With vSphere on Bluefield DPUs, Nvidia and VMware have introduced the ability to offload and accelerate vSphere and NSX services to the DPU in order to improve performance of application workloads.


This lab will show application developers how Redis performance is accelerated on vSphere using DPU offloading with Universal Passthrough (UPTv2). This lab provides the user a step-by-step guide to note the performance gains Bluefield with UPT provides over a standard NIC.


To assist you in our LaunchPad journey, there are a couple of important links on the left-hand navigation pane of this page. In the upcoming first step, you will use the LaunchPad vCenter link.

First, we will start understanding and ensuring the prerequisites are in place. Next, we will understand the topology of the setup and the various components involved in the test. With this knowledge, we first execute a Redis baseline test and see the latency and throughput metrics using a standard NIC backed vNIC. This will be followed by performing the same procedure, but with the standard NIC interface being replaced with a DPU-backed vNIC with UPT enabled.

It’s important to understand the difference between these two test cases. With the standard NIC test, you’ll be using a basic vCenter-managed vswitch. This test will not utilize the Nvidia Bluefield DPU or any of the networking and security features provided by NSX. The first test is meant to provide a baseline using a standard setup from previous versions of vSphere. The second test case will illustrate the benefits of combining DPU offload and acceleration with NSX Enterprise Plus services such as UPT and Geneve. The primary takeaway of this lab is to illustrate that utilizing Nvidia DPUs and VMware NSX both improves performance and adds functionality.

To summarize, within this lab, you will do the following:

  • Connect to the ESXi cluster and required VMs.

  • Review OS, benchmark, and performance measurement tools.

  • Execute the Baseline test and note the performance metrics.

  • Execute the UPT-enabled test and note the performance metrics.

  • Analyze the test results.

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