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OpenFabric and RDMA Services

SCinet will offer 10 gigabit per second (Gbps), low latency InfiniBand (IB) and low latency Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) infrastructures, which will include hardware from many of leading vendors in the IB and 10GbE industry together with the OpenFabric software and supporting services. This combination will provide powerful infrastructures for exhibitors within the convention center between booths to experience the advantages InfiniBand and low latency 10 GbE deliver for clustered computing, server-to-server processing, visualization and file system access to native IB and 10 GbE attached storage. SCinet will also offer limited longer distance point to point IB and routable 10 GbE links on the Wide Area Network (WAN) across the continental US or overseas to support exhibitor requirements.

InfiniBand architecture is a very high performance, low latency interconnect technology based on an industry-standard approach to Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA). An InfiniBand fabric is built from hardware and software that are configured, monitored and operated to deliver a variety of services to users and applications. Characteristics of the technology that differentiate it from comparative interconnects such as the traditional Ethernet include: end-to-end reliable delivery, scalable bandwidths from 10 to 60 Gbps available today moving to 120 Gbps in the near future, extremely low latency between devices (less than 1.5 microseconds demonstrated), greatly reduced server CPU utilization for protocol processing, scalability without performance degradation, and efficient I/O channel architecture for network and storage virtualizations.

The iWARP technology, implemented as RDMA Network Interface Card (RNIC), achieves Zero-copy, RDMA, and protocol offload over existing TCP/IP networks. It was demonstrated that a 10GbE based RNIC can reduce the CPU processing overhead from 80-90% to less than 10% comparing to its host stack equivalent. Additionally, its achievable end-to-end latency is now 5 microseconds or less. As such, iWARP together with the emerging low latency (low hundreds of nanoseconds) 10 GbE switches can also provide a powerful infrastructure for clustered computing, server-to-server processing, visualization and file system. The advantage of the iWARP technology includes its ability to leverage the widely deployed TCP/IP infrastructure, its broad knowledge base, and mature management and monitoring capabilities. Moreover, an iWARP infrastructure is a routable infrastructure, thereby eliminating the need for gateways to connect to the LAN or WAN internet.

The OpenFabric Alliance is an international organization comprised of industry, academic and research groups that have developed a unified core of open source software stacks (OpenSTAC) leveraging RDMA architectures for both the Linux and Windows operating systems over both InfiniBand and Ethernet. The core OpenSTAC software supports all the well known standard upper layer protocols such as MPI, IP, SDP, NFS, SRP, iSER, and RDS.

SCinet encourages exhibitors who are suppliers, users and researchers of these technologies to bring their hardware, software and applications (including switches, host channel adapters, storage systems, gateways to Ethernet and Fibre Channel, WAN extension interfaces) to use this software as a common base for demonstration both within and between their booths and over the WAN at SC06.

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