This is one of those interesting announcements. Fungible announced its FC200 DPU adding a dual 100GbE NVMe/TCP adapter. This announcement is helping to scale its NVMe/TCP offerings as that becomes a hotter industry topic. The company previously announced the S1 DPU and the FC200, but it is opening up more about the technology behind them.
Fungible FC200, FC100, and FC50 DPU Adapters Launched
First off, the new adapters are built on the Fungible S1 DPU. This is a lower power and cost DPU that is designed to go on a PCIe card as a storage initiator.
At STH we previously looked at the Fungible DPUs in Fungible F1 DPU for Distributed Compute. We then did a hands-on look at the company’s F1-based storage arrays.
You can learn more about the Fungible FS1600, which uses the larger F1 DPU, in our Fungible DPU-based Storage Cluster Hands-on Look.
This announcement is for the Fungible S1 DPU. Specifically, the Fungible FC200 utilizes the S1 DPU to provide storage initiator features to a host server. Effectively, using NVMe/TCP, one can plug in the server DPU, and offload high-speed storage over a traditional network. The FC200 uses the DPU to provide all of the acceleration then present storage to the host system. That allows Fungible to make traditional servers disk-less.
While the FC200 uses 2x 100G connections. Our sense is that this is using a DD connector to get the density and based on the pictures. The FC100 has 2x 50G.
And the FC50 has two ports of 25GbE.
There are a few key items to note. First, the S1 DPU looks relatively large compared to many 25GbE/ 100GbE adapters we see today. Second, one can see the DRAM packages below the S1 DPU on these cards. One must remember, this DPU is running its own OS so it needs its own memory.
For specs, the best we could find is:
- Power: < 75W
- Storage Initiator
- Supports remote boot of host and guest (VM) OSes (NVMeoTCP)
- High-performance bare-metal virtualized NIC with multiple accelerators:
- NVMe/TCP Storage Initiator Offload
- IP/TCP/UDP inner and outer Checksum offload
- LSO/TSO Offload
- Receive Side Steering (RSS)
- VXLAN Encapsulation/Decapsulation
- VLAN Insertion/Stripping
- Security Accelerators
- Lookaside Crypto (PF)
- Jumbo frame support (up to 16KB)
- Storage Initiator
If you saw our What is a DPU or DPU vs SmartNIC and the STH NIC Continuum Framework, Fungbile’s new cards are very interesting. DPU vendors seem to be focusing on a few key applications. The Intel Intel Mount Evans DPU IPU is designed for providing an alternative to AWS Nitro cards today, but it is not openly available on the market at this point. NVIDIA has its BlueField-2 DPU and is focusing on firewalls and network security. Marvell is focusing on network acceleration. Fungible is focused more on providing a storage experience. We will quickly note that many other vendors are offering, or will offer disk-less storage to servers.
Overall, this DPU space is very exciting. Currently, Fungible is focused on selling storage, networking (Juniper), and compute nodes (Supermicro Ultra servers) to create private clouds. It will be interesting to see how this storage-centric model fares given competition from companies looking to sell just the DPUs into the market.