-- New OpenRDMA Project, Spearheaded by IBM, Neterion, Inc., Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Universal Network Machines, Enables the Development of Linux-based Applications Optimized for RDMA Technology
Leading technology companies, including IBM, Neterion, Inc., Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Universal Network Machines today announced that they have joined forces in the OpenRDMA project to support the open source software for Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) over TCP/IP and Ethernet networks. OpenRDMA software will provide standard Application Programming Interfaces such as The OpenGroup's IT-API and DAT Consortium's DAT API to facilitate new application development and foster the migration of existing applications to RDMA for Linux(R)-based applications. The OpenRDMA software architecture will provide both userspace and kernel components, cleanly separating generic/OS functionality and hardware-specific software functionality and permitting a wide range of RDMA-capable network interface cards (more generally, verbs providers) to register themselves through a standard programming interface. Promoting a transport-independent RDMA solution, OpenRDMA software will support network fabrics other than Ethernet. Once implemented, OpenRDMA software will help organizations meet increasing demands for networking bandwidth and speed that are currently growing faster than the processing power and memory bandwidth of the compute nodes that process networking traffic.
The companies (IBM, Neterion, Inc., Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Universal Network Machines) have started a joint effort to support this open source software, including userspace libraries and extensions for the Linux kernel to provide a generic interface for RDMA-capable devices. The OpenRDMA project strictly follows the coding style encouraged by the Linux community to streamline kernel acceptance. While exact timelines for the general availability of OpenRDMA-provided kernel extensions are difficult to predict, the OpenRDMA partners are expecting to provide these extensions for general evaluation in 2006.
OpenRDMA Technical Information
The OpenRDMA software architecture provides standard and transport-independent interfaces supporting RDMA, enabling the development of portable applications that exploit RDMA services provided by RDMA-enabled transports such as iWARP (RDMA/TCP/IP /Ethernet).
Supporting application developers, the OpenRDMA architecture provides the new RDMA APIs defined by the Interconnect Software Consortium (ICSC) within The Open Group (see www.opengroup.org/icsc), including IT-API and the Sockets API Extensions. Using the IT-API enables developers to create new applications that take advantage of explicit RDMA services. Using Sockets API Extensions allows applications developed for the widely used TCP Socket API to benefit from RDMA services exploited by the API implementation.
In order to support a wide range of RDMA-capable devices, these companies working on the OpenRDMA project have further adopted the ICSC's RNIC-PI as their RDMA network interface card (RNIC) Verbs interface. The Verbs are the set of primitives that provides the RDMA hardware to software interface for an RNIC. Use of the RNIC-PI enables independent hardware vendors (IHVs) or, more generally, verbs providers (VPs) to support a set of standardized RDMA Verbs that results in the interoperability between RNICs from different VPs.
RDMA technology enables high-performance server clustering and eliminates the burden of excessive memory copies when communicating between servers. RDMA technology removes data copy operations and reduces latency by allowing one computer to directly place information in another computer's memory with minimal demands on memory bus bandwidth and CPU processing overhead.
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