ASAP2 - Accelerated Switch and Packet Processing®

When deploying virtual services at scale, network admins quickly realize the high CPU utilization and low overall performance. This poor performance is mainly attributed to the virtual switch – a logical switching entity usually built into the software infrastructure.

The virtual switch is responsible for connecting Virtual Machines in a virtual network. At scale, and with increased data center traffic, this type of switching consumes precious CPU cycles.

One of the most commonly used virtual switching software solutions is Open vSwitch (OVS) which is targeted at multi-server virtualization deployments. Whether running in Kernel mode or on top of DPDK, virtual switches are plagued by:
  • Poor I/O performance
  • Unpredictable application performance
  • High CPU overhead

Mellanox ASAP2 - Accelerated Switch and Packet Processing® solution combines the performance and efficiency of server/storage networking hardware with the flexibility of virtual switching software. ASAP2 offers up to 10 times better performance than non-offloaded OVS solutions, delivering software-defined networks with the highest total infrastructure efficiency, deployment flexibility and operational simplicity.

Starting from ConnectX®-5 NICs, Mellanox supports accelerated virtual switching in server NIC hardware through the ASAP2 feature.

While accelerating the data plane, ASAP2 keeps the SDN control plane intact thus staying completely transparent to applications, maintaining flexibility and ease of deployments.