Pensando SmartNICs Power Up VMware Environments

Pensando highlighted its collaboration with VMware at Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld 2020. Pensando notes that it has added value with its SmartNICs to the VMware ecosystem as part of Project Monterey, where VMware is partnering with vendors to create within the VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF). The value of Pensando SmartNICs comes from not only the hardware but the software as well. Find out more in Pensando’s presentation on its SmartNICs in VMware environments on the Tech Field Day website!

Tomversations: Episode 11 – Data Processing Units (DPUs)

In the latest episode of Tomversations, Tom Hollingsworth takes us through the various types of chips that you might find in modern computing, from the workhorse x86 CISC chips favored by Intel to the specific ASICs and FPGAs that help in purpose-built devices. Along the way, Tom helps frame the discussion around DPUS and why they’re not just for networking traffic any more.

Pensando’s Role in the NetApp Portfolio

There are lots of effective partnerships in the tech world, but one of our favorites to watch grow is Pensando and NetApp. Presenting at Storage Field Day earlier this year, they delved into how Pensando’s chip in NetApp’s all-flash array combine to powerful results. Writing for, Georgina Ford says she likes the flexibility that the Pensando card offers based largely on the fact that it’s essentially a whole computer compressed into a single chip! Check out Georgina’s thoughts and the NetApp and Pensando partner presentation on the Gestalt IT website!

Pensando & VMware Talk Project Monterey @ Tech Field Day

What is Project Monterey? Why is it valuable? Pensando and VMware discussed this during their presentation at Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld 2020! Christopher Ratcliffe of Pensando recaps the session and explains that Project Monterey is a “re-architecture of VMware Cloud Foundation to leverage offload capabilities included in the latest generation of network interface cards.” To learn more about Project Monterey, watch their presentation from Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld 2020!

Pensando Changing the Game One Card at a Time

Earlier this year at Storage Field Day, Pensando teamed up with NetApp to put on an excellent presentation that caught the attention of many. One of the people watching was Steven Cortez who wrote on his website, MSC Productions, that Pensando and their Capri cards are impressive and offer great potential for HyperScalers. Check out Steve’s post as well as the Pensando presentations on his website!

Your Occasional Storage Digest With Toshiba Drives, Excelero and More

How does Pensando fit into the NetApp portfolio? Apart from collaboration on modern datacenter innovations, NetApp’s A400 all-flash array is now shipped with two Pensando storage processing cards – as revealed at Storage Field Day 20. Storage expert Chris Mellor, founder of Blocks & Files looks at what’s going on in storage.

What’s the Buzz About SmartNICs?

Smart NICs are not new. However, they are just starting to emerge as a platform. Smart NICs are needed now more than ever with the increasing demand for improved network and compute performance. The buzz around the technology has also surged with the announcement of Project Monterey, an industry-wide collaboration to integrate SmartNICs into the VMware Cloud Foundation. So what are the benefits of using Smart NICs? Gina Rosenthal, a delegate at Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld 2020 reveals Smart NICs secrets through Smart NIC technology developers including Pensando.

NetApp and Pensando Present at Storage Field Day 20

We were excited to see both Naresh Patel, Chief Architect & VP for Platforms and Storage Engineering at NetApp, and Francis Matus, VP Engineering, Pensando Systems hit Storage Field Day 20 to share how their collaborative systems work together to deliver high-performance storage options.

Project Monterey: What We Know So Far

On her blog, Gina Rosenthal compiles everything we know about the big “Project Monterey” announcement that came out of VMworld 2020 this year. Gina was a delegate at Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld 2020 and got to be up front and center when Pensando, a partner on Project Monetary with VMware, presented a more in depth look on the new endeavor. For more information on Project Monterey, check out Gina’s blog which includes Pensando’s presentation!

Converging Conference Communities in the Cloud

In the latest episode of the Gestalt IT Rundown, Stephen Foskett brings on delegate Max Mortillaro to talk about the most recent news from the tech world. They run through a wide variety of topics from Arista Networks acquiring Awake Security, VMware’s partnerships with companies like Pensando in Project Monterey, and recent Tech Field Day events like Networking Field Day and Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld 2020. Check out their analyses of all the recent tech news and much more in the latest Gestalt IT Rundown on

Pensando Brings Cloud Scale to Networking, Storage, and Security Services

What could you do with specific hardware for tasks in your data center? Not just general purpose CPUs and GPUs but an actual suite of hardware and software designed to accelerate your workloads? Gestalt IT took a look at the Pensando presentation from Cloud Field Day and highlight how their integrated hardware and software stack might just be the answer to your cloud problems. Their Distributed Service Platform is a solution to not only offload tasks from compute, but add cloud-scale networking and storage services to help organizations achieve their dream of software-defined architecture.

Cloud Networking Architectures

In this post from Ivan Pepelnjak, he breaks down one of the realities of running virtual machines on cloud infrastructure. These VMs still look for an Ethernet interface. For many enterprise-focused platforms, this means simply emulating a physical Ethernet cable. This allows admins to not have to relearn their networking stack. But the cloud providers implemented virtual networking that can scale beyond a few hundred hosts, using smart NICs. At Cloud Field Day, Pensando showed how they are trying to bring that kind of scale to the enterprise with their own smart NIC. Ivan looks at their solution and how it can fit into the enterprise world.

MPLS + P4 = Pensando; But Does It Add Up?

Leading up to Cloud Field Day, Chris Grundemann was exceptionally excited about hearing from Pensando. Partly because he’s a bit of a neophile and they just came out of stealth. Also because what they are working he found really cool, adding P4 programming language support with hardware to provide software-defined, edge-accelerated, always-secure and visible, centrally managed platform that can run in any environment, all aimed the cloud! Combined with a prestigious founding team, Chris thinks they offer a truly innovative solution that while a niche use case for now, can be built out over time.

Fixing the X86 Problem

Much like the IBM Mainframes that preceded it, the x86 architecture is getting long in the tooth. While still ubiquitous across enterprise and consumer devices, the once standard architecture is seeing competition at all sides, as performance scaling and process enhancements have slowed. Chris Evans highlight Persando’s presentation from Cloud Field Day as an example of this. They use an ARM-based SmartNIC that can be programmed with P4 to offload network functions workloads from x86 and realize substantial performance gains. Chris sees the further disaggregation of compute, networking and storage as a result of these kind of innovative offload solutions.

Pensando Expands What SmartNIC Offloads Can Do

For Justin Warren, he found Pensando’s presentation at Cloud Field Day to be impressive on a technical level. They’ve developed an ARM-based chip that is programmable using the P4 network programming language. This is used in a SmartNIC called a Distributed Services Card that you install in your server to offload various network functions from the general-purpose CPU. This has the potential to offer huge performance benefits on network functions, but Justin sees this as limited to larger cloud providers and the infrastructure that supports it. Justin has questions about the actual size of the market for this solution, and how much it will cost, but was definitely impressed by the technology and team behind Persando.

Pensando Places Programmability First

Programming hardware isn’t easy. Unless you start out with the idea that you’re going to use a language that is easy to adapt to your needs. Tom Hollingsworth looks at the decisions made by Pensando to leverage P4 to extend its platform to adapt to the future needs of its customers. After hearing from the company at Cloud Field Day, Tom sees Pensando in the early stages of making something big, and the power of P4 will make the sky the limit. Their platform is currently shipping with NetApp and HPE systems and likely to see wider adoption, especially in cloud providers.

Day Two Cloud 047: Highlights and Analysis From Cloud Field Day 7

In this episode of the Day Two Cloud podcast, Ethan Banks and Ned Bellavance discuss some of the presentations from Cloud Field Day. They looked at the big presentations from VMware, SolarWinds, and startup Pensando in the episode, specifically focusing on VMware Cloud on AWS, monitoring cloud performance with SolarWinds, and Pensando’s SmartNIC to offload a server’s network processing. Having two great hosts discussing the latest cloud goodness makes for a good podcast.

Build Your Network Apps on Pensando’s Cloud of SmartNICs – Day Two Cloud Video

Pensando Systems definitely made a big impression at Cloud Field Day. The company is a startup that threatens to be a juggernaut if past performance of the founders is any indicator of future results. Pensando’s made an ARM processor and paired it to a NIC and orchestration platform. Put the NIC in your servers and manage the NIC fleet centrally. Use the platform to create networking applications offloaded from the x86 CPU, all for less than a 30W power draw. Ethan Banks and Ned Bellavance discuss the implications of what they saw at the event, and who will be Pensando’s customers.

Pensando Systems at Cloud Field Day 7

It’s always exciting to get a new presenting company at an event like Cloud Field Day. Pensando Systems joined the Field Day presenter alumni with their recent presentation, and definitely made an impression on the delegates. While the event was virtual for their debut, it actually fostered a lot of great interaction both from the delegates and our wider audience on Twitter. Be sure to check out their full presentation video to find out how they built a Distributed Services Platform that gives cloud providers the ability to build industry-leading cloud services and gives enterprises the unique ability to drive cloud-like agility, security and operational simplicity across their entire infrastructure with unmatched scale and performance.

Cloud Field Day 7 (#CFD7): A Heads-Up

We were lucky to have Ather Beg joins us as a delegate for Cloud Field Day. He always brings keen insight and extensive industry experience to offer a truly unique voice around the delegate table, virtual or otherwise. In this post, he gives a look at each of the presenters and why their session may be of interest to a wider audience. There was VMware, no stranger to Field Day, doing two sessions on their VMware Cloud on AWS solution. He was also interested in Stellus’ key-value store approach to storage to provide exceptional performance using protocols like NFS. There was also a presentation from SolarWinds, as well as a look into the Pensando Distributed Services Platform. Be sure to check out all the presentation videos to get to speed with the latest from the event.