The network is the computer revisited

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Tuesday, June 8, 2021
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Under the raised floor tiles of data centers around the world you will find tangles of multi-colored cables and strange, other-worldly interconnects. The swill from the overflowing bitbuckets seeps its way down to this level, where even DevOps fear to venture. In the darkness of these digital depths, strange new creatures evolve. The new new breed of SmartNICs is an example. SmartNICs are similar to the familiar TOE and iSCSI cards, but the latest wave of evolution are based upon multi-core RISC-based I/O processors known as Data Processing Units, or DPUs.

This talk will cover a little project that started up just about a year ago. The Zambezi project aims to create an SMB3 Offload Engine, aimed at DPUs and SmartNICs. We will look at SMB3 message processing from the Syntactic to the Semantic layers and discuss how this processing can be broken down into layers so that much (if not all) of it can be offloaded to (general case) SmartNIC or other network infrastructure device.

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