RoCE or roll in the general, er, Vcinity: Thousand mile-plus RDMA makes remote editing seem local

Published in The Register, March 28, 2019

San Jose peeps tout distance-killing file data access

California networking startup Vcinity said this week that its networking products shunted a petabyte of data 7,000km in under 24 hours, providing access to remote files thousands of kilometres away with a 250ms round trip time.

How does Vcinity explain its hardware and software driving a link so fast? The firm said it used a patented Global Fabric Extension technology with Ultimate X (ULT X) software and RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access). It claimed it can use up to 95 per cent of a link's available bandwidth but did not explain how.

ULT X presents itself outwardly as a NAS (NFS v3/4 and SMB v3) or transitional storage tier, and has a global namespace and network-mapped drive volumes. Vcinity said it is compatible with various storage systems for file storage.

The product set includes:

  • ULT X software in on-premises Linux server or as software-only to run in the cloud
  • RAD X PCIe gen 3 cards
    • X-1010e (1/10Gbit/s)
    • 1040 (1/10/40 Gbit/s and FDR InfiniBand)
    • 1100 (1/10/40/100 RoCE and FDR/EDR InfiniBand)
  • Command X web-based GUI management facility included with ULT X
  • Access X file management and sync tool to copy and move folders
  • Sync X is a web-based file synchronisation and backup tool

The RAD X cards need ULT X software on their host server and use RoCE (RDMA over converged Ethernet) or InfiniBand over any layer 2/2.5/3 network with traffic engineering and congestion management of flows across the network.

This kit is only available from Vcinity's channel partners.

Noboru Aoki at Core Microsystems said of the tech: "For our Media and Entertainment clients, the Vcinity Ultimate X solution allows video producers to edit remote content across any distance as if it were local to their desktop.

Written by Chris Mellor, The Register