NVIDIA Accelerates Open Data Center Innovation

NVIDIA co-founds Linux Foundation project to democratize innovation in the data center; further opens NVIDIA DOCA data processing unit software to software providers, hardware makers and other vendors.
by Ami Badani

NVIDIA today became a founding member of the Linux Foundation’s Open Programmable Infrastructure (OPI) project, while making its NVIDIA DOCA networking software APIs widely available to foster innovation in the data center.

Businesses are embracing open data centers, which require applications and services that are easily integrated with other solutions for simplified, lower-cost and sustainable management. Moving to open NVIDIA DOCA will help develop and nurture broad and vibrant DPU ecosystems and power unprecedented data center transformation.

The OPI project aims to create a community-driven, standards-based, open ecosystem for accelerating networking and other data center infrastructure tasks using DPUs.

DOCA includes drivers, libraries, services, documentation, sample applications and management tools to speed up and simplify the development and performance of applications. It allows for flexibility and portability for BlueField applications written using accelerated drivers or low-level libraries, such as DPDK, SPDK, Open vSwitch or Open SSL. We plan to continue this support. As part of OPI, developers will be able to create a common programming layer to support many of these open drivers and libraries  with DPU acceleration.

DOCA library APIs are already publicly available and documented for developers. Open licensing of these APIs will ensure that applications developed using DOCA will support BlueField DPUs as well as those from other providers.

DOCA has always been built on an open foundation. Now NVIDIA is opening the APIs to the DOCA libraries and plans to add OPI support.

Expanding Use of DPUs

AI, containers and composable infrastructure are increasingly important for enterprise and cloud data centers. This is driving the use of DPUs in servers to support software-defined, hardware-accelerated networking, east-west traffic and zero-trust security.

Only the widespread deployment of DPUs such as NVIDIA BlueField can support the ability to offload, accelerate and isolate data center workloads, including networking, storage, security and DevOps management.

NVIDIA’s history of open innovation over the decades includes engaging with leading consortiums, participating in standards committees and contributing to a range of open source software and communities.

We contribute frequently to open source and open-license projects and software such as the Linux kernel, DPDK, SPDK, NVMe over Fabrics, FreeBSD, Apache Spark, Free Range Routing, SONiC, Open Compute Project and other areas covering networking, virtualization, containers, AI, data science and data encryption.

NVIDIA is often among the top three code contributors to many releases of Linux and DPDK. And we’ve historically included an open source version of our networking drivers in the Linux kernel.

With OPI, customers, ISVs, infrastructure appliance vendors and systems integrators will be able to create applications for BlueField DPUs using DOCA to gain the best possible performance and easiest developer experience for accelerated data center infrastructure.