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OCP gets Ethernet silicon interface

Mellanox kicks in another swag of code

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HPC interconnect specialist Mellanox has added an Ethernet switch SDK to its contribution to the Facebook-led Open Compute Project.

The SDK follows contributions dating back to 2013 to the OCP's networking sub-project, an effort which also attracted participants like Broadcom, Cumulus Networks, and Intel. For that project, Mellanox contributed a top-of-rack switch spec. At January's OCP summit, the company also lobbed a 40G bps Ethernet NIC into the project.

The latest announcement is clearly aimed at the kind of environment where Layer 2 and Layer 3 tweaks really matter: OEMs, or advanced HPC system admins. The marketing pitch is that customers will get “an open interface for integration of their applications, and the freedom to optimise the Ethernet switch hardware platforms for their needs.”

Quite incidentally, of course, adoption of the SDK would also be good for sales of the SwitchX-2 silicon, the APIs for which previously targeted Mellanox OEM customers.

The github release includes modules for traffic class of service, filtering, link aggregation, traffic scheduling policy, port mapping, and VLANs.

At the Open Compute Summit at the end of January, the OCP got its highest-profile backer when Microsoft joined, announcing that its home-brew server designs for Bing, Office365 and Azure would be published into the project. ®

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