Networking knockout punch? RoCE vies for datacenter supremacy

The Infiniband Trade Association's RDMA over Converged Ethernet standard, or RoCE, is seeking to become a contender in your datacenter for high-speed networking applications.


Today, the InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA) launched a new initiative for the promotion and awareness of its RoCE (pronounced "Rocky") RDMA over Converged Ethernet standard.

What's so special about RoCE? And why should it be a "contendah" for your datacenter's future networking infrastructure?

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It has to do with enhanced performance for data-intensive applications and lowering total cost of ownership of both your network and storage infrastructure.

In a previous article about disruptive cloud technologies, I talked a bit about converged Ethernet infrastructure and how it will ultimately lower costs and deliver superior performance to that of existing Ethernet (and Fiber Channel) fabric.

RoCE-enabled hardware has been out for a few years now, but up to this point, it has only really been embraced by cutting-edge cloud service providers and its primary application has been in the deployment of high-performance, commodity SMB 3-based JBOD storage -- specifically, the enhanced version of the Storage Spaces feature introduced in Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2.

Up until now, there have only been a few certified solutions and vendors on-board, but according to the IBTA, which defines and promotes the RoCE standard, things are quickly changing, and for the better.

With the launch of the RoCE Initiative, IBTA has provided educational resources and RoCE solution briefs for a number of critical application workloads and targeted industries, such as Financial Services, Data Warehousing, Data Storage, Cloud Computing, and Web 2.0, which includes the support of Open Source vendors and major projects such as Lustre, Hadoop, Memcached, Eucalyptus and Cassandra.

In addition to solutions running on Microsoft's cloud and data platforms, Red Hat, SuSE, IBM, Oracle, VMware as well as the upstream Linux kernel itself will also be supporting solutions based on the RoCE standard as well.

How do you foresee RoCE making an impact on your datacenter's networking and storage infrastructure? Talk Back and Let Me Know.