By Rupert Dance

In April 2018, the IBTA’s Plugfest 33 saw the first instance of HDR 200Gb/s copper cables being tested for compliance, paving the way for the rollout of HDR in 2019. As a result of Plugfest 33’s breakthrough compliance testing, the 34th IBTA Plugfest, held at the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) in October of 2018, was the first event to include new test equipment that will enable testing of HDR 200Gb/s speeds at future IBTA plugfests. This event also introduced compliance testing for RoCE-enabled products, resulting in the first ever RoCE Integrators’ List along with an updated InfiniBand Combined Cable and Device Integrators’ List. These new Integrators’ lists are the most detailed and extensive lists the IBTA has released to-date, and provides a comprehensive list of risk-free IBTA-compliant products to data center architects and IT managers.

Plugfest 34 featured key updates and improvements, including:

Improved InfiniBand and RoCE Integrators’ Lists

  • The new InfiniBand Integrators’ List now specifies which tests were performed on each product, the operating systems used and all the protocols that were tested during the Plugfest Event.
  • The updated RoCE Integrators’ List includes a new format with more information, enhanced imagery and a formal introduction of compliance testing which verifies that the product conforms to the IBTA RoCE Specification. Products must pass both Compliance and Interoperability testing in order to be included on the IBTA Integrators’ List.
  • The lists provide end users with much more detailed information about the procedures used to validate the products included on the IBTA Integrators’ List.

New Test Equipment

  • New test equipment from Anritsu and Keysight along with updated application software used during Plugfest 34 enabled and supported the development of new tests for InfiniBand HDR Cables and Devices running at speeds of 200Gb/s.

The IBTA’s rigorous, independent third-party compliance and interoperability program ensures that each cable and device tested successfully meets end user needs and expectations of InfiniBand and RoCE ecosystems. The ability of IBTA Plugfest participants to interact with engineers from many device and cable vendors while resolving problems in real time is essential to the success, compliance and interoperability of all InfiniBand and RoCE solutions.

The IBTA Plugfest is an invaluable benefit to members and creates a clear path to deliver to their customers products that are compliant to the InfiniBand and RoCE specifications and interoperable within the larger ecosystem. Each product that completes compliance and interoperability testing is compiled into the resulting InfiniBand and RoCE Integrators’ Lists. The lists are technical resources that provide immense benefits to all end users deploying RDMA-based fabrics. A wide range of customers leverage these results when determining which products to use when designing or upgrading their systems.

We would like to express our thanks for the vendors that contributed test equipment to IBTA Plugfest 34, including Ace Unitech, Anritsu, Keysight Technologies, Molex, Software Forge, and Wilder Technologies.

Members that participated in Plugfest 34 include BizLink, Broadcom, Finisar Corporation, Foxconn, Fujitsu Limited, Mellanox Technologies, Molex, NetApp, QLogic (Marvell), TE Connectivity and Volex.

Stay tuned for results from Plugfest 35.