#177 – SmartNICs and Project Monterey

#177 – SmartNICs and Project Monterey

Chris EvansStorage Hardware, Storage Unpacked Podcast, VMware

This week Chris and Martin look at SmartNIC technology and the announcement of Project Monterey. SmartNICs are offload devices that provide networking, storage and security functions with additional benefits such as centralised management. VMware has announced Project Monterey, a preview solution that takes SmartNICs and offloads storage and networking tasks from the ESXi hypervisor.

It’s clear from the discussion that SmartNIC technology needs to provide a “10x” benefit to the data centre. The technology is already in use by hyperscalers to deliver Public Cloud. With Monterey and ESXi 7, the private data centre can use a similar centralised management approach. How will this work with existing infrastructure? VMware has ported ESXi to ARM and intends to run services on ESXi on the SmartNIC card. There are so many questions this raises, so join us for a fascinating discussion on this technology.

Elapsed Time: 00:36:13


  • 00:00:00 – Intros
  • 00:01:30 – Project Monterey – not the IBM AIX port…
  • 00:03:00 – What is a SmartNIC?
  • 00:04:05 – Are SmartNICs new or reinvention of existing technology? 00:04:40 – Mainframes did offload first
  • 00:08:00 – Division of responsibilities – team wars?
  • 00:11:00 – What benefits do SmartNICs bring?
  • 00:14:25 – Digging deeper into Project Monterey
  • 00:15:31 – Why put ESXi on ARM?
  • 00:18:00 – How will hot pluggable work?
  • 00:22:00 – Here’s where Project Monterey could be useful
  • 00:24:00 – Could SmartNICs aid the adoption of Arm for primary workloads?
  • 00:27:40 – Could Composable see a big benefit from SmartNICs?
  • 00:30:00 – Return of the mainframe?
  • 00:31:55 – On reflection, are SmartNICs worthwhile?
  • 00:35:00 – Wrap Up

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