InfiniBand Trade Association Releases Updated Specification for Remote Direct Memory Access over Converged Ethernet (RoCE)

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New specification enables RoCE routing capabilities for the evolving enterprise data center and hyperscale networking infrastructure

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RoCEv2 addresses the needs of today’s evolving enterprise data centers by enabling routing across Layer 3 networks.

The InfiniBand® Trade Association (IBTA), a global organization dedicated to maintaining and furthering the InfiniBand™ specification, today announced the release of RoCEv2, an extension of the original RoCE specification announced in 2010 that brought the benefits of Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) I/O architecture to Ethernet-based networks. RoCEv2 addresses the needs of today’s evolving enterprise data centers by enabling routing across Layer 3 networks. Extending RoCE to allow Layer 3 routing provides better traffic isolation and enables hyperscale data center deployments.

RDMA has been shown to dramatically improve data center performance and efficiency while reducing total cost of ownership. The original RoCE specification brought the benefits of RDMA to applications in enterprise data centers utilizing Ethernet fabrics. Data centers today are experiencing tremendous growth with many applications running in hyperscale environments over network architectures spanning Layer 3 domains.

“Major cloud providers and Web 2.0 companies have converged on RoCE to solve the challenges of running compute intensive applications and processing massive amounts of data in hyperscale networking environments,” said Barry Barnett, co-chair of the InfiniBand Trade Association. “The RoCEv2 standard enables multi-vendor, interoperable solutions delivering RDMA that spans hyperscale network environments. This in turn paves the way for broader adoption within enterprise environments in order to improve infrastructure efficiency and lower total cost of ownership.”

RoCEv2 enables RoCE fabrics to extend beyond a single Layer 2 subnet by supporting routing across Layer 3 networks. The updated specification preserves strict layering, adds standard IP address based routing, and is generated and consumed below the channel interface, or API. RoCEv2 is also transparent to applications and underlying network infrastructures. Additional benefits to the RoCEv2 specification include enabling standard network mechanisms for forwarding, management, monitoring, metering, accounting, firewalling, snooping, and multicast.

Representatives from at least 10 member companies participated in the development of the specification. For more information, or to view the full specification, visit:
http://www.infinibandta.org/content/pages.php?pg=technology_download

Supporting Quotes

“As data centers continue to evolve in order to support cloud computing, big data analytics and the proliferation of mobile devices, enterprises are evaluating the infrastructure of hyperscale data centers to leverage components which will allow them to scale more efficiently. This enhancement to the RoCE specification is bringing routability to RoCEv2, enabling these next generation data centers to leverage it as the optimal platform for accelerating application performance anywhere in the data center.”
-- Shaun Walsh, senior vice president of marketing at Emulex

“IBM is in strong support of the IBTA RoCEv2 standard. RoCEv2 is a key network technology enabling high performance commercial cluster solutions for the ubiquitous L3 network. RoCEv2 is important for the growth of large scale data analytics solutions requiring high speed, low latency, and the L3 network compatibility attributes that it brings to the table.”
-- Barry Barnett, power systems I/O development at IBM

“RoCEv2 is a significant step in network convergence over Ethernet. Hyperscale data centers have pioneered the large scale deployment of RoCE in order to gain the performance benefits of RDMA, most notably for converged storage access. We expect that the standardization of RoCEv2 will speed adoption within mainstream enterprise environments and revolutionize storage networking.”
-- Diego Crupnicoff, senior director of system architecture at Mellanox Technologies

“RoCEv2 will be hugely beneficial to the speed and performance of cloud platforms, not just through network improvements, but through the CPU savings organizations will see. We are pleased to see a healthy ecosystem growing around RDMA, and we at Microsoft will continue to help drive further specifications and standards to advance the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the cloud for our customers.”
-- Yousef Khalidi, distinguished engineer, Microsoft Azure, at Microsoft

“Today’s dynamic, evolving enterprise data centers require high performance technologies like RDMA to support increasingly data-intensive applications and the move to hyperscale deployments. Software Forge works with its customers to ensure compliance with the specifications which results in interoperability with a variety of RDMA products from many different vendors. The RoCEv2 spec enables compatible and interoperable L3 solutions and provides high speed and low latency to enterprise data centers.”
-- Rupert Dance, president at Software Forge

About the InfiniBand® Trade Association
The InfiniBand® Trade Association was founded in 1999 and is chartered with maintaining and furthering the InfiniBand specification. The IBTA is led by a distinguished steering committee that includes Cray, Emulex, HP, IBM, Intel, Mellanox Technologies, Microsoft, Oracle, and QLogic. Other members of the IBTA represent leading enterprise IT vendors who are actively contributing to the advancement of the InfiniBand specification. The IBTA markets and promotes InfiniBand from an industry perspective through online, marketing and public relations engagements, and unites the industry through IBTA-sponsored technical events and resources. For more information on the IBTA, visit http://www.infinibandta.org.

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InfiniBand (TM/SM) is a trademark and service mark of the InfiniBand Trade Association. Other names and brands are the property of their respective owners.

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Ashley Paula for IBTA
Waggener Edstrom
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