RDMA-Aware Programming Overview

The VPI architecture permits direct user mode access to the hardware. Mellanox provides a dynamically loaded library, creating access to the hardware via the verbs API. This document contains verbs and their related inputs, outputs, descriptions, and functionality as exposed through the operating system programming interface.


This programming manual and its verbs are valid only for user space. See header files for the kernel space verbs.

Programming with verbs allows for customizing and optimizing the RDMA-Aware network. This customizing and optimizing should be done only by programmers with advanced knowledge and experience in the VPI systems.
In order to perform RDMA operations, establishment of a connection to the remote host, as well as appropriate permissions need to be set up first. The mechanism for accomplishing this is the Queue Pair (QP). For those familiar with a standard IP stack, a QP is roughly equivalent to a socket. The QP needs to be initialized on both sides of the connection. Communication Manager (CM) can be used to exchange information about the QP prior to actual QP setup.
Once a QP is established, the verbs API can be used to perform RDMA reads, RDMA writes, and atomic operations. Serialized send/receive operations, which are similar to socket reads/writes, can be performed as well.

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