Archive for the ‘Data Center’ Category

Posted on

A Marvell-ous Hack Indeed – Winning the Hearts of SONiC Users

By Kishore Atreya, Director of Product Management, Marvell

Recently the Linux Foundation hosted its annual ONE Summit for open networking, edge projects and solutions. For the first time, this year’s event included a “mini-summit” for SONiC, an open source networking operating system targeted for data center applications that’s been widely adopted by cloud customers. A variety of industry members gave presentations, including Marvell’s very own Vijay Vyas Mohan, who presented on the topic of Extensible Platform Serdes Libraries. In addition, the SONiC mini-summit included a hackathon to motivate users and developers to innovate new ways to solve customer problems. 

So, what could we hack?

At Marvell, we believe that SONiC has utility not only for the data center, but to enable solutions that span from edge to cloud. Because it’s a data center NOS, SONiC is not optimized for edge use cases. It requires an expensive bill of materials to run, including a powerful CPU, a minimum of 8 to 16GB DDR, and an SSD. In the data center environment, these HW resources contribute less to the BOM cost than do the optics and switch ASIC. However, for edge use cases with 1G to 10G interfaces, the cost of the processor complex, primarily driven by the NOS, can be a much more significant contributor to overall system cost. For edge disaggregation with SONiC to be viable, the hardware cost needs to be comparable to that of a typical OEM-based solution. Today, that’s not possible.

Challenge accepted! Marvell’s team of “Marvellous Hackers,” including Ravindranath CK, Antony Rheneus, Jithender Reddy, Maulik Patel, and Satheesh Kumar Karra, set out to solve SONiC’s footprint problem.

Over the course of the two-day hackathon, the team was able to reduce image size by 20 percent and memory utilization by 5 percent.

cost-effective SONiC solution

The judges were impressed – the “Marvellous Hackers” won the “Most User Wanted” category out of a field of 23 teams and over 80 participants. This recognition confirms that the greater market wants a smaller footprint, more cost-effective SONiC solution. To learn more about our winning idea, watch this overview video.

Stay tuned for the next blog to learn how the team achieved this impressive result!

Posted on

Designing energy efficient chips

By Rebecca O'Neill, Global Head of ESG at Marvell

Today is Energy Efficiency Day. Energy, specifically the electricity consumption required to power our chips, is something that is top of mind here at Marvell. Our goal is to reduce power consumption of products with each generation for set capabilities.

Our products play an essential role in powering data infrastructure spanning cloud and enterprise data centers, 5G carrier infrastructure, automotive vehicles, and industrial and enterprise networking. When we design our products, we focus on innovative features that deliver new capabilities while also improving performance, capacity and security to ultimately improve energy efficiency during product use.

These innovations help make the world’s data infrastructure more efficient and, by extension, reduce our collective impact on climate change. The use of our products by our customers contributes to Marvell’s Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions, which is our biggest category of emissions.

(more…)

Posted on

Low Power DSP-Based Transceivers for Data Center Optical Fiber Communications

By Radha Nagarajan, SVP and CTO, Optical and Copper Connectivity Business Group

As the volume of global data continues to grow exponentially, data center operators often confront a frustrating challenge: how to process a rising tsunami of terabytes within the limits of their facility’s electrical power supply – a constraint imposed by the physical capacity of the cables that bring electric power from the grid into their data center.

Fortunately, recent innovations in optical transmission technology – specifically, in the design of optical transceivers – have yielded tremendous gains in energy efficiency, which frees up electric power for more valuable computational work.

Recently, at the invitation of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, my Marvell  colleagues Ilya Lyubomirsky, Oscar Agazzi and I published a paper detailing these technological breakthroughs, titled Low Power DSP-based Transceivers for Data Center Optical Fiber Communications.

(more…)

Posted on

Marvell and Los Alamos National Laboratory Demonstrate High-Bandwidth Capability for HPC Storage Workloads in the Data Center with Ethernet-Bunch-Of-Flash (EBOF) Platform

By Khurram Malik, Senior Manager, Technical Marketing, Marvell

As data growth continues at a tremendously rapid pace, data centers have a strong demand for scalable, flexible, and high bandwidth utilization of storage solutions. Data centers need an efficient infrastructure to meet the growing requirements of next-generation high performance computing (HPC), machine learning (ML)/artificial intelligence (AI), composable disaggregated infrastructure (CDI), and storage expansion shelf applications which necessitate scalable, high performance, and cost-efficient technologies. Hyperscalers and storage OEMs tend to scale system-level performance linearly, driven by the number of NVMe SSDs that plug into the system. However, current NVMe-oF storage target Just-A-Bunch-Of-Flash (JBOF) architecture connects fast performance NVMe SSDs behind the JBOF components, causing system-level performance bottlenecks due to CPU, DRAM, PCIe switch and smartNIC bandwidth. In addition, JBOF architecture requires a fixed ratio of CPU and SSDs which results in underutilized resources. Another challenge with JBOF architecture is the scalability of CPU, DRAM, and smartNIC devices does not match the total bandwidth of corresponding NVMe SSDs in the system due to the overall system cost overhead and thus, impacts system-level performance.

Marvell introduced its industry-first NVMe-oF to NVMe SSD converter controller, the 88SN2400, as a data center storage solution application. It enables the industry to introduce EBOF storage architecture which provides an innovative approach to address JBOF architecture challenges, and truly disaggregate storage from the compute. EBOF architecture replaces JBOF bottleneck components like CPUs, DRAM and smartNICs with Ethernet switch and terminates NVMe-oF either on the bridge or Ethernet SSD. Marvell is enabling NAND vendors to offer Ethernet SSD products. EBOF architecture allows scalability, flexibility, and full utilization of PCIe NVMe drives.

(more…)

Posted on

Arm processors in the Data Center

By Raghib Hussain, Chief Strategy Officer and Executive Vice President, Networking and Processors Group

Last week, Marvell announced a change in our strategy for ThunderX, our Arm-based server-class processor product line. I’d like to take the opportunity to put some more context around that announcement, and our future plans in the data center market.

ThunderX is a product line that we started at Cavium, prior to our merger with Marvell in 2018. At Cavium, we had built many generations of successful processors for infrastructure applications, including our Nitrox security processor and OCTEON infrastructure processor. These processors have been deployed in the world’s most demanding data-plane applications such as firewalls, routers, SSL-acceleration, cellular base stations, and Smart NICs. Today, OCTEON is the most scalable and widely deployed multicore processor in the market.

(more…)