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OpenFabrics Alliance

The OpenFabrics Alliance (OFA) develops, tests, licenses, supports and distributes OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution (OFED™) open source software to deliver high-efficiency computing, wire-speed messaging, ultra-low microsecond latencies and fast I/O.

Founded in June 2004 as the OpenIB Alliance, the OFA was originally focused on developing a standardized, Linux-based InfiniBand software stack. In 2005, the Alliance committed itself to supporting Windows, a move that would make the Alliance’s software stack truly cross-platform. In 2006, the organization again expanded its charter to include support for iWARP, and in 2010 it added support for RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet) for delivering high-performance RDMA and kernel bypass solutions over Ethernet.

Today, the vision of the OpenFabrics Alliance is to deliver a unified, cross-platform, transport-independent software stack for RDMA and kernel bypass. Transport independence means that users can utilize the same OpenFabrics RDMA and kernel bypass API and run their applications agnostically over InfiniBand, iWARP or RoCE.

To that end, the OFA provides tools and development resources to code, refine and publish standards-based, open-source software with the scalability and performance necessary to support mission-critical applications, while eliminating the interoperability barriers to RDMA adoption.

OFED solutions are widely used with high performance computing applications and are seeing increasing use in enterprise data center applications. On the horizon, the OFA is looking to enable the high-performance networking benefits and further expand its presence in the enterprise data center and cloud applications markets. OFED is included and shipped with all major server operating systems from Red Hat, Novell, Oracle and Microsoft. OFED has also been ported by other operating systems including Solaris. The OFA charter continuously promotes industry awareness and acceptance of RDMA, kernel bypass and low-latency fabric technologies.

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