Developer Guide

  • 2021.2
  • 03/31/2021
  • Public Content
Contents

OFI* Providers Support

Intel® MPI Library supports
mlx,
tcp, psm2, sockets, verbs, and RxM OFI* providers. Each OFI provider is built as a separate dynamic library to ensure that a single libfabric* library can be run on top of different network adapters.
Additionally, Intel MPI Library supports the efa provider, which is not a part of the Intel® MPI Library package and supplied by AWS EFA installer. Please see the efa section below for more details.
Use the environment variable
FI_PROVIDER
 to select a provider. Set the
FI_PROVIDER_PATH
environment variable to specify the path to provider libraries.
To get a full list of environment variables available for configuring OFI, run the following command:
$ fi_info  -e

tcp

The TCP provider is a general purpose provider for the Intel MPI Library that can be used on any system that supports TCP sockets to implement the libfabric API. The provider lets you run the Intel MPI Library application over regular Ethernet, in a cloud environment that has no specific fast interconnect (e.g., GCP, Ethernet empowered Azure*, and AWS* instances) or using IPoIB.
The following runtime parameters can be used:
Name
Description
FI_TCP_IFACE
Specifies a particular network interface.
FI_TCP_PORT_LOW_RANGE
FI_TCP_PORT_HIGH_RANGE
Sets the range of ports to be used by the TCP provider for its passive endpoint creation. This is useful when only a range of ports are allowed by the firewall for TCP connections.

psm2

The PSM2 provider runs over the PSM 2.x interface supported by the Intel® Omni-Path Fabric. PSM 2.x has all the PSM 1.x features, plus a set of new functions with enhanced capabilities. Since PSM 1.x and PSM 2.x are not application binary interface (ABI) compatible, the PSM2 provider works with PSM 2.x only and does not support Intel® True Scale Fabric.
The following runtime parameters can be used:
Name
Description
FI_PSM2_INJECT_SIZE
Define the maximum message size allowed for
fi_inject
and
fi_tinject
calls.  The default value is 64.
FI_PSM2_LAZY_CONN
Control the connection mode established between PSM2 endpoints that OFI endpoints are built on top of. When set to 0 (eager connection mode), connections are established when addresses are inserted into the address vector. When set to 1 (lazy connection mode), connections are established when addresses are used the first time in communication.
Lazy connection mode may reduce the start-up time on large systems at the expense of higher data path overhead.

sockets

The sockets provider is a general purpose provider that can be used on any system that supports TCP sockets. The provider is not intended to provide performance improvements over regular TCP sockets, but rather to allow developers to write, test, and debug application code even on platforms that do not have high-performance fabric hardware. The sockets provider supports all libfabric provider requirements and interfaces.
The following runtime parameter can be used:
Name
Description
FI_SOCKETS_IFACE
Define the prefix or the name of the network interface. By default, it uses any.

verbs

The verbs provider enables applications using OFI to be run over any verbs hardware (InfiniBand*, iWarp*, and so on). It uses the Linux Verbs API for network transport and provides a translation of OFI calls to appropriate verbs API calls. It uses librdmacm for communication management and libibverbs for other control and data transfer operations.
The verbs provider uses RxM utility provider to emulate
FI_EP_RDM
endpoint over verbs
FI_EP_MSG
endpoint by default. The verbs provider with
FI_EP_RDM
endpoint can be used instead of RxM by setting the
FI_PROVIDER=^ofi_rxm
runtime parameter.
The following runtime parameters can be used:
Name
Description
FI_VERBS_INLINE_SIZE
Define the maximum message size allowed for
fi_inject
and
fi_tinject
calls.  The default value is 64.
FI_VERBS_IFACE
Define the prefix or the full name of the network interface associated with the verbs device. The default value is ib.
FI_VERBS_MR_CACHE_ENABLE
Enable Memory Registration caching. The default value is 0. Set this environment variable to enable the memory registration cache.
Cache usage substantially improves performance, but may lead to correctness issues.
Dependencies
The verbs provider requires libibverbs (v1.1.8 or newer) and librdmacm (v1.0.16 or newer). If you are compiling libfabric from source and want to enable verbs support, it is essential to have the matching header files for the above two libraries. If the libraries and header files are not in default paths, specify them in the
CFLAGS
,
LDFLAGS
, and
LD_LIBRARY_PATH
environment variables.

RxM

The RxM (RDM over MSG) provider (
ofi_rxm
) is a utility provider that supports
FI_EP_RDM
endpoint emulated over
FI_EP_MSG
endpoint of the core provider.
The RxM provider requires the core provider to support the following features:
  • MSG endpoints (
    FI_EP_MSG
    )
  • FI_MSG
    transport (to support data transfers)
  • FI_RMA
    transport (to support rendezvous protocol for large messages and RMA transfers)
  • FI_OPT_CM_DATA_SIZE
    of at least 24 bytes
The following runtime parameters can be used:
Name
Description
FI_OFI_RXM_BUFFER_SIZE
Define the transmit buffer size/inject size. Messages of smaller size are transmitted via an eager protocol and those above would be transmitted via a rendezvous protocol. Transmitted data is copied up to the specified size. By default, the size is 16k.  
FI_OFI_RXM_SAR_LIMIT
Сontrol the RxM SAR (Segmentation аnd Reassembly) protocol. Messages of greater size are transmitted via rendezvous protocol.
FI_OFI_RXM_USE_SRX
Control the RxM receive path. If the variable is set to 1, the RxM uses Shared Receive Context of the core provider. The default value is 0.
Setting this variable to 1 improves memory consumption, but may increase small message latency as a side-effect.

efa

The efa provider enables applications to be run over AWS EFA hardware (Elastic Fabric Adapter).
Please refer to Amazon EC2 User Guide for OFI and Intel® MPI installation on EFA-enabled instances.

Product and Performance Information

1

Performance varies by use, configuration and other factors. Learn more at www.Intel.com/PerformanceIndex.