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Fujitsu develops WAN acceleration technology utilizing FPGA accelerators

13 Dec 2017

Fujitsu Laboratories 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. 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. 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.

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