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usNIC inside Linux containers

Linux containers, as a lighter virtualization alternative to virtual machines, are gaining momentum. The High Performance Computing (HPC) community is eyeing Linux containers with interest, hoping that they can provide the isolation and configurability of Virtual Machines, but without the performance penalties.

In this article, I will show a simple example of libvirt-based container configuration in which I assign the container one of the ultra-low latency (usNIC) enabled Ethernet interfaces available in the host. This allows bare-metal performance of HPC applications, but within the confines of a Linux container.

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libfabric support of usNIC in Open MPI

I’ve previously written about libfabric.  Here’s some highlights:

Today, we’re pleased to announce the next step in our libfabric journey: my team at Cisco (the UCS product team) is contributing an open source plugin to Open MPI that uses the libfabric APIs.

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usNIC support for the Intel MPI Library

Intel MPI LibraryCisco is pleased to announce the intention to support the Intel MPI Library™ with usNIC on the UCS server and Nexus switches product lines over the ultra low latency Ethernet and routable IP transports, at both 10GE and 40GE speeds.

usNIC will be enabled by a simple library plugin to the uDAPL framework included in enterprise Linux distributions. The Intel MPI Library can utilize the usNIC uDAPL library plugin without any modifications to existing MPI applications.

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usNIC provider contributed to libfabric

Today’s guest post is by Reese Faucette, one of my fellow usNIC team members here at Cisco.

I’m pleased to announce that this past Friday, Cisco contributed a usNIC-based provider to libfabric, the new API in the works from OpenFabrics Interfaces Working Group.

(Editor’s note: I’ve blogged about libfabric before)

Yes, the road is littered with the bodies of APIs that were great ideas at the time (or not), but that doesn’t change the fact neither Berkeley sockets nor Linux Verbs are really adequate as cross-vendor, high-performance programming APIs.

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HPC over UDP

A few months ago, I posted an entry entitled “HPC in L3“.  My only point for that entry was to remove the “HPC in L3? That’s a terrible idea!” knee-jerk reaction that us old-timer HPC types have.

I mention this because we released a free software update a few days ago for the Cisco usNIC product that enables usNIC traffic to flow across UDP (vs. raw L2 frames).  Woo hoo!

That’s right, sports fans: another free software update to make usNIC even better than ever.  Especially across 40Gb interfaces!

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