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NVIDIA Delivers DOCA SDK to Accelerate and Secure Next Generation Data Center

Today NVIDIA released the NVIDIA DOCA SDK, a Data Center-on-a-Chip Architecture that provides developers with an easy way to program the BlueField DPU.

Modern data centers are software-defined, agile, and built to serve highly distributed workloads from cloud to edge. But the traditional software defined data center approach imposes a significant performance tax that can easily consume 30% or more of server CPU cores*. To solve this problem, the NVIDIA BlueField Data Processing Unit (DPU) offloads, accelerates and isolates datacenter infrastructure while enabling breakthrough networking, security and storage performance.

DOCA Unlocks Data Center Innovation with the BlueField DPU

BlueField-2 DPUs and DOCA enable customers to transform their data centers into state-of-the-art virtual private clouds with public cloud scalability that are accelerated, fully programmable and secure. DOCA unlocks data center innovation by enabling developers to rapidly create applications and services on top of NVIDIA DPUs, leveraging industry-standard APIs. Together, DOCA and the BlueField-2 DPU enable the development of applications that deliver breakthrough networking, security, and storage performance, on a comprehensive, open development platform.  Applications developed on DOCA and the BlueField-2 isolate data center infrastructure services from the application workload domain. This offers significant improvements in application performance, security, and efficiency, giving developers the tools needed to realize the optimal secure, accelerated data center.

DOCA also enables the BlueField DPU to generate time tagged telemetry for all server data traffic. This enables every server to mirror traffic and operate as a network tap and monitor selected or even all data flows. This robust zero-CPU-load telemetry creates a time synchronized data center that improves security and is ideal for optimizing distributed application performance.

DOCA includes support for provisioning, updating, and monitoring hundreds or thousands of DPUs across the datacenter. Now, every server can enjoy hardware-based offload, acceleration and isolation of networking, security, storage, and infrastructure management.  

DOCA enables  data center infrastructure services to be offloaded to the BlueField DPU , thereby freeing up cores to enable the CPU to focus on business applications. DOCA exposes these hardware-accelerated functions that deliver the equivalent performance of 30+ CPU cores, resulting in improved efficiency and significant server cost savings. 

In addition, the DPU creates an isolated data center infrastructure services domain separate from the application processing domain. In the event a host is compromised, the isolation layer between the security control agents and the compromised host prevents the attack from spreading throughout the data center.  

And finally, the DPU decouples application and infrastructure dependencies. Often application dependencies will prevent migration to the latest operating system kernel, thus forcing IT administrators to perform manual piecemeal security patches. Decoupling the infrastructure and application domains allows cloud administrators to automate data center security updates, without any impact on application dependencies.

DOCA simplifies the developer journey by creating frameworks to program accelerated applications running on the DPU, with APIs, libraries and sample code designed to provide the best efficiency and performance. DOCA empowers application developers to start building DPU applications immediately, and with its multi-generational support, developers can be confident that applications developed today will consistently run with added performance benefits on all future generations of BlueField.  

Finally, the DPU and DOCA ecosystem of partners is growing rapidly, enabling access to best-in-class network, security and storage applications from industry leaders today.

The DOCA 1.0 Release supports the following:

  • Libraries and reference code for Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and a stateful load balancer using  DOCA Flow
  • Storage virtualization with NVMe SNAP for both bare metal and virtualized servers
  • Network acceleration capabilities for both bare metal and virtualized servers

NVIDIA SDK Manager support for DOCA

  • API references and documentation 
  • Additional new features enabled in NVIDIA’s DOCA Runtime and BlueField OS Release 3.6 
  • DPU Automated Provisioning Tool 1.0 (coming soon)

DOCA is built on open APIs such as DPDK for networking and security, UCX RDMA and SPDK for storage. It’s fully compatible with all major operating systems and hypervisors.  Applications written with DOCA will run seamlessly on the BlueField-2 and future NVIDIA DPUs.

To learn more about DOCA 1.0 or to join our early access program, please visit our DOCA web page or register for any of our upcoming GTC sessions.

To register for related GTC 2021 session, please select here:

You can also read our latest DOCA Developer Blog and related blog posts here:

To participate in the upcoming, May 24 – 25th DOCA Hackathon Europe, please find the latest details here.

*Microsoft Azure Accelerated Networking Whitepaper