UCF Consortium Project to Develop Programming Interface for Smart Networking Adapters

The Unified Communication Framework (UCF), a collaboration of industry, laboratories, and academia to create production-grade communication frameworks and open standards for data-centric and high-performance applications, has announced the formation of the Open Smart Network Application Programming Interface (OpenSNAPI) project, the company said.

New technologies continue to be developed to support the migration of the data center architecture from the old CPU-centric concept to the data-centric concept. An important part of this transition has involved the creation of new compute options, including smart and programmable interconnect solutions, also referred to as Smart Networking Adapters/SmartNICs or Data Processing Units (DPUs).

DPUs are interconnect elements that include specialized in-Network Computing engines, which are engines that can participate in the application runtime and analyze application data as it is being transferred within the data center, or generic compute cores. DPUs can be used to enhance supercomputing performance, offload security or virtualization functions, increase storage performance, and more.

Through collaboration between industry, laboratories, and academia within the UCF consortium, the goal of OpenSNAPI is to define and create a standard application programming interface (API) for accessing the compute engines on the network – specifically on a smart network adapter.

The UCF consortium manages several open-source development projects, including UCX and UCX for Apache Spark™. UCX provides an open unified communication software framework that enables users to exploit the capabilities of new high-performance computing systems, meet demands for scalability on millions of cores and support applications with critical functionality. UCX for Apache Spark is a high-performance, scalable and efficient ShuffleManager plugin for Apache Spark that utilizes RDMA and other high-performance transports to reduce CPU cycles needed for Shuffle data transfers. For more information on the consortium, or to become a member, visit www.ucfconsortium.org.

Unified Communication Framework is an essential enabler of co-design, opening the opportunity for innovation and development of heterogeneous co-processing elements working together synergistically and seamlessly to achieve a robust and capable ecosystem for exascale computing and beyond.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is managed by Triad a public service oriented, national security science organization equally owned by its three founding members: Battelle Memorial Institute, The Texas A&M University System and The Regents of the University of California for the Department of Energy´s National Nuclear Security Administration.