The OpenFabrics Alliance 2019 Annual Workshop Recap

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Annual Workshop Delivers New Hands-on Learning Opportunity to the OpenFabrics Community

The OpenFabrics Alliance (OFA) recently wrapped up its annual gathering in Austin, Texas, which featured in-depth discussions on emerging fabric technologies, collaboration on future industry requirements, and hands-on work with RDMA mini-clusters. The 15th Annual OFA Workshop took on a more academic setting in the Thompson Conference Center at the University of Texas at Austin and introduced a new hands-on learning tutorial while bringing back popular collaborative activities from the previous Workshop.

OFA Chair Paul Grun of member company Cray, Inc., kicked-off the 2019 Workshop with opening remarks that updated the attendees on the State of the OFA and outlined the four key themes that this year’s event would focus on:

  • Administration, Management and Deployment
  • Interoperability
  • The Open Community
  • Remote Persistent Memory

Furthermore, the OFA held its annual At-Large Board member election at the 2019 Workshop, which continues the organization’s initiative to solicit valuable insights from the wider OpenFabrics community. After the attendees had a chance to nominate their peers and cast votes, the OFA is excited to announce Harold Cook of Lightfleet Corporation as its re-elected At-Large Board member.

New Hands-on Learning Opportunity

1. RDMA Tutorial session led by Doug Ledford.

The OFA was excited to host a brand-new, hands-on Workshop activity that provided attendees with in-person RDMA expert guidance. Over the three-day Workshop, OFA Vice Chair Doug Ledford of member company Red Hat led a multi-session tutorial on how to setup an RDMA-enabled mini-cluster on a personal laptop. The objective was for attendees to go from a laptop with VirtualBox software installed to a working mini-cluster that is RDMA-enabled for real-time experimentation and testing.

This guided tutorial was intended for attendees that were interested in getting a working RDMA-enabled setup on their personal computer. When completed, participants were able to experiment with the various features of RDMA both in kernel and user space. 

You can download the RDMA Tutorial presentations below:

Continued Push for Collaboration and Networking

2. Networking Reception and Meet the Experts

OFA introduced many new collaborative opportunities at the 2018 Workshop with an aim to provide attendees a forum to voice their opinions, learn, and network with peers in the advanced networks community. Given the overwhelming popularity among attendees, many of those same activities were relaunched in 2019.

Birds of a Feather (BoF) sessions on “How to Drive the Interop and Logo Program into the Future” and “Libfabrics and HPC Runtime Systems” enabled participants to have open conversations with subject experts and exchange ideas with other attendees on these critical topics. In addition, the 2019 Lightning Talks gave two attendees the chance to provide short, informal updates on their respective professional projects. Lastly, the Workshop Networking Reception, sponsored by OFA member company Intel Corp., again featured Meet the Experts tables, which allowed attendees to engage with thought leaders on a wide range of subjects, including:

  • Interoperability & Logo Program
  • Kernel RDMA Support
  • Libfabric
  • Linux RDMA Subsystem
  • RDMA Programming
  • RDMA Tutorial
  • Remote Persistent Memory
  • System Administration

Workshop Content Now Available

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 OFA Workshop 2019 page.

As the OpenFabrics community and networking industry continues 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 about the OFA Workshop or suggestions on how to make the next event even better, please email press@

Thank you to the 2019 OFA Workshop speakers and attendees for their excellent contributions to this year’s program. We look forward to seeing you next year!