FPGA-Accelerated Line-Rate Packet Processing Without Hassles of Programing FPGAs
BittWare today announced StreamSleuth, a 100 GbE network packet processing appliance at the RSA Conference, booth S312. StreamSleuth provides FPGA-accelerated monitoring, filtering, and routing at 100 GbE line rate, integrated with a Xeon E5 server for monitoring or packet injection—all in a 1U box. StreamSleuth’s pre-configured FPGA provides advanced filtering designed to augment ASIC-based commodity switching hardware—monitoring and even mitigating attacks that software-only solutions simply can’t handle at 100 gigabit speeds.
“Monitoring and defending 100 gigabit networks is challenging, and that’s why we’ve targeted StreamSleuth at this emerging market,” said Craig Lund, Vice-President and General Manager of the newly-formed BittWare Network Products group. “We’re combining FPGA performance with an API and GUI that network engineers can easily configure using standard BPF/pcap filters. StreamSleuth ensures that the most advanced datacenters stay secure at 100 GbE speeds.”
Today’s datacenters face sophisticated attacks designed to exploit limitations in commodity ASIC-based firewalls and switches. At 10G speeds, software mitigation fills this gap, but at 100G the strain on even the fastest CPUs makes security untenable.
The promise of FPGA reconfigurable hardware has been proposed as a solution, but these devices are notoriously difficult to program, requiring specialized engineers. Addressing both the 100G software limitation and the complexity of FPGA programming were key design goals of StreamSleuth.
The StreamSleuth solution uses a powerful Xilinx UltraScale+ FPGA, but it’s pre-configured with line-rate filtering, load balancing, and routing—no FPGA engineer is required. Users write standard BPF/pcap filters, which take effect instantly in the terabit router inside the FPGA. A built-in web GUI or API defines filters and routes, giving users the opportunity to add filters either manually, or via Python scripting or C code. For software mitigation, packet injection, and more complex analysis, StreamSleuth can route packets via Intel’s DPDK to a high-end Xeon server.
Use modes for StreamSleuth include acting as a network sensor or monitor, as an active monitor with packet injection, or as a supplemental firewall which can be configured to plug holes in standard firewalls. Front ports include 4x100 GbE (with only two used for most applications), and twenty 10 GbE ports for external monitoring or injecting packets back to a datacenter switch. Dual power supplies and vapor cooling are used within the 1U form factor box.
StreamSleuth is the first product from the recently announced BittWare Network Products group, which was formed to focus on 100 GbE—and beyond—solutions for sophisticated datacenters, OEMs, and VARs. BittWare is showcasing StreamSleuth at the RSA Conference, booth S312.
BittWare provides high-performance PCIe boards and boxes with the latest FPGA technologies. Products are manufactured for Compute & Data Center, Military & Aerospace, Government, Instrumentation & Test, Financial Services, and Broadcast & Video customers.