The intersect between the two organisations is primarily based upon fabric management and the corresponding software. The MoU creates the framework for a series of technical exchange meetings between the two organisations to determine future activities. In keeping with the OFA's open-source orientation, meetings will be held in an open environment.
Potential activities outlined in the agreement include joint development of a roadmap guiding future enhancements and development of the libfabric API as well as an abstract fabric manager built on the concepts of Distributed Management Task Force's ( DMTF) Redfish standard. Redfish is a widely adopted infrastructure management interface industry standard that is designed to be scalable, allowing it to target systems ranging in size from small clusters all the way up to the largest HPC systems. Developments supporting fabric management for high-performance memory, processor and accelerator interconnect fabrics will continue to evolve, leveraging the concepts of Redfish.
"The agreement between the Gen-Z Consortium and OFA sets the groundwork for future activities that will benefit both organizations and the industry at large", stated Gen-Z Consortium President Kurtis Bowman. "We look forward to working with the Open Fabrics Alliance in the future to promote and advance open-source fabrics."
"The OFA is driven by its simple mission statement, which is to accelerate the development, support and adoption of next generation fabrics and fabric interfaces for the benefit of the advanced networks ecosystem - including interconnects such as Gen-Z", stated OFA Chair Paul Grun. "A guiding principle of the OpenFabrics Interfaces (OFI) project has been its 'consumer driven' approach, whereby development of the libfabric suite is driven by requirements articulated by its consumers. Thus, the OFA believes that collaboration with the Gen-Z Consortium will provide further valuable insights into the uses and applications of the libfabric API, leading to continued improvement in the suite as a whole."
As an additional example of dedication to this agreement, the Gen-Z Consortium also recently released its Gen-Z Fabric Management Specification 0.7 Draft to the public. The draft specification defines in-band management for composable compute, memory and storage using industry-standard protocols; and outlines key system features and requirements which must be supported by the Gen-Z fabric's management stack.
The draft specification can be downloaded on the Consortium's website.