One of the more vexing challenges that cloud service providers routinely face is trying to scale their environments in an age when servers not only have to process application workloads, but also deal with all the overhead generated by a virtual network that virtual machines set up on servers to communicate with one another.
To address that specific issue, Mellanox Technologies this week unveiled the ConnectX-3 Pro adapter and card, which offloads the processing of virtual LANs from servers in a way that eliminates the need for tunneling and the setting up of a separate virtual network overlay.
According to Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies, the ConnectX-3 Pro currently supports both VXLAN and NVGRE approaches to network virtualization that are used by VMware and Microsoft, respectively. Shainer says the ConnectX-3 Pro is designed to offload VXLAN and NVGRE processing from servers that can now use that extra capacity to run additional application workloads.
In a forthcoming Cloud 2.0 era, Shainer says it’s only a matter of time before IT organizations find themselves managing thousands of application workloads on a more granular basis. But none of that can happen if the underlying virtual network is too difficult to manage.
By essentially embedding that capability into the physical networking environment, Mellanox is making the case of taking responsibility for network virtualization off the server and putting it back in the network where it belongs.