Annual Workshop Goes Virtual, Explores Topics Spanning the Network Stack and Ushers in an Exploration of New OpenFabrics Manager Initiative
The OpenFabrics Alliance (OFA) concluded its first-ever virtual workshop last month and by all accounts was considered a great success. In the process of converting the event into a virtual format, as always, cultivating valuable discussions and collaboration within the OFA Community was a key goal that was top of mind when crafting the new program.
The 2020 Virtual Workshop was held from Monday, June 8 – Friday, June 12 from 8AM-11AM Pacific each day. This virtual format was initially a committed plan for 2020 only, but the OFA is now considering holding more remote gatherings in the future given the effectiveness of the recent workshop. That said, the current plan is for the OFA Workshop to resume its traditional, in-person highly collaborative event format in Columbus, OH, from March 16-19, 2021. Additional details on the 2021 OFA Workshop will be available in the coming months.
New OpenFabrics Manager Initiative Underway
In keeping with OFA’s mission to foster collaboration, the OFA Virtual Workshop hosted an interactive Birds of a Feather (BoF) session covering the development of an “OpenFabrics Manager” (OFM). An OFA Workshop BoF session is an ideal forum for gauging OFA community interest in an emerging topic, disseminating information on it, and networking with others who share an interest in that topic.
BoF moderators Paul Grun, Russ Herrell and Jeff Hilland from HPE dove into the notion of an OFM, which was initiated by a recent Memorandum of Understanding with the Gen-Z Consortium. By design, the topic of an OFM was covered by the three sessions preceding the BoF on Day 4 of the Virtual Workshop. Those sessions included:
- Toward an Open Fabric Management Architecture – Russ Herrell, HPE (VIDEO)
- Gen-Z: An Open Memory Fabric for Future Data Processing Needs – Russ Herrell, Gen-Z Consortium (VIDEO)
- An Update on CXL Specification Advancements – Jim Pappas, CXL Consortium (VIDEO)
The BoF was an ideal venue for the community as a whole to explore and consider the idea in some detail with an open discussion. Guided by the moderators, attendees asked follow-up questions raised during the three earlier sessions, exchanged ideas, identified possible pitfalls, and outlined potential next steps toward launching what could be a significant new industry initiative.
After the BoF concluded, the OFA leadership determined that there was enough community interest to initiate an effort to define a new OFA Working Group to tackle the development of an OFM. If you are interested in contributing to this effort, visit https://lists.openfabrics.org/mailman/listinfo/ofa_ofm to join the mailing list.
Virtual Workshop Content Now Available
The virtual program focused on the following overarching topics that span the entire network stack:
- Composable Fabric Management
- Fabric usage from the Application Layer
- Fabrics for Heterogeneous Computing, Network Computing and Accelerators
- Middleware and Communication Libraries
- Storage, Fabric-attached Remote Persistent Memory and NVMeoF
- Topics in the Kernel
As an open source organization, the OFA freely publishes the resulting materials of each annual Workshop for the benefit of the wider networking community. You can find the complete collection of this year’s Workshop presentations and video recordings on the 2020 Virtual OFA Workshop page.
As the OFA Community and networking industry continue to evolve, so too will the annual OFA Workshop to ensure that all opinions, voices and inputs are heard, considered, and built upon. The OFA values collaboration among its members and the community as a whole. If you have any questions, or suggestions on how to make the next event even better, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to the 2020 OFA Virtual Workshop speakers and attendees for their excellent contributions to this year’s program and flexibility with the last-minute changes. Also, a special thanks goes to our OFA Virtual Workshop 2020 webinar platform sponsor Intel Corporation.
Again, we look forward to seeing you next year!