SoftRoCEr Attala provides NVMe over standard Ethernet

NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) provides direct-attach SSD access latencies for external, shared flash storage, side stepping Fibre Channel and iSCSI network delays. RoCE provides remote memory access-like speeds across data centre-class Ethernet for NVMe-oF.

But it has a need for the underlying networks to be lossless. Composable storage infrastructure supplier Attala Systems says this is relatively easy for rack-scale deployments, but is difficult to achieve on conventional layer three (L3) leaf-spine networks. By hardening the open-source SoftRoCE initiator, Attala’s own devices and providing SSDP-based discovery, Attala Systems has enabled its RoCE-based networking capability to operate on standard leaf-spine networks and with ordinary NICs. 

This allows cross-rack and ubiquitous deployment of NVMe-oRoCE’s low latency and high performance on Ethernet networks at speeds from 10GbitE to 100GbitE and beyond.

Taufik Ma, Attala Systems CEO, said: “NVMe over RoCE has always been seen as the lowest latency, highest performance flavor of NVMe protocols. However, NVMe over RoCE’s need for lossless networks and specialized initiators has been somewhat of a limitation to its deployment. Attala Systems’ approach allows their solution to be deployed on standard L3 leaf-spine networks without any special considerations.”

Attala hardens the  open-source SoftRoCE initiator driver and its own devices to gracefully handle packet-drops in a L3 leaf-spine networks – even those which do not support priority flow control (PFC) for achieve losslessness. 

It says this unshackles NVMe-over-RoCE solutions from the confines of a single rack and specific servers. Attala’s system also includes an autonomous Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP) based discovery mechanism for newly added end-points, solving a common issue experienced by IP networks being utilized for scale-out infrastructure deployments. 

The community-hardened open-source SoftRoCE initiator driver runs on any ordinary NIC, enabling 100 per cent compatibility with any Linux-based host server across the data centre.

This looks good. We look forward to hearing what customers say.

“Attala” by the way is the Sanskrit word for “watchtower” and you can check out Attala’s offerings here.

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