Enabling Applications for RDMA: Distributed Compilation Revisited

Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) traditionally aimed at improving high-performance computing applications and storage-area networks because CPU cycles and memory bus load can be reduced significantly by applying the zero-copy and direct data-placement techniques offered by RDMA. With the advent of iWARP, the RDMA technology is now available to the ubiquitous TCP/IP infrastructure and, thus, becomes interesting and relevant for legacy applications. In this paper, we present the conversion of the distributed C/C++ compiler distcc from sockets to the RDMA interface, and investigate the implications of using asynchronous and one-sided versus two-sided communication, RDMA-style buffer management, and notification mechanisms. We have designed a distcc extension that takes full advantage of asynchronous one-sided RDMA operations. By introducing a connection manager, we improve the communication efficiency and increase the scalability of distcc. Our tests with the RDMA-enabled distcc use a software-only iWARP implementation called SoftRDMA, which offers RDMA communication using conventional Ethernet adapters. The ideas and approach presented in this paper can be generalized to a wide range of applications.

By: Philip Frey; Bernard Metzler; Fredy Neeser

Published in: RZ3764 in 2010


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