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OpenFabrics Alliance (OFA) Announces Changes in Distribution of its RDMA Middleware and Drivers with Linux at 5th Annual User and Developer Workshop

The OFA today announced it now recommends users obtain production-level OpenFabrics Software (OFS) via the Linux distribution of their choice. The OFA also announced that, via the alliance website, users now have the option to access engineering-level branches for prior versions of backports, as well as vendor-specific and technology preview features. The announcement was officially made to attendees at the OFA’s 5th Annual User and Developer Workshop.

Changes in the distribution of OFS will take effect in the coming months at the request of OFA users, Red Hat®, SUSE and the Linux community at kernel.org. For additional streamlining, the OFA will also begin aligning its software with the Linux kernel – beginning with Linux 3.2 and will include the next release of kernel-level code in OFS. The latest release of OFED 1.5.4.1 is available at the OFA website, including new kernel features and updated user space packages and management modules.

"With these changes by the OFA, the OpenFabrics RDMA Software, also known as OFED, is moving into the mainstream Linux kernel and into the distribution's user space environments," said Doug Ledford, lead engineer for RDMA technologies, Red Hat, Inc. "This will eliminate the need for users to download a separate OFS stack to put on top of their operating system of choice, increase the quality and ubiquity of RDMA stacks across all Linux distributions, and help the role of OFS move from being an add-on item to an integral part of the core RDMA provider in every Linux operating system."

“Thousands of businesses worldwide use SUSE Linux Server and OFS including such enterprises as the London Stock Exchange,” said John Jolly, software engineer, SUSE. “Including OFS following these new processes in the SUSE interoperable, mission-critical enterprise as well as real-time operating system environments will enable users to more easily experience the low latency, CPU efficiency and cost saving benefits of RDMA.”

“OFS has become a critical requirement for broad EDC, Cloud and HPC deployments with both Linux and Windows, and must be easily and reliably available in production releases from the distributors of these operating systems and software ecosystems,” said Jim Ryan, Chair, OFA. “In addition, we are expanding the work of the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab (UNH-IOL) to include cross distribution testing of kernel-level, management and user space code (drivers, MPI, Sockets, SRP, NFS, etc.). This will ensure consistency, robustness and conformance with existing production infrastructures in all the markets utilizing OFS as a result of its 10X performance scaling potential and 80% CPU cycle saving capability leading to a potential overall data center monthly cost reduction of up to 30% counting both Capex and Opex.”

OFS delivers valuable benefits to end-user organizations, including high CPU efficiency, reduced energy consumption and reduced rack-space requirements. OFS offers these benefits on commodity servers for academic, engineering, enterprise, research and cloud applications. OFS provides investment protection as parallel computing and storage evolve toward exascale computing, and as networking speeds move toward 10 Gigabit Ethernet and 40 Gigabit InfiniBand in the enterprise data center. Examples of organizations productizing, distributing and supporting OFS include Cray, HP, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Mellanox, SGI, and Xyratex.

About the OpenFabrics Alliance

The OpenFabrics Alliance (OFA) is a 501(c) (6) non-profit company that develops, tests, licenses and distributes the OpenFabrics Software (OFS) – multi-platform, high-performance, low-latency and energy-efficient open-source RDMA software . OFS is used in business, operational, research and scientific infrastructures that require fast fabrics/networks, efficient storage and low latency computing. OFS is free and is included in major Linux distributions, as well as Microsoft Windows Server 2012 beta. In addition to developing and supporting this RDMA software, the Alliance delivers training, workshops and interoperability testing to ensure all releases meet multivendor enterprise requirements for security, reliability and efficiency. For more information about the OFA, visit www.openfabrics.org.

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