[openfabrics-ewg] [openib-general] OFED 1.2 - request addition of VNIC as a feature

Jamie Riotto (jriotto) jriotto at cisco.com
Tue Nov 21 13:25:54 PST 2006

Ok, as Chair of the EWG, I've been asked to comment on the request 
for the addition of the of the QLogic VNIC driver into the OFED stream.

1) I am of the opinion that the EWG is not the place to debate 
the fundamental technical merits of one approach or another at 
the system level. I.e. the question of IPoIB vs VNIC is not 
generally relavent to the question of whether to include the VNIC
driver or not. This isn't to say that I don't think debating the
techincal differences ins't a good discussion or intellectually
stimulating, in fact we've been debating these ethernet models 
since the beginning of Topspin / Cisco. Roland expressed much 
the same opinion in his more succinct "OFED shouldn't be picking
technology winners".

2) I believe the role of the EWG is to insure that SW added to the
OFED release is done so in with an eye to the greatest stability
possible, as this is what our customers rely on. Therefore, code that
affects all drivers should come under a lot more scrutiny than
code in an isolated driver. As the QLogic VNIC driver seems to be
HW specific, and doesn't seem on the surface to effect anything
else, it seems to fall into the latter category. 

3) It is the role of the OFA community at large to comment on code 
quality and help steer folks in the right direction towards uniform
style and architectual goodness. Again, as this is an isolated HW
driver, I see
no real need for upfront scutiny as a prerequisite for acceptance, 
I only want to make sure that the checkins don't break the rest of the
tree. The community can comment on whether the code is written and 
structured in such a way that warrants its consideration as a base for
VNIC drivers on other HW. 

Therefore, I personally welcome the submission from QLogic, and I can't
wait to debate the technical trade-offs of the different Ethernet
models, namely IPoIB bridging, SDP Termination, VNIC, L2 / L3, etc. 

Of course, these are my personal opinions, and if anyone on the EWG 
(or the OFA community at large for that matter) disagrees,
feel free to speak up and we will continue the discussion. 

Cheers - jamie

Jamie Riotto
Sr. Director of Engineering
Server Virtualization Business Unit (SVBU)
Cisco Systems

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