“OpenFabrics Interfaces (OFI) is a framework focused on exporting fabric communication services to applications. OFI is best described as a collection of libraries and applications used to export fabric services. The key components of OFI are: application interfaces, provider libraries, kernel services, daemons, and test applications. Libfabric is a core component of OFI. It is the library that defines and exports the user-space API of OFI, and is typically the only software that applications deal with directly. It works in conjunction with provider libraries, which are often integrated directly into libfabric.”
The goal of OFI, and libfabric specifically, is to define interfaces that enable a tight semantic map between applications and underlying fabric services. Specifically, libfabric software interfaces have been co-designed with fabric hardware providers and application developers, with a focus on the needs of HPC users. Libfabric supports multiple interface semantics, is fabric and hardware implementation agnostic, and leverages and expands the existing RDMA open source community.
Libfabric is designed to minimize the impedance mismatch between applications, including middleware such as MPI, SHMEM, and PGAS, and fabric communication hardware. Its interfaces target high-bandwidth, low-latency NICs, with a goal to scale to tens of thousands of nodes.
In related news, the 2016 OpenFabrics Workshop has issued its Call for Participation. The event takes place April 4-8, 2016 in Monterey, California. The Workshop is the premier event for collaboration between OpenFabrics Software (OFS) producers and those whose systems and applications depend on the technology. Every year, the workshop generates lively exchanges among Alliance members, developers and users who all share a vested interest in high performance networks.
Proposals are due January 18, 2016.