Recently, NVIDIA released the NVIDIA DOCA SDK, an architecture that integrates the functions of the data center into the chip, which can help developers easily program the Bluefield DPU.

Modern data centers are software defined agile data centers built for highly distributed workloads from cloud to edge. However, the traditional software defined data center method will bring huge performance burden, which can easily consume 30% or more server CPU cores. In order to solve this problem, NVIDIA Bluefield data processor (DPU) can not only support network, security and storage high performance breakthrough, but also well realize the facilities and services necessary for the data center, such as unloading, acceleration and isolation.

DOCA realizes data center innovation with Bluefield DPU

Through bluefield-2 DPU and DOCA, customers can transform their data center into an advanced virtual private cloud, which can not only achieve acceleration, full programming, security and reliability, but also provide the scalability of the public cloud. With DOCA, developers can use industry standard APIs to quickly create applications and services on NVIDIA DPU, so as to realize the innovation of data center. The combination of DOCA and bluefield-2 DPU can develop breakthrough and high-performance network, security and storage applications on a comprehensive and open development platform. Applications developed on DOCA and bluefield-2 will isolate the basic services of the data center from applications, which will significantly improve the performance, security and efficiency of applications. The release of DOCA provides developers with the tools they need to build a more secure and hardware accelerated data center.

DOCA also supports Bluefield DPU to generate time tagged telemetry data for data traffic from all servers. In this way, each server can be used as a network diverter for traffic mirroring, and can also monitor some or all of the selected data traffic. This powerful CPU zero load telemetry technology can create a time synchronized data center to improve security. It is also an ideal choice to optimize the performance of the distributed architecture of the data center.

DOCA supports the configuration, updating, and monitoring of hundreds or even thousands of DPUs throughout the data center. Now, every server can enjoy the advantages of DPU based hardware offload, acceleration and isolation for network, security, storage and infrastructure services.

DOCA can unload the data center infrastructure services into the Bluefield DPU, thus releasing the kernel, so that the CPU can be fully used for business applications. DOCA implements these hardware acceleration functions and provides performance equivalent to more than 30 CPU cores, thus improving efficiency and significantly saving server costs.

In addition, DPU has created a separate data center infrastructure service domain outside the application processing domain. If the host is invaded, the isolation layer between the security control agent and the invaded host can prevent the attack from spreading to the entire data center.

Finally, DPU decouples application dependencies on infrastructure services. Usually, the dependency of applications makes the kernel upgrade of the operating system very difficult, and it administrators have to perform it manually. After decoupling infrastructure services and applications, cloud administrators will be able to automatically perform security updates in the data center.

DOCA simplifies the programming journey. Developers can use APIs, libraries and sample code to create program frameworks and program accelerated applications running on the DPU, which brings excellent efficiency and performance. With the help of DOCA SDK, application developers can immediately start to build DPU applications; Because it supports multi generation DPU, developers can be sure that the currently developed applications can run on all future Bluefield products and have the performance advantages provided by more hardware upgrades.

Finally, with the rapid growth of partner DPU and DOCA ecosystems, we will be able to obtain the best network, security and storage applications from today’s industry leaders.

DOCA version 1.0 supports the following:

  • Deep packet inspection (DPI) library and reference code, and stateful load balancer with DOCA flow
  • Storage virtualization with nvme snap for bare metal and virtualized servers
  • Network acceleration for bare metal and virtualized servers

DOCA supported NVIDIA SDK manager includes

  • API references and documentation
  • Additional new features enabled in NVIDIA DOCA and Bluefield OS version 3.6
  • DPU automatic configuration tool 1.0 (coming soon)

DOCA is based on open APIs, such as dpdk for network and security, and UCX RDMA and spdk for storage. It is fully compatible with all major operating systems and server virtualization platforms. Applications written using DOCA can run seamlessly on bluefield-2 and subsequent NVIDIA DPUs.

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