Efficiency and Performance

Data center architects running RDMA applications on an Ethernet infrastructure can expect to see application performance and efficiency improvements that come from the offloading of data movement and the higher availability of CPU resources to the application. Adopters of RoCE can benefit from RDMA’s capabilities without leaving the familiar transport and network management system of Ethernet.

By reducing Ethernet network latency and offloading CPU overhead, RoCE increases performance in search, storage, database, financial and high transaction rate applications. By increasing CPU efficiency and improving application performance, RoCE can reduce the number of servers needed, thereby producing energy savings and reducing the footprint of Ethernet-based data centers.

Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) enables the movement of data between servers with little CPU involvement.

  • Traditional data movement utilizes TCP/IP, many copies and significant CPU overhead
  • RDMA is the direct read from or write to an application’s memory utilizing a specialized controller
  • This hardware offload moves data faster with significantly less overhead allowing the CPU to work on other applications
RoCE Introduction data movement graphic

RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) provides an efficient, low latency, light-weight transport and enables faster application completion, better server utilization and higher scalability.

  • Available at all speeds of Ethernet
  • Eliminating CPU bottlenecks enables full use of the available bandwidth
  • Sub-microsecond server to server application latency reduces wait times

RoCE utilizes the existing Ethernet data center infrastructure.

  • Most widely deployed RDMA over Ethernet standard
  • Takes advantage of PFC (Priority Flow Control) in DCB Ethernet for deterministic performance
  • Can be used in Layer 2 and Layer 3 networks
  • Drivers available in Red Hat, SUSE, Microsoft Windows and other common operating systems

RoCE is standardized by the InfiniBand Trade Association(IBTA).

  • First specification in 2010
  • Large scale deployments in 2013
  • Specification available for download on the IBTA website

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