Ethernity ACE-NIC Accelerates NFV-Based CPE, EPC Solutions

By Paula Bernier March 16, 2015

Ethernity Networks Ltd. is demonstrating its new OpenFlow-enabled hardware acceleration network interface card this week at the 2015 NFV & SDN Summit in Paris. The solution is for use in network functions virtualization-based products such as virtualized customer premises equipment and evolved packet cores, for which it can accelerate performance by up to 50 times.

Telrad Networks is among the companies using the new Ethernity platform—called the ACE-NIC—in its vEPC solutions.

"Delivering an NFV EPC running on COTS servers will complement our recently announced BreezeWAY2020 and 1010 EPC family, which are the first building blocks to our Network-in-a-Box solution," said Mark Altshuller, CTO of Telrad Networks.

Ethernity is a chip provider whose products are based on its ENET architecture. Its new ACE-NIC is a FPGA SoC card that has four 10gigabit Ethernet ports or a single 40 gigabit Ethernet port. It supports PCIe Gen3, and NVGRE and XVLAN protocols. Intel 40G Fortville is also an option with this solution.

The ACE-NIC accelerates counters and billing information, frame header manipulation and offloading, programmable frame fragmentation, QoS, and virtual switch implementation. It also has basic features including 100ms buffering, load balancing between virtual magazines, packet analyzer and generator functionality, and per frame nanosecond accuracy time stamping.

A wide variety of companies, including Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, and NEC, are now offering virtualized EPC solutions. In early 2014, Alcatel-Lucent unveiled the first of its NFV mobile applications, including the Alcatel-Lucent vEPC. Ericsson, a member of the OpenStack Foundation, also has introduced a vEPC, which became generally available late last year. And NEC early last year introduced vCPE and vEPC solutions, which the company first demonstrated at Mobile World Congress 2014.

As an article on the Alcatel-Lucent website explains, vEPC field trials and proofs of concept took place early in 2014. Over last year, NFV advancements led to greatly improved capacity and performance on such platforms. For example, according to Alcatel-Lucent, control plane subscriber scaling can now support millions of simultaneous attached users and hundreds of thousands of eNodeBs and small cells on a single virtualized mobility management entity. Meanwhile, “packet acceleration techniques have significantly increased capacity and performance of the virtualized serving and packet gateways.” 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

Executive Editor, TMC

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