Wednesday, April 23, 2014
According to recent announcements it seems the even DPI products, with their intense packet processing, are going towards NFV and virtualization in general purpose servers.
Vendors do state that it will take time (see "Allot Launched the New Service Gateway" - here and "Sandvine CEO Bullish on IBM Relations; SDN and NFV will Take Time" - here) - but is this the end of Network (or Packet) Processors?
A few months old white paper, by By Bob Wheeler [pictured], Senior Analyst, The Linley Group "..examines traditional network-processor (NPU) architectures, technology trends driving new requirements, limitations of NPUs and CPUs, and new architectures that overcome these challenges
.. Admittedly, the distinction between an NPU and a multi-CPU processor with networking accelerators is becoming less obvious
...To meet carriers’ emerging demands, OEMs and merchant vendors alike must develop bold new network-processing architectures. These designs must blend the favorable attributes of traditional network processors—high performance and power efficiency—with the greater flexibility of multicore processors based on general-purpose CPUs.
Ericsson is leading this charge with the industry’s first true C-programmable processor capable of running Linux and delivering 200Gbps throughputs. EZchip should be the first merchant NPU vendor to offer similar capabilities. Although equipment based on these new designs must still be proven in the field, we see nothing less than a new era of network processing emerging"
The paper presents the new NP from Cisco (2nd Gen QFP), Ericsson (SNP 4000 - see "Ericsson's New Network Processor - for Internal Use Only" - here) and EZChip (NPS-400 - see "EZchip Unveiled 400-Gb wire-speed, C-Programmable, NPU" - here).
See "A New Era of Network Processing" - here.