New Mellanox ConnectX-6 Dx SmartNICs Transform Cloud and Data Center Security

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Today Mellanox announced the immediate general availability of ConnectX-6 Dx SmartNICs, in addition to the soon-to-be-released BlueField-2 I/O Processing Units (IPUs). Both feature a suite of cutting-edge security acceleration engines and platform security capabilities for building highly secure and efficient data center infrastructures at massive scale, across public, on-premises and edge environments.

Networking and security must converge to achieve consistent and predictable application performance, with all the necessary levels of data privacy, integrity and reliability. This vision is the core foundation on which we designed our ConnectX-6 Dx SmartNIC and BlueField-2 IPU products,” said Amit Krig, senior vice president, Ethernet NIC and IPU Product Line at Mellanox Technologies. “Today we are excited to ship production qualified ConnectX-6 Dx SmartNICs to our hyperscale customers, turning our vision into a reality.”

Today’s rapidly evolving cyber threats are driving organizations to continuously assess their security postures and adopt holistic defense strategies that address physical, virtual and human factors. The growth of cloud and edge computing has redefined the physical and virtual boundaries of the data center. Continuous advancements in cloud networking technologies and growing data volumes pose challenges to enterprises and cloud operators to deliver enhanced digital experiences, while also protecting data and assets.

As countless economic opportunities are unlocked by software-defined cloud technologies, they bring along security requirements. Pure software-defined cyber security offerings that are decoupled from the underlying hardware will be challenged to achieve adequate protection, scale, and efficiency,” said Vikram Phatak, Founder of NSS Labs. “By deploying purpose-built networking hardware like ConnectX-6 Dx SmartNICs and BlueField-2 IPUs with cloud-native software, cloud adopters and innovators can benefit from hardware-accelerated, fine-grained security that improves efficiency, increases agility and lowers costs.”

ConnectX-6 Dx and BlueField-2 play a key role in distributed, zero-trust security architectures that extend traditional perimeter security to every endpoint. Integrating cutting-edge IPsec and TLS cryptographic acceleration technologies with leading open-source, upstream software solutions, Mellanox allows customers and partners to take advantage of innovative hardware acceleration capabilities in both new and existing data center environments. Both virtualized and bare metal servers benefit from secure web application delivery, east-west communication encryption, RoCE transport communication encryption and data-at-rest storage encryption, at data rates of up to 200Gb/s, and enhanced CPU efficiencies.

The emergence of cloud workload protection solutions calls for scalable and stateful packet filtering capabilities that both preserve application performance and enforce resilient security policies. Mellanox ConnectX SmartNICs and BlueField IPUs provide in-hardware security policy enforcement and connection tracking at full wire speed with up to 100X performance gains compared to non-accelerated solutions – making them ideal to boost next-generation firewalls in bare-metal, virtualized and containerized cloud environments.

As an IPU, BlueField-2 provides even more in-hardware security capabilities, including agentless micro-segmentation, advanced malware detection, deep packet inspection and application recognition, that far outperform software-only solutions. Mellanox BlueField IPUs enable the best of both worlds – the speed and flexibility of software-defined solutions, with tighter security, accelerated performance and improved efficiency by processing data in the device hardware at the I/O path.

The 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors are the first x86 data center processor that supports PCIe 4.0 and provides industry leading performance for workloads such as virtualization, database applications, and high-performance computing,” said Raghu Nambiar, corporate vice president, Data center Ecosystems & Application Engineering, AMD. “Our partnership with Mellanox, the leader in high-performance network solutions, is a natural fit for our open ecosystem strategy and we look forward to seeing our joint customers deploy Mellanox ConnectX-6 Dx SmartNICs and BlueField-2 IPUs on 2nd Gen AMD EPYC based systems.”

See the Mellanox ConnectX-6 Dx and BlueField-2 IPU in the Mellanox booth #4525 at the RSA Conference, February 24-27, Moscone Center, San Francisco.

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