[Review]: OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution (OFED)
What’s OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution
OFED (OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution) is open-source software for RDMA and kernel bypass
applications. OFED can be used in business, research and scientific environments that require highly
efficient networks, storage connectivity and parallel computing. It is an OpenFabrics distribution of
the RDMA/Advanced Networks code base. The majority of the code is pulled from
https://github.com/linux-rdma and https://git.kernel.org. That code is then sometimes enhanced
with new modifications being tested by vendors, and/or back ported patches.
The RDMA/Advanced Networks software comes bundled by default in various Linux distributions
including Red Hat, Fedora, SLES, OpenSUSE, Debian, Ubuntu and others.
The RDMA/Advanced Networks software provides high performance computing sites and
enterprise data centers with flexibility and investment protection as computing evolves towards
applications that require extreme speeds, massive scalability and utility-class reliability. It includes
kernel-level drivers, channel-oriented RDMA and send/receive operations, kernel bypasses of the
operating system, both kernel and user-level application programming interface (API) and services
for parallel message passing (MPI), sockets data exchange (e.g., RDS, SDP), and NAS/SAN storage
(e.g. Lustre, GPFS, iSER, NFSoRDMA, SRP, NVMe-oF).
The RDMA/Advanced Networks software can run on various network and fabric technologies
including: legacy 10 Gigabit Ethernet, iWARP for Ethernet, RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE),
10/20/40/56/100 Gigabit InfiniBand™, and 100 Gigabit OmniPath. OFED is under developing by OpenFabrics Alliance.
The OpenFabrics Alliance aims to develop open-source software that supports the three major RDMA fabric technologies: InfiniBand, RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) and iWARP. The software includes two packages, one that runs on Linux and FreeBSD and one that runs on Microsoft Windows. The alliance worked with two large Linux distributors SUSE and Red Hat as well as Microsoft on compatibility with their operating systems.
Corporate members of the OpenFabrics Alliance include Advanced Micro Devices, Appro, Chelsio Communications, Cisco Systems, DataDirect Networks, Emulex, Flextronics, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intel, LSI Corporation, Mellanox Technologies, NetEffect, Neterion, NetApp, NetXen, Oracle Corporation, QLogic, Silicon Graphics, and System Fabric Works.