Cloud networking fabrics need to evolve to support increasingly distributed applications and security functions, driven by two trends. First applications are becoming more distributed across multi-site data centers and clouds, with some applications moving to public clouds but a majority of application workloads and data repositories remaining in on premises or colocated private cloud environments. Second, increasing demands for distributed, zero-trust security and hardware acceleration to serve AI/ML workloads are driving adoption of SmartNICs, also known as DPUs, to bring networking and security into the server without performance compromises.
New advancements in data center networking are now allowing network fabrics to be extended across these highly distributed cloud environments and into servers using Smart NICs/DPUs. These distributed network fabrics automate and dramatically simplify network operations to enable new levels of data center network scale and resilience with stronger security and increased application visibility. This talk will review pros and cons of different approaches to building distributed data center fabrics with a special focus on the emerging DPU technologies.