Recognizing that neither the design of computer systems nor the ways in which they are used are static targets, the OFWG was explicitly created to apply application-centric I/O design principles to address these constantly moving targets. The resulting open source framework extends the art and science of high performance I/O to an expanding list of applications with the flexibility to support future classes of applications. The framework aims to support a compact set of well-defined interfaces that are responsive to different application programming requirements, including the continued support for verbs and RDMA-based I/O services.
"Verbs and RDMA-based networks will continue to be important focus areas, but with the new OFWG, the OFA is expanding its focus to include additional application-centric APIs that could be better suited to other areas and technologies", stated Jim Ryan, chairman, OFA. "Application-centric I/O is an extension of the approach historically taken by the OFA, and we will use our expertise in this area to guide the open source development of APIs and I/O libraries."
The success of this application-centric approach is highly dependent on a close association with application developers, compiler architects, system users and others who can offer a clear view of application I/O requirements. To that end, the OFA is actively encouraging participation from these communities in this new working group, regardless of OFA membership status. The OFWG framework will accommodate code contributions from the open community in the form of new fabric interfaces and I/O services, which will continually grow and develop over time.