NVIDIA GPUDirect Storage Release Notes

Release information for NVIDIA® GPUDirect® Storage version 0.8.

1. Introduction

Release information for NVIDIA® GPUDirect® Storage (GDS) developers and users.

GDS is the newest addition to the GPUDirect family. GDS enables a direct data path for direct memory access (DMA) transfers between GPU memory and storage, which avoids a bounce buffer through the CPU. This direct path increases system bandwidth and decreases the latency and utilization load on the CPU.

GDS is enabled on distributed filesystems like DDN Exascaler®, WekaFS, and VAST. GDS documents and online resources provide additional context for the optimal use of and understanding of GPUDirect Storage.

You can also review the NVIDIA Developer Blog, GPUDirect Storage: A Direct Path Between Storage and GPU Memory.

2. New Features

This section provides information about the new features in this release.

The following features have been added since the 0.7 release:
  • Support for load balancing policy for User-Space RDMA.
  • Support for User-Space RDMA stats.
  • Support for config file in gdsio.
  • Experimental support for GDS writes in WekaFS.

3. MOFED and Filesystem Requirements

Here are the MOFED and filesystem requirements for GDS:

  • Ubuntu 18.04 and 20.04
  • MOFED 5.1-0.6.6.0 and later, which supports NVMe NVMeoF, NFSoRDMA (VAST) on Linux kernel 4.15.x and 5.4.X
  • The following distributed filesystems:
    • WekaFS 3.8.0
    • DDN Exascaler 5.2
    • VAST

4. Improvements

This section provides information about the improvements made to GDS since the version 0.7.

The following improvements have been made since the Alpha version (v0.5):
  • Performance improvements for Compatible Mode and non-registered GDS IO path.
  • Improvements to gdsio tool v1.1 for testing random IO buffer, offsets and sizes

5. Installing GPUDirect Storage

This section provides the steps to install GDS.

The GDS package contains three Debian packages:
  • gds_0.8.0_amd64.deb
  • gds-tools_0.8.0_amd64.deb
  • nvidia-fs_2.2_amd64.deb
Note: Each component has a README file. For example, for gds-tools, the README file is in the /usr/local/gds/tools/ directory.

To install GDS:

  1. Install MOFED 5.1. This is required for NVMe, NVMeOF, NFS.
    1. To install GDS support with the MOFED 5.1 package, issue the following command:
      $ sudo ./mlnxofedinstall --with-nfsrdma -–with-nvmf --enable-gds --add-kernel-support
    2. Issue the following command:
      $ update-initramfs -u -k `uname -r`
    3. Restart your system.
  2. Install GDS by issuing the following commands in the following order:
    1. $ dpkg -i nvidia-fs_2.2_amd64.deb
    2. $ dpkg -i  gds_0.8.0_amd64.deb
    3. $ dpkg -i gds-tools_0.8.0_amd64.deb
After you install GDS, to verify the file-system support, issue the following command:
/usr/local/gds/tools/gdscheck -p

6. Uninstalling GPUDirect Storage

This section provides the steps to uninstall GDS.

To uninstall GDS:

Issue the following commands:
  1. $ dpkg --purge gds-tools
  2. $ dpkg --purge gds
  3. $ dpkg --purge nvidia-fs

7. Minor Updates and Bug Fixes

Here are the updates and bug fixes since version 0.7.

The following minor update and bug fix was made after version 0.7:
  • Bug fixes in nvidia-fs driver, libcufile, GDS tools to improve resiliency and supportability

8. Known Issues

This section provides informaton about the known issues in GDS.

A hang is observed in NFS environments when the process crashes.

9. Deprecations

This section provides information about the APIs that have been deprecated.

No APIs have been deprecated since version 0.7.

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