back to article VMware says server sprawl is back, and SmartNICs are the solution

VMware has gone back to its roots to explain why the world needs to add a new hardware tier to datacenters. Those roots lie in the scourge of "server sprawl" – a phenomenon that was rampant in the early 2000s when applications and hardware were tightly coupled, meaning that servers were specced to handle peak loads but hardly …

  1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Just asking ....because if Extraordinary Help is needed, IT Readily Provides it

    Q: When is a global in-house problem for fixing not a global problem for fixing in-house but another opportunity for milking and bilking outside markets from the Relative Safety and Exclusive Comfort of the Phormer Private Virtual Space ?

    A: Whenever market leading product is catastrophically compromised and unable to be genuinely fixed and satisfactorily securely immaculately repaired and repatriated to server IT's One Grand AIMaster, which can easily be a Army of Grand AIMasters and Renegade Rogue Pirate Mistresses Programmed to Server Programs and Projects delivering Endless Treasure and Overwhelming Pleasure ...... or its Obverse if so needed, with Remote Demonstrators proving an Equal Innate Ability to also be both ACTive and NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive Agents/Brokers/Providers of Wanton Harmful Content.

    Is that the true VMware dilemma Project Monterey attempts to address and command and control?

  2. Nate Amsden Silver badge

    offloading storage better

    I would think offloading of storage would be better, especially given their vSAN stack. Remove the need for CPU, memory etc overhead from the host and put it on the DPU (similar to Simplivity except I assume that only offloaded CPU, also similar to what Nebulon does(I think), in fact perhaps VMware should just acquire Nebulon(I have no experience with it)).

    I assume they haven't gone that route yet because storage is more complex than networking(hence my comment about acquiring Nebulon). With these Smart NICs I haven't seen mention of abilities to offload SSL for example (perhaps they do and the news articles just haven't mentioned it). With commercial load balancers like BigIP and Netscaler for example they all have SSL offload chips(at least the hardware appliances). I could see a new type of virtual hardware you could attach to a VM to map a SSL offload "virtual DPU" or something to the VM to provide the hardware acceleration (similar to virtual GPU), so a VM running intensive SSL stuff could leverage that(provided the SSL code supported leveraging the offload).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Irony

    The last paragraph's irony is spot on, since VMware's current infrastructure software already adds a compute tax of 10-25%. VMware has little interest in controlling that since host sprawl sells more licenses.

    SmartNICs have tremendous potential but will suffer from what's possible versus what's practical. E.g., today's NICs and ToR switches have all sorts of capabilities and optimizations that mostly go unused because software solutions built around them are are seen as too complex, brittle and choice-limiting. SmartNIC success depends on them being indispensible to a single "killer app". VMware's NSX aims to be that app but it hasn't been the runaway success VMware has hoped for.

    I'm also curious how enterprise vendors see SmartINC, since it will reduce their ability to differentiate. For example, as Palo Alto and Fortinet and VMware NSX implement their firewall stacks on DPU, their dataplane performance, capabilities, and limitations will look increasingly similar. Current competitive advantages -- like PAN's ability to inspect overlay tunnels -- either won't translate to a DPU at all, or it will translate and suddenly be available to all vendors.

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