NVIDIA DOCA DPI Sample Guide

This document provides DPI sample implementation on top of NVIDIA® BlueField® DPU.

1. Introduction

Deep packet inspection (DPI) is a method of examining the full content of data packets as they traverse a monitored network checkpoint.

DPI provides a more robust mechanism for enforcing network packet filtering as it can be used to identify and block a range of complex threats hiding in network data streams more accurately. This includes:
  • Malicious applications
  • Malware data exfiltration attempts
  • Content policy violations
  • Application recognition
  • Load balancing

For more information about the DOCA DPI library, refer to NVIDIA DOCA DPI Programming Guide.

3. Prerequisites

DPI-based applications can run either on the host machine or on the DPU target.

As DPI leverages the regular expressions (RegEx) engine, users must make sure it is enabled:
  1. Allocate hugepages:
    sudo echo 2048 > /sys/kernel/mm/hugepages/hugepages-2048kB/nr_hugepages
  2. Make sure the RegEx engine is active:
    systemctl status mlx-regex
    If the status is inactive (Active: failed), run:
    systemctl start mlx-regex
  3. DPI compiler must be used since the RegEx engine accepts only .cdo files. The CDO files are constructed by compiling a signature file written in Cta open-source format.
    To compile the signature file, run the following:
    doca_dpi_compiler -i <path to signature file> -o /tmp/signatures.cdo -f suricata

    The .cdo file is created in the output path flagged as the -o input path of the compiler.

  4. For gRPC related samples, assign the IP 192.168.102.2 to the server.

    Make sure to deploy the DPI gRPC server and needed setups according to the NVIDIA DOCA gRPC Infrastructure User Guide.

4. Running the Sample

  1. Refer to the following documents:
  2. To build a given sample:
    cd /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_dpi/<sample_name>
    meson build
    ninja -C build
    Note: The binary doca_<sample_name> will be created under ./build/.
  3. Sample (e.g., dpi_scan) usage:
    Usage: doca_dpi_scan [DPDK Flags] -- [DOCA Flags] [Program Flags]
    DOCA Flags:
      -h, --help                    Print a help synopsis
      -v, --version                 Print program version information
      -l, --log-level               Set the log level for the program <CRITICAL=20, ERROR=30, WARNING=40, INFO=50, DEBUG=60>
    
    Program Flags:
      -s, --sig-file                Signatures file path
  4. For additional information per sample, use the -h option after the -- separator:
    ./build/doca_<sample_name> -- -h
  5. DOCA DPI samples are based on DPDK libraries. Therefore, the user is required to provide DPDK flags. The following is an example from an execution on the DPU:
    ./build/doca_dpi_scan -a 0000:03:00.0,class=regex -a auxiliary:mlx5_core.sf.4,sft_en=1 -a auxiliary:mlx5_core.sf.5,sft_en=1 -- -s /tmp/signatures.cdo
    Note: When running on the DPU using the command above sub-functions must be enabled according to the Scalable Function Setup Guide.
    Note: When running on the host, virtual functions must be used according to the instructions in the NVIDIA DOCA Virtual Functions User Guide.

5. Samples

5.1. DPI Scan

This sample illustrates how to use DPI programming interface on a single packet.

The sample logic includes:
  1. Initializing DOCA DPI.
  2. Loading the signature .cdo file into the RegEx engine.
  3. Creating DPI flow for the incoming packet.
  4. Inserting packet into DPI work queue.
  5. Polling packet from work queue when processing ends.
  6. Retrieving matched signature information if there is a match.
  7. Retrieving statistics information.
  8. Destroying DPI structures.
Reference:
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_dpi/dpi_scan/dpi_scan.c

5.2. gRPC DPI Scan

This sample illustrates how to use gRPC DPI programming interface on a single packet.

The sample logic includes:
  1. Initializing DOCA gRPC DPI client.
  2. Loading the signature .cdo file into the RegEx engine.
  3. Creating DPI flow for the incoming packet.
  4. Inserting packet into DPI work queue.
  5. Polling packet from work queue when processing ends.
  6. Retrieving matched signature information if there is a match.
  7. Retrieving statistics information.
  8. Destroy DPI structures.
Reference:
  • /opt/mellanox/doca/samples/doca_dpi/grpc_dpi_scan/grpc_dpi_scan.c

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