What does the world of networking and the George R.R. Martin created world of sword & sorcery have in common? More than you might think.
Here at Netcope, most of us are fans of HBO’s megahit Game of Thrones. All the fighting and intrigues in Westeros is almost as exciting as the world of packet processing on high-speed networks. Almost. So if you are a fan of the TV fantasy saga, but find our product portfolio description a bit perplexing and want to get a better grip on what we are about quickly, this article is for you.
NP4 as Jon Snow
*** SPOILER ALERT (for the upcoming season of Netcope, not Game of Thrones) ***
The analogy between the show’s archetypal truth-teller and do-gooder Jon Snow and our latest product NP4 can be summed up in just a few words: they are both ahead of the game. Jon Snow is the first character to realize that the threat of the white walkers is the only fight that matters. In our arguably less exciting world of high-speed networking we don't have to fight icicle-throwing medieval zombies, but we also have to fight an ultimate battle, the only fight that matters: reducing the customer’s cost of the final product. And in this aspect, NP4 shines. It is a cloud-based service that helps our customers to drastically reduce the cost of FPGA programming by enabling higher-level language abstractions, while unlocking the full flexibility of FPGAs.
But the analogy runs deeper. Jon Snow knows that he cannot defeat the army of the dead by brute force alone, so he needs to use smarts. And he uses the right technology for the job, dragonglass, a silver bullet to the whitewalker problem. In similar fashion, NP4 uses the right technology for the job: the recently developed P4 programming language. P4 is a high-level language agnostic to the underlying technology that is relatively easy to grasp, so network operators commanding P4 do not need assistance of HDL proficiency. They can simply upload their P4 code to the online portal and NP4 will provide them with firmware synthesised with the desired functionality in no time, silver bulleting the problem of FPGA programming for 100 Gbps target speeds.
Inflexible communication service providers, beware. Winter is coming!
NFB-200G2QL, NFB-100G2Q, NFB-100G2C as Rhaegal, Drogon, Viserion
The similarity of our smart NICs and the 3 dragons? Well they are all epically powerful beasts. The dragons’ mythical abilities to breath fire, fly and all the other sword and sorcery stuff makes them the shows most powerful creatures by brute force alone. Analogically, NFBs, especially our latest NFB-200G2QL shines on the field of sheer performance, manifested in the fact that the raw throughput of NFB’s is stretched to the absolute limits, delivering line rate processing and capture with zero packet loss even at the shortest packets at 200 Gbps. Just like the dragons’ ability to scorch the battlefield gives the Dragon Queen unique advantage over her enemies, NFB’s support DPDK on maximum theoretical throughput, giving an unprecedented advantage to anyone who would wish to implement NFB’s in an NFV environment.
NDK as Daenerys Targaryen
The dragons are powerful beasts, but they are just beasts needing someone who tames and commands them, gives them direction. And in a similar way, NFBs are ”just” pieces of hardware that need some added intelligence to unleash their full potential. Netcope Development Kit is a maternal piece of firmware with which all the firmware IP cores have been developed, helping us command armies of incoming packets, just like the maternal figure of the Dragon Queen with the help of her dragons uses her intrinsic power and intelligence to command the Dothraki hordes.
Tradecope as Tyrion Lannister
Looking over Netcope product portfolio, one might get the feeling that Tradecope is the underdog, the dwarf on the list. The witty dwarf Tyrion has a bragging right to many great achievements, and he has his cunning and brilliance to thank for it. As a de-facto ruler of the city of King’s Landing he looked at the city's books, saw what's up with the gold and got it back in order even defending it from an invading army. This is how Tradecope works; do you want your books to sparkle with gold? Leave that to Tradecope, a smart FPGA platform for electronic trading. Take your proven trading strategy, embed it in the FPGA using the direct C++ to FPGA pipeline and enjoy the latency pushed down even below 1 μs. Yes, it is that fast, just like Tyrion’s wit.
Tyrion has served many masters and all of them got richer and more powerful in result. The same can be stated about Tradecope, read a success story on how it has doubled the profits of one of our US based client.
Netcope Session Filter as Arya Stark
Swift and deadly, that's what they both are. Arya has an dagger to grind for all those who have caused harm to the House Stark. And as we’ve seen in the very opening of the latest season, once you get on her list of people to inflict vengeance upon, there is little help for you, no matter how powerful you are or how many of you there are. Netcope Session Filter (NSF) is equally merciless. Give NSF a list of enemies of a DPI application such as Youtube and Netflix videos that would busy the application to no avail, and NSF shall dispose of them efficiently and rapidly. And by rapidly we mean in-real-time-rapidly. For none shall busy Lord Xeon from the House Intel with the tedious task of inspecting every single video packet. His talents are much better suited for the DPI inspection of intrusion candidates such as VoIP or DNS.
Netcope Packet Capture as Bronn
A straightforward sword for hire that will make sure you travel safely just about anywhere you go. With killer one liners as an added bonus. Just like a machine that captures any packets you tell it to. We are of course talking about Netcope Packet Capture (NPC). Sure, Bronn’s methods are bit less sophisticated than Arya’s, but you would still pay him loads of gold, or maybe even a castle, to have him by your side in a brawl. NPC isn’t as sophisticated as NSF, as it filters the data on per-packet basis, while NSF filters it on per-flow basis. But it is an elite filtering machine that captures packets at wire speed even at 100G networks. Ok, maybe without the one liners, but we are open to any suggestions of our customers.