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4x TRex Performance Increase for Tx & Rx

Napatech Link Capture Software
for Intel® PAC with Intel Arria® 10 GX FPGA

Solution Description

Napatech Link Capture Software for Intel® PAC
Napatech has created a hardware acceleration solution that alleviates the load on the CPU and thereby greatly increases TRex performance. This has been achieved by making the industry-leading Napatech Link™ Capture Software available for the Intel® Programmable Acceleration Card (PAC) with Intel Arria® 10 GX FPGA.

The software’s intelligent feature set offloads processing and analysis of Ethernet data from application software, while ensuring optimal use of the standard server’s resources leading to outstanding application acceleration. Other capabilities include network traffic capture at full line rate, with zero-loss packet capture, hardware timestamping and tunneling support, all on an Intel PAC.

Key Solution Features
• Line rate network throughput for all packet sizes
• Lossless capture for perfect inspection and detection
• Onboard packet buffering during micro-burst or PCIExpress bus congestion scenarios
• Advanced host memory buffer management forultra-high CPU cache performance
• Packet classification, match/action filtering andzero-copy forwarding
• Intelligent and flexible load distribution to 64 queues improving CPU cache performance by always delivering the same flows to the same cores

TRex Transmit Performance

Transmit Rate (Gbps)

  • Standard NIC
  • Intel PAC A10

Frame Size (B)

TRex No-drop Receive Performance

Receive Rate (Gbps)

  • Standard NIC
  • Intel PAC A10

Frame Size (B)

When running on the Intel PAC with Napatech Link Capture Software, TRex can generate and receive traffic at 40G line rate regardless of packet size.

Testing and validating network performance is of utmost importance to network equipment manufacturers, operators and owners. In the past, the traditional approach to testing network performance was based on proprietary traffic generators. But while such solutions have indeed proved efficient for a long series of use cases, they either fall short or prove massively cost prohibitive when it comes to complex and realistic traffic generation. To manage the cumulating density of functionalities and workloads, the industry now demands a testing regime that not only delivers outstanding performance – but also offers better scalability and drastic cost improvements.

The challenge for TRex users
TRex is an open source traffic generator developed specifically to address these shortcomings through an innovative and extendable software implementation. What differentiates TRex is its portability, cost, capacity and flexibility.

As for any other traffic generation solution, the ability for TRex to reliably generate packets at line rate across all packet sizes is paramount. Whether simply packet blasting or replaying PCAP files for testing, the ability to send traffic for small packets at the maximum speed is a prerequisite.

Traffic reception is also of critical importance. The ability to receive the generated traffic once it has traversed the Device Under Test (DUT) is the only way of measuring the effectiveness of the solution. If the traffic reception does not match the generation capabilities, testing is compromised as one cannot identify if it is the DUT that is dropping traffic or the test equipment itself.

Accelerated TRex Performance
In addressing this challenge, Napatech has created a hardware acceleration solution that greatly increases TRex performance. This has been achieved by making the Napatech Link Capture Software available as an Acceleration Stack for the Intel® Programmable Acceleration Card (PAC A10) with Intel Arria® 10 GX FPGA.

Optimized for lossless transmit and receive, the solution demonstrates substantial performance advantages for TRex compared to a standard Network Interface Card (NIC):
• 2x traffic generation performance
• 4x traffic reception performance

Turning acceleration into value
These performance advantages ultimately allow you to:
• Maximize your server performance by improving CPU utilization
• Minimize your TCO by reducing number of servers needed, thus optimizing rack space, power, cooling and operational expenses
• Diminish your time-to-resolution, thereby enabling greatly increased efficiency

TRex generates layer 4-7 traffic based on pre-processing and smart replay of real traffic templates. TRex amplifies both client and server-side traffic. When running on the Intel PAC with Napatech Link™ Capture Software, TRex can both generate and receive traffic at 40G line rate regardless of packet size. This enables scalability both of bandwidth and feature complexities, thus providing businesses a high-performance and massively cost-efficient alternative to proprietary traffic generators.

TRex Stateless functionality includes support for multiple streams, the ability to change any packet field and provides per stream statistics, latency and jitter. Advanced Stateful functionality includes support for emulating L7 traffic with fully-featured scalable TCP layer.

Test configuration
The outstanding improvements achieved with this solution were demonstrated by comparing TRex performance running on a Dell PowerEdge R740 with a standard 40G NIC card and the Intel® PAC A10.

Test configuration: dual-socket Dell R740 with Intel® Xeon® Gold 6138 2.0 GHz, 128GB RAM running CentOS 7.5.

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