Netflix runs on FreeBSD servers equipped with AMD Epyc processors and achieves around 400 Gbps per server.

A demonstration of Netflix’s video streaming technology took place at the EuroBSD conference. That in itself is not significant, but the company’s optimizations to reach 400 Gbps per server are certainly remarkable.

According to developer Drew Gallatin, the popular streaming service is powered by AMD Epyc-7502P servers with 32 cores and 256 GB of DDR4-3200 RAM. Four 100 GbE connections are provided by two Mellanox ConnectX-6 Dx switches. They use FreeBSD. Due to the limited amount of memory available, the developer has configured the systems to support data rates of up to 400 Gbps.

Gallatin was able to achieve this by using TLS offload to transfer data directly through the network infrastructure. This is enabled by the FreeBSD kernel, which reduces the load on the CPU. However, while the TLS session is still formed in user space, the keys are transferred to the network hardware for encryption through the kernel. It is no longer necessary to use the processor.

TLS offloading on Intel hardware has yet to be tested, according to the team. In addition, they already have hardware prototypes capable of 800 Gbps network connections, although none of them have been tested. Discover its presentation, which can be Download here.

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