Nebulon Medusa2 SPU unifies storage, cyber and networking services

Nebulon announced its next-generation Medusa2 SPU. It is the only converged infrastructure data processing unit (DPU) to unify storage, cyber and networking services on a secure, cloud-managed, server-embedded PCIe card.

The Medusa2 SPU marks the first-time enterprises and service providers can unify enterprise data services, cyber and network services, and server lights-out management integration, all on a single DPU. This innovation eliminates the substantial server CPU overhead and cybersecurity risk associated with hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) software, effectively freeing up more processor cores and equating to a 25% reduction in software licensing costs, data center space & power consumption.

Enterprises and service providers have infrastructure that needs to remain on-premises, particularly for edge deployments, but desire the infrastructure efficiency and security developed by hyperscalers. Given the limitations of existing alternatives, more enterprises are exploring the DPU-assisted hyperscale data center architectures for on-premises solutions based on current DPU market growth estimates, expected to reach $8.11 billion by 2028.

This growth, further supported in research by Gartner, suggests that [DPUs] “can reduce the number of servers and hypervisor licenses by 10% to 30% and may also decrease the number of application software licenses.” Gartner has also stated, “pulling security out of the server [operating system] reduces the software-based surface area for attack.”

The next-generation Nebulon ‘Medusa2’ SPU is a PCIe Gen 5 DPU leveraging the NVIDIA BlueField-3 Networking Platform. Similar to hyperscale approaches, the SPU establishes a secure zone in the server separate from the operating system and applications, known as the Nebulon Secure Enclave, delivering key efficiency, security, and sustainability benefits particularly when compared to HCI solutions.

Storage, network, and cyber services, along with server management, are completely offloaded from server resources onto 16 powerful Arm-based processors and 48GB of memory on the Medusa2 card. This reduction in overhead on server CPUs and memory means customers can support up to 33% more application workloads per server, effectively lowering server and software license costs, as well as reducing data center space and power requirements, by up to 25%.

The Nebulon Medusa2 SPU is operating system and application agnostic and does not require any additional drivers or software agents to be installed on the server. With the Nebulon ON cloud control plane, enterprises can benefit from the operational efficiencies offered by cloud-scale automation and fleet management of their application infrastructure—which is especially attractive for organizations with edge deployments.

Nebulon Medusa2 SPU provides unified infrastructure services on a single DPU:

  • Enterprise Data Services including data reduction, data protection and NVMe over fabrics (NVMe-oF)
  • Cyber Services including immutable boot/reboot from a trusted image, real-time in-line threat detection and 4-minute ransomware recovery
  • NVIDIA ConnectX Ethernet NIC features and hardware acceleration
  • Server Lights-out Management integration with Dell PowerEdge, HPE ProLiant, Lenovo ThinkSystem and Supermicro Ultra servers
  • Operating system support and integrations with VMware vSphere, Microsoft Windows Server and Linux bare metal/containers

“Accelerated computing technologies that advance data center security and operational efficiency are revolutionizing every enterprise, powered by a new wave of infrastructure,” said Rob Davis, VP of Storage Technology at NVIDIA. “The NVIDIA BlueField-3 Networking Platform helps companies like Nebulon transform traditional servers into accelerated, secure, efficient and sustainable infrastructure that unleashes groundbreaking innovations.”

“Enterprises have been demanding a hybrid cloud operating model that more closely resembles the hyperscalers, but have been faced with subpar options at best,” said Siamak Nazari, CEO at Nebulon. “With our new Medusa2 SPU, we help our customers get one step closer to achieving this goal, and can deliver it in a secure, unified package.”

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