The second mini-talk I gave was twofold in itself: I discussed Cisco’s journey from the Verbs API to the Libfabric API, and discussed how well Libfabric plays inside the Open MPI implementation.
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.
I’ve previously written about libfabric. Here’s some highlights:
- libfabric is a set of next-generation, community-driven, ultra-low latency networking APIs
- The APIs are not tied to any particular networking hardware model
- Cisco is actively helping define, design, and develop the libfabric APIs as part of the community
- My fellow team member Reese Faucette recently contributed a libfabric usNIC provider (plugin) to libfabric, enabling ultra-low latency Ethernet functionality on Cisco UCS servers
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.
Cisco 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.
Today’s guest post is by Reese Faucette, one of my fellow usNIC team members here at Cisco.
(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.