Data Center / Cloud

Bolster Network, Storage, and Security Infrastructure Services with NVIDIA DOCA 1.3

NVIDIA DOCA libraries simplify the development process of BlueField DPU applications

The NVIDIA DOCA software framework provides a comprehensive, open development platform to accelerate the creation of DPU applications. DOCA continues to gain momentum and push the boundaries of the data center to offload, accelerate, and isolate network, storage, security, and management infrastructure. The release of the NVIDIA DOCA 1.3 software framework focuses on new features and enhancements of the software.

Key capabilities of DOCA 1.3

  • DOCA FLOW Lib with Optimized Flow Insertion
  • DOCA Communications Channel Library
  • DOCA Regex Library
  • DOCA App Shield SDK
  • OVN IPsec Encryption Full Offload
  • DOCA Services additions and enhancements include:
    • DOCA Telemetry
    • DOCA Host Based Networking
    • DOCA Flow Inspector

DOCA FLOW with Optimized Flow Insertion 

DOCA FLOW is an API that serves as an abstraction layer API for network acceleration. DOCA FLOW is the most fundamental API for building generic SDN execution pipelines in hardware.  

The main goal of DOCA FLOW is to provide a simple, complete framework for fast packet processing in data plane applications. The API provides a set of libraries for specific environments through the creation of an abstraction layer. DOCA FLOW makes it easy to develop HW-accelerated applications that have a match on up to two layers of tunneled packets.

With the addition of Optimized Flow Insertion (OFI), DOCA FLOW now offers a new way to manage the packet steering table of the DPU, offering several additional benefits. These include an increased flow insertion rate with more than a 10X performance increase for scaling to over 1M rules/sec. An improved security posture that eliminates the ability to hijack the underlying driver, and more flexibility are also key features.

DOCA Communications Channel

This release also introduces the DOCA Communications Channel for secure, flexible, and efficient application offload. DOCA Communications Channel is for isolated communication between the host software and the DOCA services running on the DPU. This gives, for example, Windows VM the ability to securely communicate with the service on the DPU Arm processors, without leveraging the regular network stack and risking exposure to malicious activity. Examples of DOCA services benefiting from this communication method include streaming services, Telemetry, App Shield monitoring, Remote APIs Orchestration, and Flow Inspection.

Regex Library

Regular expression, also known as Regex, is a standard pattern-matching tool used in many scripting languages. With it, you can create filters that can match patterns of text, rather than just single words or phrases. Regex was designed for high throughput, low latency Deep Packet Inspection applications that require packet payload inspection and anomaly detection, which can be achieved using RegEx pattern matching and string matching. The DOCA Regex Library is an important security and telemetry function that is now available in DOCA 1.3.

DOCA App Shield

DOCA App Shield was introduced in DOCA 1.2 for early access developers and has been enhanced in the DOCA 1.3 release.  

App Shield provides host monitoring, for cybersecurity vendors to create accelerated intrusion detection system solutions to identify an attack on any physical or virtual machine. It can feed data application status to security information and event management or extended detection and response tools. It can also enhance forensic investigations and incident response.

Security teams can protect their application processes, continuously validate integrity, and detect malicious activity with App Shield. If an attacker kills the machine security agent’s processes, App Shield can isolate the compromised host and prevent the malware from accessing confidential data or spreading to other resources. App Shield is an important advancement in the fight against cybercrime and an effective tool for zero-trust security.  

DOCA 1.3 now offers the App Shield Lib with a reference application and a supporting user’s guide for early access members.

OVN IPsec encryption full offload

DOCA 1.3 includes support for existing OVN deployments to accelerate IPsec datapath packet processing. OVN networks tunnel packets between physical devices and provides a single global configuration option for IPsec encryption for all OVN tunneled traffic in the network. With DOCA 1.3, drivers and runtime components have been updated to offload IPSec packet encryption and decryption and HMAC authentication, all with zero host CPU utilization based on the BlueField DPU. 

Host Based Networking

Host Based Networking (HBN) on the BlueField DPU helps manage and monitor traffic between VMs or containers on the same node. It also analyzes and encrypts (or decrypts then analyzes) traffic to and from the node—tasks that no ToR switch can perform.

HBN with BlueField DPUs revolutionizes how customers build and think about data center networks with a simplification of the ToR switch requirements as more intelligence is placed on the DPU. BlueField also provides an isolated environment for network policy configuration and enforcement, without software or dependencies on the host. 

Additional DOCA 1.3 SDK updates

  • LAG with Multi-host support
  • VirtIO enhancements


DOCA supports an open ecosystem for developers by providing industry-standard open APIs and frameworks and continuous improvements of DOCA Libs and services. To learn more about the community, or contribute to the innovation on the NVIDIA NGC catalog, join us on our forum.

Watch the following on-demand GTC sessions to learn more about DOCA 

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