro, if you provide IaaS, any cycle spent on infra is taken off the total sellable capacity pool. AWS has done a great job to make the difference in performance between baremetal and their infra pretty much negligible while keeping workloads decoupled from the infra, all thanks to Annapurna HW.
2. Specifically talking about smart NICs, i really enjoyed working with Netronome NICs, crafting pretty futuristic stuff within hours, well designed HW accompanied by well described APIs makes them IMO very distinct in this segment.
3. There’s number of companies providing P4 front-ends to FPGA’s, which allows to define processing behavior without going into low level programming, space to watch for.