Cloud services, virtualized networks, ubiquitous broadband, and high speed wireless
networks based on LTE and 5G technology are enabling a digital services transformation.
The virtualization technologies that have underpinned cloud services and virtualized
networks are now being replaced by cloud-native architectures that are significantly more
scalable. With the right CPU technology and hardware acceleration provided by smartNICs,
the latest servers deployed in hyperscale data centers or edge computing locations can
provide the performance required for a wide range of demanding applications.
SmartNICs offload network and application functions from server CPUs, dramatically
increasing network and application performance. They are fully programmable, are usually
based on field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology, and have multiple high speed
networking interfaces. SmartNICs can be programmed for specific networking functions and
applications. By deploying smartNICs, service providers can deliver significantly better
revenue-earning services with a relatively small increase in investment.
As shown in this survey developed by Heavy Reading in collaboration with Intel, many
service providers are already deploying smartNICs. These solutions are set to have a big
impact on the transition to cloud-native architectures and digital service platforms.