TE11: A Firewall in the NIC

Tonight we had a discussion with Steve Pope, Solarflare’s CTO and Founder, on Solarflare’s new “Firewall in the NIC” capability called ServerLock that goes into Beta this quarter. During our time together we reviewed the following:

  • What exactly does Solarflare mean when they say they’ve put a firewall in the NIC?
  • How does this improve the security of my server?
  • What is micro-segmentation, and how can this be applied to my applications, containers or VMs?
  • Why is having a firewall in the NIC better than a software firewall which is part of the OS?
  • Why is a firewall in the NIC better than say a top of rack firewall?
  • How much might this cost me in latency if the NIC is filtering every packet?
  • Who has Solarflare built this product for?
  • Where in my enterprise infrastructure should I consider using such a NIC?
  • Can this be used as an edge solution to enhance the security of my customer facing web servers, possibly further protecting them from a DDoS attack?
  • Where does Solarflare go from here, what’s next?

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