Developments for hyperscalable data centers can be more efficient than more general solutions.
With the strong proliferation of data centers and their growth, the efficient interconnection of individual servers has become a critical area. Obviously, you give yourself the need for some kind of network fabric connection, but it doesn’t matter at all what will be used within a given system, as connectivity capabilities are crucial to the capabilities of an entire server.
For servers that require a more powerful network connection, there is definitely some option to relieve the load on the host CPU, and SmartNIC solutions are perhaps the best alternatives to ensure proper scaling. At the same time, there are already extra demands on hyperscalable data centers that SmartNIC may not be able to meet, and here are the DPUs (Data Processing Units) that provide more complex capabilities.
There is basically no problem with the above options, they complement each other well considering the needs of the entire market, but within extremely large data centers, factors can already be taken into account that can ensure even more efficient processing over the internal network. This is where Intel has just announced its development, the IPU, which stands for Infrastructure Processing Unit.
(source: Intel) [+]
In fact, the IPU can also be understood as a DPU, as it can perform similar tasks, the difference being that it does so in a more targeted way. The owner of a given hyperscalable data center sees the load on his system from customers, and for that, it is advisable to build an infrastructure for managing network fabric that is tailored to the needs. This ensures the desired operation as efficiently as possible.
Intel will offer more alternatives to partners with IPU designs. At the moment, an FPGA variant is available, and this has already been provided by the company to its individual customers, but later the possibilities will be expanded, and the ASIC version will also arrive. The latter is able to accelerate frequently used tasks with special circuits. Possible alternatives can also be mixed within a data center, as the software framework used by IPUs is common.
Intel’s new development can be found mostly in large, hyperscalable data centers, with better alternatives to smaller data centers being more common DPUs or SmartNIC solutions.
Source: Hírek és cikkek – PROHARDVER! by prohardver.hu.
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