[Ofa_boardplus] Jason's draft preso to the Linux Plumbers' Conference

Paul Grun grun at cray.com
Thu Aug 31 18:00:32 PDT 2017

With all due respect to an interesting exchange, I suggest we stay focused on the task at hand, which is to review Jason’s slides to ensure the OFA is presented fairly.

Respectfully, I don’t think this is the right place to be discussing the future of the IWG/Logo/Interop programs.


From: Ofa_boardplus [mailto:ofa_boardplus-bounces at lists.openfabrics.org] On Behalf Of Jim Ryan
Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2017 5:57 PM
To: Christoph Lameter <christoph at lameter.com>; Bowden, Paul <paul.bowden at intel.com>
Cc: ofa_boardplus at lists.openfabrics.org, <ofa_boardplus at lists.openfabrics.org>
Subject: Re: [Ofa_boardplus] Jason's draft preso to the Linux Plumbers' Conference

Christoph, thanks *very* much for your comments -- I'm happy to respond as best I can. First, I feel like I have to apologize in advance for focusing on specific words or phrasing. I take no pleasure in doing this. Your request for a list of membership in the IWG is not what you meant to say, respectfully. The IWG oversees the interop program. The companies that participate in the logo/interop program -- those terms are consciously conjoined -- are different.

I *think* we can provide the names of the participants in the logo/interop program, I'm asking for Bill who handles and payments and Paul Bowden, chair of the IWG to confirm. I'm happy to provide the names of IWG members though, as I've suggested, I don't think that's what you want.

I also want to be clear we've developed and used an algorithm over the last few years that charges logo/interop program participants based on the number of devices to be tested. Based on that, I can tell you Mellanox and Intel have by far the highest level of fees and so far they've agreed to pay them. I'm making no claim for the future

Again, I'm asking you to accept the view the logo/interop program, as it's currently constructed, has biz value to current participants. I don't see any reason to shut down a program they, participants, see value in

thanks again, Jim

On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 5:37 PM, Christoph Lameter <christoph at lameter.com<mailto:christoph at lameter.com>> wrote:
Which companies are participating in the IWG? It seems that Mellanox
is at this point the overwhelming provider of most of the Infiniband
technology with just minor niches occupied by others. Our own
experience with trying to use technology from Qlogic on a single
system (2011) failed miserably. Intel is moving to Omnipath. Others
simply focus on Ethernet to have a vendor neutral shared standard.

It seems to us therefore (Jump Trading) that there is a trend for
interconnect technology to become vendor specific whereas the APIs to
access the interconnect (RDMA subsystem in the kernel) provide a
common way of using these fabrics by essentially providing a hardware
abstraction layer for fabrics in the Linux Kernel.

Given this I would like to see a list of participants in the IWG and
if its is as dominated as I think it is by Mellanox then we should
slowly shut down the program and focus on the software layer while
continuing to provide a forum for the exchange of innovative ideas
about fabrics.

On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 7:28 PM, Jim Ryan <jimdryan at gmail.com<mailto:jimdryan at gmail.com>> wrote:
> Ok, I think I see your point. Your consciously blending membership dues with
> interop program participation to make a point. I don't want to argue that
> point, but I do want to be painfully clear about something. The approach we
> take is conscious and, for example, specifically contrary to, for example
> the IBTA. We view interop as a program of value to participants who make the
> biz decision to fund it. The IBTA, in contrast, views testing as a member
> benefit available to all based on membership dues.
> Those of us who have been involved with this issue, actually for years,
> share your frustration, if I may characterize it as such, with the apparent
> indifference on the part of the vast majority of members. There have been
> important contributions in the past in the form of donated equipment, but
> I'll quickly ack this has been from a small number of donors and not
> recently. The actual components are, AFAIK, left behind after testing. I
> have requested another call for donations but, for whatever reason, that
> hasn't happened.
> I *do* have to ask you to not use terms along the lines of "membership
> funding"; there is no such thing. There is participant funding and a degree
> of "membership" indifference. I'm trying to ack an element of your argument
> but continue to make the distinction clear.
> Re the quality of testing, that's a challenge for the IWG. One of, if not
> *the* most important thing they're responsible for is quality of testing. If
> something is broken there, I'm not aware of it, and we need to come to
> understand this.
> Finally, I realized I failed to respond to a point you made earlier. It's
> kinda delicate, but important. The OFA is specifically not "chartered" to
> develop specs and the IBTA and others are. There are IP provisions that need
> to exist if this is part of our mission or not. I can give you boring
> details if you want to hear more.
> The reason this is delicate is because the OFIWG has had to go right to the
> edge of what we can do, to use MAN pages to document expected API
> functionality. We have agreed this is short of a spec, but you get the
> point; it's a fine but important distinction.
> I hope this helps, Jim
> On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 4:50 PM, Jason Gunthorpe
> <jgunthorpe at obsidianresearch.com<mailto:jgunthorpe at obsidianresearch.com>> wrote:
>> On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 04:05:49PM -0700, Jim Ryan wrote:
>> > First, Jason, it appears you're working under a misunderstanding
>> > which I think Bill tried to correct, but perhaps he could have used
>> > different words. The interop program is self-funding in the sense
>> > the cost of the testing is borne
>> No, I do understand this very well.
>> The fact IWG participation is optional, and that it is billed on a
>> cost recovery basis, is not relevant to my point. I am observing that
>> of all the funds the membership chooses to send to the OFA, 50% are
>> directed to UNH-IOL (by the direct choice of the membership).
>> While at the same time the membership cannot be bothered to properly
>> equip UNH-IOL to actually test the software, and does not seem
>> interested in the logo program.
>> So, exactly why, is the membership choosing to continue fund this?
>> > Re the logo program being out of date and maybe valueless, I can
>> > simply say two things. I know of vendors for whom this *testing* is
>> > extremely important. I view that info as being confidential so as
>> > loathsome as it is to me, I have to ask you to trust me. Notice I'm
>> > not making the same claim for the logo.
>> From what I can see the testing is far less useful than I assumed it
>> was. Maybe your sources are also operating under poor assumptions?
>> Jason
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