Electronic Design

Mezzanine Cards Lighten Server's Secure Network Load

The Internet can be a dangerous place, so exchanging data at high speeds now requires secure communications. Performance Technologies' PMC8300 and FlexTunnel Module bring secure, high-performance Gigabit Ethernet connections to the table without running the host processor into the ground. Both plug into mezzanine slots like those found on the CPC5505 single-board computer.

The PMC8300 storage and security accelerator module with transport offload employs a TCP/IP offload engine that supports IPsec encryption and high-level protocols like iSCSI. The iSCSI support is ideal for storage-area networks. Typically, encryption support is used when the PMC8300 connects the host to the outside world. The board supports up to 64k connections.

The Intel IXP2100-based FlexTunnel Module provides low overhead VPN (virtual private network) links. It can tunnel a variety of protocols like SS7 and SIP. It supports up to 512 links and can handle network address translation (NAT).

Both systems operate at wire speeds with low host overhead. Ethernet connections can be routed through the host board to a switched backplane, minimizing network cabling using the eight-port, PICMG 2.16 PC5400 Gbit Ethernet switch.

The PMC8300 costs $1900, and the FlexTunnel Module goes for $3995.

Performance Technologies

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