At the end of the day, it should just work. However, for unfamiliar technologies it helps to have proof. That’s why the InfiniBand Trade Association has put together one of the most comprehensive and rigorous compliance & interoperability programs in the industry to show that RoCE does, in fact, just work. At the heart of the program is our twice-a-year Plugfest program, held each April and October at the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab in Durham, New Hampshire.

At Plugfest 27 held last April, we added RoCE Interoperability testing which included Ethernet cables along with RoCE adapters and switches. We were pleased to announce the results in our press release and to publish the first RoCE Interoperability List. These interoperability results represent system tests and include the testing of the entire environment, from the application down to the wire including device transmitters, cable media and device receivers. The interoperability results include 40GbE RoCE devices and QSFP cables.

Of note, at this time RoCE products are not undergoing compliance testing, as the compliance tests are still in development. Compliance testing differs from interoperability testing in that it tests a product’s compliance to the IBTA’s specification rather than against other products. However, interoperability testing is a good gauge of whether this combination of products should “just work” in a real-world environment. To pass interoperability testing, the equipment must meet the following conditions:

  • Cable link speed came up as expected
  • Link was established end to end
  • The MPI test must run to completion without error

The next RoCE interoperability event will be held as part of Plugfest 28, taking place October 12-23. We’ll once again be using cable adapters and switches from Mellanox Technologies and Emulex, an Avago Technologies Company. I’m pleased to see the continued interest in expanding the number of interoperable RoCE products in the ecosystem