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InfiniBand Network Architecture

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InfiniBand Network Architecture


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  • Copyright 2003
  • Dimensions: 7-3/8" x 9-1/4"
  • Pages: 1280
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-321-11765-4
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-321-11765-6

Infiniband is a new networking technology for connecting servers, storage subsystems and networking devices. Great innovations have taken place in I/O networking technology: e.g., Gigabit Ehternet, Fibre Channel, and Ultra SCSI. Today's Internet data centers are very complex and servers are often connected to three or four different networks. As the amount of data coming into and flowing between server blades and storage subsystems increases, the existing system interconnects become a bottleneck. Infiniband utilizes high-speed serial technology to interconnect data center elements. Unlike other networking technologies, Infiniband permits data transfers without the intervention of the processor. This frees up most of the processor's bandwidth. The architecture provides increased reliability, better sharing of data, and built-in security. The book is based on MindShare's successful Infinband courses, and benefits from the author's experience in training thousands of professionals on this new technology.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures.
List of Tables.
About This Book.


1. Basic Terms and Concepts.

2. Intro to Attributes and Managers.

3. QP: Message Transfer Mechanism.

4. Intro to Transport Types.

5: Intro to Send/Receive Operations.

6. Division of Labor.

7. Subnet-Local Addressing.

8. Global Addressing.

9. Intro to the Managers.

10. Intro to Connection Establishment.

11. PSN Usage.


12. QP Verbs and QP State Machine.

13. WRs, WQEs, and CQEs.

14. Asynchronous Events and Errors.

III. Protection Mechanisms.

15. Memory Protection.

16. Other Protection Mechanisms.


17. RC Transport Service.

18. UC Transport Service.

19. RD Transport Service.

20. UD Transport Service.

21. Raw Transport Service Types.

22. Multicasting.

23. Automatic Path Migration.

24. Static Rate Control.


25. Detailed Description of the Link Layer.

26. Detailed Physical Layer Description.


27. The SMI.

28. Detailed Description of MADs.

29. SM Methods and Attributes.

30. Multiple SMs.

31. Discovery.


Who Needs This Book?

It is not MindShare's intention to convince the reader that the InfiniBand networking technology is superior to other networking technologies. As with all of our books, the goal was to provide a detailed description of the InfiniBand technology for those tasked with designing InfiniBand hardware and/or software, as well as those responsible for supporting the technology once it has been deployed.

The MindShare Architecture Series

The MindShare System Architecture book series is published by Addison-Wesley and includes these publications:

  • 80486 System Architecture,Third Edition
  • Pentium Processor System Architecture, Second Edition
  • Pentium Pro and Pentium II System Architecture, Second Edition
  • Power PC System Architecture
  • PCI System Architecture, Fourth Edition
  • EISA System Architecture, Second Edition
  • FireWire® System Architecture: IEEE 1394
  • ISA System Architecture, Third Edition
  • Universal Serial Bus System Architecture
  • PCI-X System Architecture
  • InfiniBand System Architecture
  • PCMCIA System Architecture, Second Edition: 16-Bit PC Cards
  • CardBus System Architecture
  • Plug and Play System Architecture
  • Protected Mode Software Architecture
  • AGP System Architecture

Cautionary Note

The reader should keep in mind that MindShare's book series often deals with rapidly evolving technologies. This being the case, it should be recognized that the book is a "snapshot" of the state of the targeted technology at the time that the book was completed. We attempt to update each book on a timely basis to reflect changes in the targeted technology, but, due to various factors (waiting for the next version of the spec to be "frozen," the time necessary to make the changes, and the time to produce the books and get them out to the distribution channels), there will always be a delay.

Specifications This Book Is Based On

This book is based on Volumes 1 and 2 of the version 1.0a InfiniBand specification.

Specification Is the Final Word

As with all of our books, this book represents the author's interpretation of the IBA 1.0a specification. When in doubt, the specification is the final word.

Organization of This Book

The book is organized as follows:

  • Part 1: Introductory Topics. A comprehensive overview of the InfiniBand technology can be gained from this part of the book. The reader who does not need a comprehensive understanding of all the tortuous detail can just read this part.
  • Part 2: QP Creation and Operation.
  • Part 3: Protection Mechanisms.
  • Part 4: Detailed Description of the Transport Services.
  • Part 5: Link and Physical Layer Descriptions.
  • Part 6: The SM and the SA.
  • Part 7: General Services.
  • Appendix: Contains the glossary of terms.

Documentation Conventions

This document contains conventions for numeric values as follows:

  • Hexadecimal Notation. This section defines the typographical convention used throughout this book. All hex numbers are followed by an "h." Examples: 9A4Eh, 0100h
  • Binary Notation. All binary numbers are followed by a "b." Examples: 0001 0101b, 01b
  • Decimal Notation. Numbers without any suffix are decimal. When required for clarity, decimal numbers are followed by a "d." The following examples each represent a decimal number: 16, 255, 256d, 128d
  • Bits Versus Bytes Notation. All abbreviations for "bits" use lower case. For example: 2.5Gb/s = 2.5 Gigabits per second; 2Mb = 2 Megabits.
    All references to "bytes" are specified in upper case. For example: 10MB/s = 10 Megabytes per second; 2KB = 2 Kilobits
    Other designations: "lsb" refers to the least-significant bit; "LSB" refers to the least-signicant byte; "msb" refers to the most-significant bit; "MSB" refers to the most-significant byte.
  • Bit Fields (Logical Groups of Bits or Signals). In many cases, bit fields are documented as 15:8, with this example referring to bits 8-through-15.

Visit Our Web Site

In addition to listing all of our courses and books, our Web site (www.mindshare.com) contains:

  • Errata for a number of the books.
  • Information on the courses that we teach at your site as well as live over the Web to your site(s).
  • Short courses available for viewing.
  • Technical papers.

Our publisher's web site contains a listing or our currently available books and includes pricing and ordering information. Their home page is accessible at www.awprofessional.com

We Want Your Feedback

MindShare values your comments and suggestions. You can contact us via mail, phone, fax or Internet email.

Phone: (719) 487-1417 and in the U.S. (800) 633-1440.
Fax: (719) 487-1434.
Technical seminars: E-mail nancy@mindshare.com
Technical questions: E-mail tom@mindshare.com, or don@mindshare.com
Mailing Address: MindShare, Inc., 4285 Slash Pine Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80908



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