Fujitsu Develops WAN Acceleration Technology Utilizing FPGA Accelerators

Industry’s fastest effective transfer rate of up to 40Gbps, over a 10Gbps line

TOKYO, Dec 11, 2017 – Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced the development of WAN acceleration technology that can deliver transfer speeds up to 40Gbps for migration of large volumes of data between clouds, using servers equipped with field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).
Connections in wide area networks (WANs) between clouds are moving from 1Gbps lines to 10Gbps lines, but with the recent advance of digital technology, including IoT and AI, there is an even greater demand for faster high-speed data transfers as huge volumes of data are collected in the cloud. Until now the effective transfer speed of WAN connections has been raised using techniques to reduce the volume of data, such as compression and deduplication. However, with WAN lines of 10Gbps there are enormous volumes of data to be processed, and existing WAN acceleration technologies usable in cloud servers have not been able to sufficiently raise the effective transfer rate.

Figure 1 : Use of WAN acceleration technology in a cloud environment
Figure 1 : Use of WAN acceleration technology in a cloud environment

Fujitsu Laboratories has now developed WAN acceleration technology capable of real-time operation even with speeds of 10Gbps or higher. WAN acceleration technology is achieved with a dedicated computational unit specialized for a variety of processing, such as feature value calculations and compression processing, mounted onto an FPGA equipped on a server, and in tandem with this, by enabling highly parallel operation of the computational units by supplying data at the appropriate times based on the predicted completion of each computation.
In a test environment where this technology was deployed on servers that use FPGAs, and where the servers were connected with 10Gbps lines, Fujitsu Laboratories confirmed that this technology achieved effective transfer rates of up to 40Gbps, the highest performance in the industry. With this technology, it has become possible to transfer data at high-speeds between clouds, including data sharing and backups, enabling the creation of next-generation cloud services that share and utilize large volumes of data across a variety of companies and locations.
Fujitsu Laboratories aims to deploy this technology, capable of use in cloud environments, as an application loaded on an FPGA-equipped server. It is continuing evaluations in practical environments with the goal of commercializing this technology during fiscal 2018.
Fujitsu Laboratories will announce details of this technology at the 2017 International Conference on Field-Programmable Technology (FPT 2017), an international conference to be held in Melbourne, Australia on December 11-13.
Development Background
As the cloud has grown in recent years, there has been a movement to increase data and server management and maintenance efficiency by migrating data (i.e., internal documents, design data, and email) that had been managed on internal servers to the cloud. In addition, as shown by the spread in the use of digital technology such as IoT and AI, there are high expectations for the ways that work and business will be transformed by the analysis and use of large volumes of data, including camera images from factories and other on-site locations, and log data from devices. Given this, there has been explosive growth in the volume of data passing through WAN lines between clouds, spurring a need for next-generation WAN acceleration technology capable of huge data transfers at high-speed between clouds.
WAN acceleration technologies improve effective transfer speeds by reducing the volume of data through compression or deduplication of the data to be transferred. When transferring data at even higher speeds using 10Gbps network lines, the volume of data needing to be processed is so great that the compression and deduplication processing speed in the server bottlenecks. Therefore, in order to improve real-time operation, there is a need for either CPUs that can operate at higher speeds, or for WAN acceleration technology with faster processing speeds.
About the Newly Developed Technology
Fujitsu Laboratories has now developed WAN acceleration technology that can achieve real-time operation usable in the cloud even with speeds of 10Gbps or more, using server-mounted FPGAs as accelerators. Efficient operations with WAN acceleration technology are accomplished by using an FPGA to process a portion of the processing for which the computation is heavy and for which it is difficult to improve processing speed in the CPU, when performing compression or deduplication for WAN acceleration processing, and by efficiently connecting the CPU with the FPGA accelerator. Details of the technology are as follows.
1. FPGA parallelization technology using highly parallel dedicated computational units
Fujitsu Laboratories has developed FPGA parallelization technology that can significantly reduce the processing time required for data compression and deduplication by deploying dedicated computational units specialized for data partitioning, feature value calculation, and lossless compression processing in a FPGA in a highly parallel configuration, and by enabling highly parallel operation of the computational units by delivering data at the appropriate times based on predictions of the completion of each calculation.
2. Technology to optimize the flow of processing between CPU and FPGA
Previously, in determining whether to apply lossless compression to data based on the identification of duplication in that data, it was necessary to read the data twice, both before and after the duplication identification was executed on the FPGA, increasing overhead and preventing the system from delivering sufficient performance. Now, by consolidating the processing handoff onto the FPGA, handling both the preprocessing for duplication identification and the compression processing on the FPGA, and using a processing sequence that controls how the compression processing results are reflected on the CPU based on the results of the duplication identification, this technology reduces the overhead between the CPU and FPGA from reloading the input data and from control exchanges. This reduces the waiting time due to the handoff of data and control between the CPU and FPGA, delivering efficient coordinated operation of the CPU and FPGA accelerator.
Fujitsu Laboratories deployed this newly developed technology in servers installed with FPGAs, confirming acceleration approximately thirty times the performance of CPU processing alone. Fujitsu Laboratories evaluated the transfer speed for a high volume of data in a test environment where the servers were connected with 10Gbps connections, and in a test simulating the regular backup of data, including documents and video, confirmed that this technology achieved transfer speeds up to 40Gbps, an industry record. This technology has significantly improved data transfer efficiency over WAN connections, enabling high-speed data transfers between clouds, such as data sharing and backups, making possible the creation of next-generation cloud services that share and use large volumes of data between a variety of companies and locations.
Future Plans
Fujitsu Laboratories will continue to evaluate this technology in practical environments, deploying this technology in virtual appliances that can be used in cloud environments. Fujitsu Laboratories aims to make this technology available as a product of Fujitsu Limited during fiscal 2018.

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