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XCP-NG project teases DPU-as-a-Service on Scaleway cloud

Open-source revival of Xen Server will target hardware from fabless French manycore kit-maker Kalray

Vates, the company behind the open-source XCP-NG project that revived of the Xen Cloud Platform and Xen server, has decided to build a product to run on Data Processing Units, aka SmartNICs.

As The Register has detailed over the last year, Data Processing Units (DPUs) are small-but-powerful computers that reside on a network adapter and are designed to relieve servers’ CPUs of dull-but-necessary work like running I/O and security.

Hyperscale clouds all adopted tech that closely resembles DPUs in recent years, to help them push those dull workloads onto the devices and by doing so ensure they can rent all the server cores they operate to customers. Big clouds also like that SmartNICs/DPUs help to isolate workloads running on servers used by multiple tenants.

The potential for SmartNICs to improve operations in all data centres was recognised by VMware last year when it launched a project to bring its hypervisor onto the devices.

Now XCP-NG has gone there, too, revealing its intention “to build a solution with them, entirely integrated with our stack”.

Euro-centric cloud operator Scaleway has also come to play, promising it will put Kalray’s new K200-LP acceleration card to work, and on sale, with whatever XCP-NG cooks up.

Kalray and Scaleway’s joint announcement states that their DPU-as-a-Service offering running XCP-NG “is expected in the second half of the year”. ®

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