What is the High Performance Network Add-On?
The High Performance Network (HPN) Add-On for Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® utilizes Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) to provide low latency, high bandwidth network connectivity for high performance computing applications while reducing CPU overhead and lowering infrastructure costs. RoCE works by bypassing system and kernel calls to place data directly from the network adapter into remote system memory thus reducing the processing overhead of the CPU. Eliminating the need to invest in specialized application specific networks, RoCE is ideal for high-speed data processing applications, for bandwidth intensive networked storage, or for scaling up distributed applications on clustered systems.
What is changing?
Starting with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6, the High Performance Networking Add-on will no longer be available as a separately orderable product. Instead, the functionality found in the HPN Add-On will be integrated into the base product and delivered as part of the RHEL base channel. This change for HPN for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 will mirror what occurred for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 where HPN functionality is incorporated into the base product.
In addition to incorporating HPN functionality into the base Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and 7 products, the RoCE implementation will also be updated in RHEL 6. RoCE uses Global Identifier or GID-based addressing for node-to-node communication. Previously, GIDs were encoded based on the Ethernet interface's MAC address along with the VLAN ID (if used). In certain instances where the compute entity that runs the RoCE protocol may not be aware that its traffic is VLAN-tagged, the compute entity can create or assume a wrong GID, resulting in connectivity problems. The updated RoCE implementation resolves this issue by changing how the RoCE GIDs are encoded and instead bases them off the IP addresses of the Ethernet interface. This protocol change is consistent with how RoCE has been implemented for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.
Which SKUs are affected?
|RH00029||High Performance Network|
|RH1608622||High Performance Network (1-2 sockets)|
|RH1639323||High Performance Network (4 sockets)|
|RH1646301||High Performance Network (8 sockets)|
|RH1646318||High Performance Network (1 Virtual Machine up to 8 vCPUs)|
|RH1612156||High Performance Network (1 Virtual Machine up to 16 vCPUs)|
|RH1698516||High Performance Network (1 Virtual Machine up to 32 vCPUs)|
|RH00037||High Performance Network (Disaster Recovery)|
|RH1667784||High Performance Network (Disaster Recovery) (1-2 sockets)|
|RH1675589||High Performance Network (Disaster Recovery) (4 sockets)|
|RH1693306||High Performance Network (Disaster Recovery) (8 sockets)|
What do I need to do?
You will need to make sure all systems utilizing the RoCE protocol are running the same minor release of RHEL to ensure connection reliability due to the change in wire protocol format. Systems with the HPN Add-On installed can seamlessly be upgraded to the newly updated RoCE packages found in the RHEL based channel using the normal minor release upgrade process or through the Red Hat Satellite system management platform. The update will be transparent to applications and no code changes will be required in order to use the updated RoCE implementation.
Once a system has been updated to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6, the packages that had been delivered through the HPN Add-On channel will be automatically removed from the system during the normal update process. All future updates to the RoCE implementation will only be made available within the RHEL base channel and not through the HPN Add-On channel.
What if I have Extended Update Support?
For customers with Extended Update Support (EUS) Add-On subscriptions, extended support for HPN will remain in place until February 28, 2015 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 and November 30, 2015 for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5. Any errata updates to those versions of the HPN Add-On will be made available within the release specific HPN Add-On EUS channels. Customers will have until the dates listed above to migrate off those minor releases and move to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 or later, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, where the HPN Add-On packages will now be delivered as part of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux base channel.
Will I still need to purchase the HPN Add-On for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 or later?
Once Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 has been officially released, you will no longer need to purchase a separate HPN Add-On subscription for any systems running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 or later. The HPN Add-On SKU will also be removed from the price book and will only be available on a limited basis until November 30, 2015 for systems running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 or earlier.
What if I need the HPN Add-On for a prior version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6?
The HPN Add-On channel will not go away once Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 is released, however, no further updates will be made to the packages in this channel beyond the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 release. Customers with systems running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 or earlier that have an active HPN Add-On entitlement will still be able to access the HPN Add-On channel and its package content set.