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Napatech Software Suite

Data Sheet

Napatech Software Suite provides a well-defined application programming interface as well as support for the well-known, open-source interface libpcap and the Windows variant called WinPcap. This allows programmers to quickly integrate Napatech FPGA SmartNICs for network monitoring and security applications into their system.

In addition, Napatech Software Suite provides advanced features for data sharing and merging supporting multiaccelerator and multi-application integration.

A common API is provided for all Napatech FPGA SmartNICs allowing plug-and-play operation.

An intuitive, easy-to-learn, yet powerful programming language is also provided to allow dynamic, on-the-fly configuration of filtering and intelligent multi-CPU distribution on Napatech FPGA SmartNICs.

• NTAPI: Common API for all Napatech FPGA SmartNICs
• Simple programming interface allowing fast integration
• Zero copy transfer of data to host
• Zero copy transfer of data between accelerators
• Packet-based interface providing abstraction of hardware details
• Advanced features including:
• Data merging of port data from multiple FPGA SmartNICs into a single data stream
• Data sharing of captured data between multiple customer applications without the need for replication

Napatech Software Suite is ideal for applications that require multiple high-speed ports and accelerators. Data merging functionality is provided to support accurate merging of data from multiple ports and accelerators into a single stream for analysis.

Data sharing functionality allows multiple applications to be hosted on the same server with data distributed to each application using the Napatech FPGA SmartNICs’ intelligent flow distribution capabilities.

The ability to support all types of Napatech FPGA SmartNICs with a single API allowing OEM vendors to support a range of product variants using a single application development effort.

Our comprehensive software suite ensures that our FPGA SmartNICs are widely compatible and easy to integrate.

From support for all major operating systems, to the common API for all products, we keep your learning curve to a minimum and provide an efficient migration path for next-generation network speeds. This can help you reduce time-to-market for new products, while reducing risk.

Slide Software development tools Napatech provides a number of command line tools and application example source code to be used by customers for evaluation, prototyping, diagnostics or getting a head start in application software development. Customer Applications Our customers can stay ahead of the data growth curve by creating high performance network management and security applications, based on Napatech FPGA SmartNICs. Whether you choose Linux, FreeBSD or Windows, our FPGA SmartNICs can be integrated seamlessly. For all major operating systems Commercial off-the-shelf server Using COTS servers effectively de-couples the network application from the underlying hardware allowing scalability and flexibility. Designed for ease-of-use, the Napatech programming language (NTPL) can be used within application software, in configuration scripts (for hash values and filters) or it can be executed on the fly using the command line NTPL tool. On the fly reconfiguration of features and capabilities 3rd party software A growing range of partners provide value adding applications. One interface for quick and easy integration We provide one application programming interface for all our FPGA SmartNICs to reduce integration time for new products. The hardware abstraction it provides also allows for migration to higher speeds by simply replacing the hardware.

The libpcap and WinPcap packet capture interfaces are widely used interfaces in open-source applications, such as Wireshark, Ethereal, TCPdump, TCPreplay and more. libpcap is available on Linux and FreeBSD and WinPcap is available on Windows. They provide excellent starting points for development of network monitoring and analysis appliances.

libpcap and WinPcap are supported by the NTAPI interface allowing existing implementations using libpcap or WinPcap to quickly use Napatech FPGA SmartNICs. The NTAPI provides additional features that are not available via the libpcap or WinPcap interfaces, but can be configured using the Napatech Programming Language (NTPL).

Napatech Software Suite supports the Napatech Application Programming Interface (NTAPI), which is a packet-based interface designed to make programming and integration quicker and easier. While NTAPI is packet-based, it also supports a segment-based mode.

The NTAPI interface provides a hardware abstraction, so programmers do not need to know or manage details of the individual accelerators, which in turn reduces the complexity and potential for errors.

The NTAPI interface is thus ideal for system configurations where multiple FPGA SmartNICs are used. The accelerator ports can be treated individually or can be merged in groups, allowing more efficient data management and distribution.

libpcap and WinPcap are widely used interfaces, which makes integration of Napatech FPGA SmartNICs quick and easy. However, to fully benefit from the acceleration and off-load features provided by Napatech FPGA SmartNICs, it is recommended that the Napatech NTAPI interface is used. In addition, NTAPI provides a simple interface where many of the details are managed by Napatech Software Suite and multi-accelerator configurations are easily supported including extra features for data merging of multiple ports and data sharing between multiple host applications.

The following table provides a brief overview of the differences between the interfaces.

Feature libpcap and WinPcap libpcap and WinPcap with NTPL Napatech Software Suite NTAPI
Zero copy transfer to host (OS bypass)
Zero copy transfer between accelerators
Merging of port data from a single accelerator
Merging of port data from multiple FPGA SmartNICs ●*
Data sharing between multiple applications
Packet classification
Advanced filters
Packet coloring / tagging
Hash key generation
Intelligent multi-CPU distribution
Local retransmit
Host-based transmit
* Best performance

NTPL is an easy-to-understand text-based configuration language, which abstracts the details of accelerator hardware implementation from the application developer allowing faster code development.

The NTPL language can be used for configuration of features on the SmartNIC, such as filters, hash key generation, deduplication and local retransmit.

NTPL is designed for on-the-fly configuration of Napatech SmartNIC features. Commands can be sent using a tool provided by Napatech. NTPL can also be used to configure filters when using a libpcap interface.

The following operating systems are supported by Napatech Software Suite.

Feature Versions Napatech Software Suite
Linux 2.6.18 or later 2.6.x releases inclusive 64-bit
3.0 to 3.19 inclusive 64-bit
4.3 to 4.13 inclusive 64-bit
Windows Server 2016 64 bit
libcap 1.6.2
WinPcap 4.1.3
DPDK 17.11
Additional operating system support is constantly added. Contact your sales representative for more information on planned operating system support.
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