Bivio 2000 Network Appliance
The Bivio product suite represents a ground-up design of a general-purpose computing architecture that is specifically optimized to the demands of emerging Packet Handling applications. The Bivio architecture was developed with one goal in mind: wire-speed execution of any Packet Handling application, at any packet size.
To achieve this, Bivio introduces a new appliance architecture that radically departs from the traditional computing architectures, while remaining true to the requirement of offering a general-purpose computing platform. The result is a general-purpose computing platform that enables Packet Handling application developers to deliver their applications at performance levels previously reserved to specialized hardware or ASIC-based designs, while maintaining the benefits of open, easily portable software development.
The key components of the Bivio architecture are as follows:
- Network Processing Card (NPC): The NPC implements an entirely programmable packet forwarding plane, and delivers on all real-time data path tasks such as traffic management, traffic shaping, packet/data modification, and policing. It performs these tasks at full wire speed by performing complex pattern or signature recognition within the header or payload of the packet.
- Application Processor Card (APC): The APC acts as the primary host for the Linux networking application(s). One APC hosts 4 fully parallelized PowerPC-based CPU subsystems, each running its own individual Linux execution environment. Each CPU subsystem features its own independent DDR400 memory subsystem and a PCI/PCI-X expansion slot that can host hardware acceleration daughter for cryptographic operations, pattern-matching, XML processing, compression, etc.
- BiviOS™: The BiviOS provides a standard Linux execution environment for rapid integration of “off-the-shelf” Linux Packet Handling applications. It also includes an integrated and extensible management system including a full-featured Command Line Interface (CLI), a Web-based GUI, redundancy and high-availability features, scalability components, and a multitude of other features and functions that together provide the application developer with a complete enterprise-class appliance platform.
- BivioAPI™: The BivioAPI provides an Application Programming Interface (API) enabling customization & further optimization of the Bivio architecture to the specific application requirements.
These components provide a complete solution, enabling Packet Handling application developers to deliver market-leading deep packet processing products.
The hallmark of the Bivio product suite is uncompromising performance. Only the Bivio architecture enables any Packet Handling application to run at wire-speed, at any packet size. Throughput, latency and jitter measurements are at levels traditionally found in specialized hardware designs rather than a flexible general-purpose computing system, making the Bivio solution suitable for the most demanding network environments.
The Bivio product suite provides robust internal and external traffic management capabilities. Internal traffic management ensures fair allocation of system resources from network traffic loads and guarantees proper load distribution among the various Application Processing CPUs. External traffic management provides wire-speed Quality of Service (QoS) functionality, including ingress policing, and egress rate limiting and traffic shaping, making the solution particularly suitable for applications that require service and traffic guarantees.
Flexibility & Programmability
The Bivio solution offers a fully programmable system, including a standard Linux execution environment enabling rapid integration of “off-the-shelf” Packet Handling applications. Most applications require as little as a few days of development to fully exploit the capabilities of the system architecture. In addition to a standard Linux environment, the BivioAPI provides extensions that enable applications to further manipulate and control the application-hardware interactions, further optimizing the performance of the system.
Redundancy & Reliability
BiviOS provides both internal and external redundancy and reliability features. Extensive internal resource parallelization is combined with monitoring and error-recovery in order to ensure the highest levels of reliability and redundancy. Built-in VRRP-based redundancy mechanisms provide chassis-level high-availability configurations in both active/active and active/standby modes.
In a radical break from traditional general-purpose architectures, the Bivio solution enables true multi-dimensional scaling utilizing patent-pending scaling technology. By extending the internal backplane between chassis, “stacks” of chassis can be created. Each stack can be configured with arbitrary numbers of APCs to scale the amount of application computational power, and arbitrary numbers of NPCs to scale the amount network processing throughput, while BiviOS provides mechanisms for scaling the set of applications the run on the system. This “3D” scaling (computational power, network throughput, and application scalability) enables Bivio to provide wire-speed execution for any Packet Handling service, at any packet size.
The Bivio system provides developers and end-users with enterprise-level management capabilities, including a full features command-line interface (CLI), Web-based GUI, SNMP MIBs, separate management ports and serial console ports. Extensibility features provide for rapid integration into existing partner application management systems.
The Best of Both Worlds
Performance and flexibility have historically been viewed as opposing goals in network system design. The emergence of Packet Handling software in networking has pushed the struggle to achieve both performance and flexibility in the same system to the forefront of the requirements of next-generation networking. The fundamental building blocks of network application designs are Packet Forwarding and Control. ASIC-based designs combine Packet Processing and Control into custom hardware, achieving performance at the expense of flexibility, development cost and complexity. At the other end of the design spectrum lie “server”-based approaches, which place Packet Processing and Control on general purpose processors, thereby retaining flexibility at the expense of performance. With the Bivio 2000, Bivio has fused these two pillars of network system design into a system that offers unmatched flexibility and uncompromising performance, proving Application Processing CPUs for Control, Network Processing components for Packet Processing, an API for these subsystems to dynamically interact, and a unique scaling technology that matches the resource requirements with the demands of the individual application and operating environment. The result is an architecture ideally suited to the needs of the emerging Packet Handling market.