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SFW OFED Distribution with Soft-RoCE in Linux

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Patches for Soft ROCE are now submitted up stream at Stay tuned to learn which patches are accepted.

RDMA in Software provides Efficient, Cost-Effective Transport with Linux and every 10Gb Ethernet Adapter or Chipset - ideal for Data Center Cluster and Storage Connectivity

Austin, TX – April 22, 2010 – System Fabric Works (SFW), a high performance software engineering and systems integration company delivering powerful, open-source fabric and I/O solutions, today announced support for RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) implemented in software as an addition to the OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution (OFED) release 1.5.1 for Linux. RoCE is a new standard announced earlier by the InfiniBand Trade Association and supported by the OpenFabrics Alliance. SFW is announcing the availability of a software implementation of the RoCE standard – compatible with standard Ethernet networks – called “Soft RoCE.”

With this technology preview release, SFW now offers a third mechanism in its OFED release for supporting RDMA over Ethernet, - 1) Soft RoCE; 2) RoCE (hardware accelerated chipset directly on Ethernet adapter); and 3) iWARP(RDMA over TCP/IP with a hardware offload adapter).

OFED RDMA on InfiniBand has long been a mainstay technology in HPC systems for both computing and storage networks, but has required specialized new hardware – InfiniBand switches and adapters in servers.  With this new release, RDMA is easily deployable in data centers and cloud computing environments without any new or specialized Ethernet switches and adapters SFW’s OFED 1.5.1- rxe is downloadable today at

“With Soft RoCE, SFW offers the opportunity for data center technologists to implement RDMA for their business solutions to improve computing efficiency, simplify infrastructure, and future proof their networks for scaling from 1 to 10 gigabits per second”, said Dr. Robert Pearson CEO, CTO and Founder of System Fabric Works. “We are pleased that Soft RoCE achieves mult- million message per second rates, reduces latency over Ethernet vs. TCP/IP, and provides important end-user benefits – as well improving return on investment in application software for the long term.  By supplying Soft RoCE integrated with OFED, SFW is supplying and supporting the full range of OpenFabrics upper level protocols, with RDMA, on standard Ethernet hardware”.

OFED RDMA maximizes efficient utilization of processor, memory and network resources, and speeds the movement of data among servers (e.g. MPI) and between servers and storage (e.g., SAN and NAS).  In so doing, OFED RDMA delivers a truly unified network for use in parallel computing, storage I/O, and a host of enterprise applications, such as search, messaging, transaction processing, and virtualization.  This yields significant cost savings in energy, floor space and cooling by reducing the hardware (servers, power supplies, racks, switches and cables) required for high performance, enterprise and cloud computing.
System Fabric Works has been involved since the inception of InfiniBand and the founding of the OpenFabrics Alliance. SFW is a Steering Committee member of The InfiniBand Trade Association, and provides the Executive Director of the OpenFabrics Alliance. Software originally developed by System Fabric Works for its customers has formed integral components of OFED on AIX, Linux, Solaris, Windows and VX Works – including network drivers for Ethernet, Fibre Channel, InfiniBand and other media as well as storage interfaces for block storage (SRP and iSCSI) and file systems (NFS and Lustre). At the recent OpenFabrics Sonoma Workshops, SFW has discussed the benefits of Infiniband connected storage, the architecture for torus and hypercube networks, and the implementation specifics of Soft RoCE in OFED 1.5.1.

OFED is designed to optimize server-to-server and server-to-storage connectivity with high availability and flexible network topologies.  OFED is already delivering up to ten times the performance of traditional network software at half the hardware cost.  RDMA application interfaces on OFED support parallel processing (e.g. all major MPIs), sockets and messaging (AMQP, SDP and RDS), storage (SRP and iSER), files systems (NFS, Lustre) and databases (DB2, Oracle, etc.). Business solutions that leverage OFED range from scientific engineering/modeling, national security, media, communications and data warehousing to financial services, transaction processing and broadband video.

About System Fabric Works
System Fabric Works (“SFW”), a small business based in Austin, TX, specializes in delivering engineering, integration and strategic consulting services to organizations that seek to implement high performance computing and storage systems, low latency fabrics and the necessary related software. Derived from its 7 years of experience, SFW also offers custom integration and deployment of commodity servers and storage systems at many levels of performance, scale and cost effectiveness that are not available from mainstream suppliers. SFW personnel are widely recognized experts in the fields of high performance computing, networking and storage systems particularly with respect to OpenFabrics Software, InfiniBand, Ethernet and energy saving, efficient computing technologies such as RDMA. Detailed information describing SFW’s areas of expertise and corporate capabilities can be found at

Contacts:  Jeffrey Scott
Split Rock Communications
(408) 884-4017

Bill Boas
System Fabric Works

(510) 375-8840

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