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Mellanox Enhances RoCE Software to Simplify RDMA Deployments

RoCEToday Mellanox announced the availability of new software drivers for RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet). The new drivers are designed to simplify RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access) deployments on Ethernet networks and enable high-end performance using RoCE, without requiring the network to be configured for lossless operation. This enables cloud, storage, and enterprise customers to deploy RoCE more quickly and easily while accelerating application performance, improving infrastructure efficiency and reducing cost.

RoCE has built-in error recovery mechanisms and while a lossless network has never been a strict requirement, customers typically configure their networks to prevent packet loss and ensure the best performance,” said Michael Kagan, chief technology officer, Mellanox. “Now, updated software for our adapters enables RoCE to be resilient to packet loss and maintain high throughput for ordinary Ethernet networks. The new software supports our latest 10, 25, 40, 50, and 100 Gb/s Ethernet adapters and is completely compatible with the RoCE specification. This new software eliminates any special lossy network configuration requirements.”

“Microsoft deploys an advanced datacenter infrastructure delivering an enterprise-grade intelligent cloud platform to our customers,” said Albert Greenberg, Distinguished Engineer, Network Development, Microsoft Corp. “We’re encouraged to see the continued development and evolution of the RoCE technology. RoCE is an example of one of the advanced networking solutions that helps enable Microsoft Azure to deliver cloud services to our customers with superb flexibility, performance, and reliability.”

RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) is a mechanism that provides highly efficient data transfer with very low latencies on Ethernet networks. RoCE can be implemented in hardware as well as in software. Soft-RoCE is the open source software implementation of the RoCE standard and compatible with any ordinary Ethernet network cards that lack hardware support for RDMA.

All Ethernet RDMA protocols perform best without packet loss, but not all IT managers are ready to configure their networks to be lossless,” said Brad Casemore, research director for datacenter networks, IDC. “As customers implement Big Data and real-time analytics, new database applications, software defined and flash-based storage – and as they adopt 25, 50, and 100 Gb/s Ethernet – they will be looking at how technologies such as RoCE can meet their requirements for faster application performance and more efficient infrastructure utilization.”

Mellanox is already a market leader in end-to-end 25, 50, and 100 Gb/s Ethernet solutions, leading the market both with the ConnectX-4 and ConnectX-4 Lx adapters and the Spectrum family of Ethernet switches. Mellanox adapters and switches deliver the highest throughput, lowest latency, and lowest power consumption at 25, 50, and 100 Gb/s Ethernet speeds. The Spectrum Ethernet switches ensure fair allocation of bandwidth across any configuration of ports, handle congestion more effectively and eliminate avoidable packet loss at all packet sizes.

The enhanced resilient RoCE software is available today for the Mellanox ConnectX-4 25, 50, and 100 Gb/s Ethernet adapters. These adapters have been qualified by major OEMs in advanced server platforms available today.

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