SC17 Denver, CO

Fabric APIs - libfabric User Perspective and C++ Standardization

Authors: Jeffrey Squyres (Cisco Systems)

Abstract: Application performance and scalability is affected by the design and usability of network APIs. Open Fabrics libfabric promises high-performance access to fabric services, through an implementation agnostic interface.

Based on the architectural work that went into the creation of a fabric-agnostic API, Open Fabrics is a natural fit for discussing expanding the adoption of fabric APIs.

This BoF will begin with a series of lightning talks to share experiences developing to libfabric. It will conclude by proposing that Open Fabrics develop fabric extensions to the C++ networking technical specification, for submission to the ISO C++ standards committee.

Long Description: Libfabric consists of a framework, APIs and associated user level libraries designed to improve access to network services by applications, communications middleware, and languages (e.g. PGAS) that depend on networks. Since its introduction in 2015, libfabric has gained quite a bit of traction among various types of consumers of network-based services. Previous BoFs have focused on the initial development of libfabric. This BoF is focused on those who are deploying libfabric in support of applications. The objective is to bring together those with a vested interest in deploying libfabric to share results, foster collaboration and spark new ideas for further development of the API. Those who are curious about libfabric or networking operations from a consumer perspective, as well as those who are evaluating libfabric as a future path, will find great value in this BoF. The BoF will consist of a number of lightning talks delivered by those with relevant experience in deploying libfabric, with the first lightning talk consisting of a brief update on recent developments in the API. This first talk will be delivered by a member of the libfabric development community; all succeeding talks will be delivered by those developing applications, middleware, or languages adapted to the libfabric API. We expect two major outcomes from the BoF. First, the development of new communication pathways among those working with the new API and libraries, smoothing the path to deploying this new API. Second, feedback to the development community working on developing and improving the API.

Conference Presentation: pdf

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