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Method and Apparatus for establishing communication between Simulated InfiniBand Channel Adapters over Ethernet LAN

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000171782D
Original Publication Date: 2008-Jun-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Jun-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 78K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a method which establishes communication between Simulated InfiniBand Channel Adapters over Ethernet LAN. This method can be used as a tool for not only the verification of InfiniBand Protocol but also for the APIs/software programs which use the physical adapter. The Simulated Channel adapters form packets according to InfiniBand protocol for communication between two such devices when it gets request by APIs. The InfiniBand packets are then encapsulated in Ethernet frame so that the communication can be established over Ethernet LAN.

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Method and Apparatus for establishing communication between Simulated InfiniBand Channel Adapters over Ethernet LAN

Author - Indermeet S Gandhi.

The InfiniBand Architecture (IBA) is an industry-standard architecture for Server I/O and inter-server communication. The disclosed method provides a mechanism to communicate between two Host Channel Adapters (HCA - a physical hardware card) being simulated on same/different computer systems.

Besides being a cost-effective solution and providing means for identification of software bugs at an early stage, the model also provides a platform for software development (APIs) when the hardware is unavailable.

The verbs initiate the communication establishment by issuing a WQE (Work Queue Element) to the simulated HCA . Depending on the type of WQE, the HCA forms data packets according to InfiniBand protocol . The HCA could also have to fetch payload data from memory if it is not present in the WQE. Once the IB (InfiniBand) packet is formed, it is encapsulated in an Ethernet Frame for the communication to happen over LAN.Thus by encapsulating the IB packet in the Ethernet Frame, the point to point nature of InfiniBand Protocol can easily be established even on BUS based architecture (Ethernet).

Here the disclosed method provides two options (using a flag):
1. When trying to communicate between 2 HCAs residing on different systems but connected to the same LAN, the method uses SOCK

                                      to directly talk to the MAC layer, bypassing the TCP /IP kernel stack .This results in lower latency as well as reducing the overhead of carrying TCP/IP related information in the payload of Ethernet frame. The mechanism used is PF

_RAW

family (RAW Sockets) built in

Linux kernel (2.0 release onwards) which allows application to send and receive packets dealing directly with the network card driver,...