Mellanox debuts Innova IPsec 10/40G Ethernet Adapters to provide advanced network capabilities, cryptography functions



Mellanox Technologies announced Wednesday availability of its new Innova IPsec Ethernet adapter. The Innova IPsec network adapters offload and accelerate security protocols and advanced network functions, enabling the ubiquitous use of encryption across the data center with low CPU utilization and without compromising application performance.

The Innova adapters deliver seamless encryption for every server port by combining the network adapter function together with the crypto protocol offload in a single small PCIe adapter form-factor. Innova integrates the Mellanox ConnectX advanced network controller together with flexible FPGA-based IPsec protocol processing to enable an end-to-end data protection and acceleration solution. The adapters support multiple encryption and security protocols and perform the encryption/decryption operations independently from the server’s CPU, thus increasing both performance and security.

Security concerns continue to escalate in the data center, given the increase in threats, “from the inside” enabled by trends such as virtualization, micro-segmentation and cloud-hosted infrastructure.

As a result, the percentage of encrypted traffic continues to rise, now representing 60 percent or more of worldwide network traffic. This puts a significant strain on server CPU resources while fueling the demand for more cost-effective solutions that allow data center operators to scale security while maintaining server performance.

The Mellanox Innova IPsec 4 Lx EN Adapter Card provides security acceleration for IPsec-enabled networks while taking advantage of the ConnectX-4 Lx EN Network Controller’s performance, scalability and efficiency.

The constantly growing demand for security and privacy in modern data centers, private and public clouds, Web 2.0 infrastructure, and telecommunication systems, requires the use of security protocols. IPsec is a protocol suite for secure Internet Protocol (IP) communications by authenticating and encrypting each IP packet of a communication session. However, the high computing power required by the IPsec algorithms consumes expensive CPU cycles and limits network connection performance.

The Mellanox Innova IPsec 4 Lx EN adapter offloads the processing of the IPsec algorithms, frees up the CPU, and eases network bottlenecks.

“Our customers are looking for a highly integrated server adapter that solves their pressing need for network performance, efficiency and security,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing, Mellanox Technologies. “The Innova adapter provides IPsec offload to deliver complete end-to-end security for traffic moving within the data center. Combined with the intelligent network offload and acceleration engines, Innova IPsec is the ideal solution for cloud, telecommunication, Web 2.0, high-performance compute and storage infrastructures.”

By terminating the network security protocols in-line before traffic is processed by the ConnectX-4 Lx network controller, Innova unleashes all of the adapters’ offload capabilities, since many offload functions must operate on the plaintext innermost content. This approach results in lower latency and additional savings of CPU resources compared to other IPsec protocol implementations, whether through software or alternative accelerators.

Security concerns continue to escalate in the data center, given the increase in threats, “from the inside” enabled by trends such as virtualization, micro-segmentation and cloud-hosted infrastructure. As a result, the percentage of encrypted traffic continues to rise, now representing 60 percent or more of worldwide network traffic.

This puts a significant strain on server CPU resources while fueling the demand for more cost-effective solutions that allow data center operators to scale security while maintaining server performance.

Innova IPsec key features QSFP Ethernet network port and PCIe Gen3 x8 to host; 40Gbps IPsec offload for Linux and Windows; small form factor with significant reduction in host server CPU loading to support common IPsec cipher suites. It also includes support for Nvidia GPUDirect technology and high-bandwidth PCIe 3.0 x8 controller with SR-IOV support.

The Innova IPsec solution is facilitated by the Mellanox OFED driver suite as well as Open Source IPsec stack solutions such as LibreSwan. It also offers support for both Linux and Windows IPsec software interfaces ensures native integration with existing IPsec applications with no changes required in the standard software environment.

Mellanox will debut the Innova IPsec solutions at the ongoing Linley Processor Conference. The initial Innova security adapters are available now for customer evaluation, and production versions are expected in the fourth quarter of this year.

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