The Extended Sockets Interface for Accessing RDMA Hardware

R. Russell (USA)


Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA), Extended Sock ets (EXS), iWARP, 10GigEthernet.


The Extended Sockets API (ES-API) is a specification pub lished by the OpenGroup that defines extensions to the traditional socket API which include two major new fea tures: asynchronous I/O, and memory registration. These features enable programmers to take advantage of today’s multi-core processors and Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) network hardware, such as iWARP and Infini Band interfaces, in a convenient yet efficient manner. This paper describes the UNH EXS interface, an im plementation of the ES-API that provides additional API facilities which enable a programmer to utilize RDMA net work hardware while selectively choosing those features of this interface that are most germane to the particular appli cation. In addition, the UNH EXS interface is implemented entirely in user space on the Linux operating system. This provides easy porting, modification and adoption of UNH EXS, since it requires no changes to existing Linux kernels. Preliminary results demonstrate that applications based on EXS can achieve high bandwidth utilization and low CPU overhead.

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