Current Meeting Report

2.3.5 IP over InfiniBand (ipoib)

NOTE: This charter is a snapshot of the 54th IETF Meeting in Yokohama, Japan. It may now be out-of-date.

Last Modifield: 05/13/2002

H.K. Jerry Chu <>
Bill Strahm <>
Internet Area Director(s):
Thomas Narten <>
Erik Nordmark <>
Internet Area Advisor:
Thomas Narten <>
Mailing Lists:
General Discussion:
To Subscribe:
In Body: subscribe ipoverib
Description of Working Group:
E-mail archive: s t.html

InfiniBand is an emerging standard intended as an interconnect for processor and I/O systems and devices (see the Infiniband Trade Association web site at for details). IP is one type of traffic (and a very important one) that could use this interconnect. InfiniBand would benefit greatly from a standardized method of handling IP traffic on IB fabrics. It is also important to be able to manage InfiniBand devices in a common way.

The work group will specify the procedures and protocols to support IPv4/v6 over an InfiniBand fabric. Further, they will specify the set of MIB objects to allow management of the InfiniBand protocol.

The scope of this WG is limited to the definition of an encapsulation format for carrying IPv4 and IPv6 over IB networks and for performing address resolution between IP address and IB link-layer addresses. At the present time, more advanced functionalities such as mapping IP QOS into IB-specific capabilities is out of scope. Such work items may be considered in the future, but will require a recharter.

Work items

1. Specify a standards track procedure for supporting ARP/ND packets, and resolving IP addresses to IB link addresses.

2. Specify a standards track encapsulation for carrying IPv4 and IPv6 packets over IB.

3. Determine how to and specify a standard for transfering IP multicast over IB. IB has an optional receiver join multicast capability. Current working group plans are to use IB multicast as part of ARP, so using it for IP multicast as well may be a reasonable approach.

4. Specify a standards track channel adapter MIB that will allow management of an InfiniBand channel adapter. There will also need to be InfiniBand types approved and added to the ifType defined by IANA

5. Specify a standards track baseboard management MIB that will allow management of specified device properties

6. Specify sample counter MIBs to allow InfiniBand sample counters to be exposed to external SNMP management applications

Goals and Milestones:
Done  Submit initial Internet-Draft of ARP encapsulation
Done  Submit initial Internet-Draft of Requirements/Overview
Done  Submit initial Internet-Draft of IP V4/V6 Encapsulation
Done  Submit initial Internet-Draft of Infiniband-Like MIB
JUL 01  Submit initial Internet-Draft of Channel Adapter MIB
Done  Submit initial Internet-Draft of Multicast
NOV 01  Submit initial Internet-Draft of Baseboard MIB
NOV 01  Submit initial Internet-Draft of Sample Counter MIB
FEB 02  Submit initial Internet-Draft of Subnet Mangement MIB
MAR 02  Submit ARP/IP/Multicast encapsulation drafts for IESG Last Call
MAR 02  Submit Infiniband-Like MIB for IESG Last Call
MAR 02  Submit Channel Adapter MIB for IESG Last Call
  • - draft-ietf-ipoib-ibif-mib-03.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ipoib-subnet-mgmt-agent-mib-02.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ipoib-ibmib-tc-mib-01.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ipoib-architecture-01.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ipoib-link-multicast-02.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ipoib-ip-over-infiniband-01.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ipoib-dhcp-over-infiniband-01.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ipoib-channel-adapter-mib-02.txt
  • No Request For Comments

    Current Meeting Report

    IP over IB WG minutes 7/14, as taken by Rob Thurlow

    Jerry Chu co-chair present and presenting for others

    Agenda items:

    WG last call - three drafts out for last call now; link and multicast,
    encapsulation and DHCP over IB. Please add your comments - last good chance! You
    have until end of July. WG wants to put these drafts on standards track and to
    move these to proposed standard.

    IPoIB MIBs - Sean Harnady's slides presented by Jerry. Six MIBs defined in WG
    charter. Textual conventions MIB version 1 available. IPOIB Infiniband
    Interfaces MIB version 3 available. IPOIB Subnet Management MIB version 2
    available. [one more version 2, missed the name] IPOIB Baseboard Management
    Agent MIB not yet published, and IPOIB Sample Counters MIB yet to be completed.
    Need to complete two drafts at least to initial version, and the others need a
    thorough review. Also need some implementation experience, though this is not
    yet necessary to advance. Also: do we need more MIBs?

    Poll for new agenda items met with silence.

    Recharter discussion - current WG scope is limited to basic encapsulation
    method. Some advanced features have been discussed - should this be added to
    scope? IETF rules: WG needs to register sufficient interest, must have a concise
    definition and scope, deliverables and milestones need to be clear, and IESG
    must agree.

    Work items: IP datagrams in non-UD IB transports; Demuxing IP datagrams over
    multipls QPs based on some TBD criteria; other client capability, e.g. SDP;
    skipping/disabling TCP/UDP checksum when running over RC/UC (this is

    Area director - do we have any idea of the ordering and desired delivery of
    running IPoIB on top of a non-UD transport? Are we being clear enough about what
    we might do? Answer: No, not clear enough. Supporting some of this on reliable
    connections is the main thing. If we can use RC, a larger MTU could be used and
    we could have better performance. Some ideas come from a previous draft. Take
    this back to the mailing list?

    Audience in room is not really familiar with the issues. Multiple QPs - could
    introduce routing and session establishment problems, unclear if it is solvable.
    Jerry polled the room for whether this item should be added to the WG charter.
    Two were against it. Reasoning from Roger Cummings who is one of the two - see
    no use of it. only want enough IP to be able to set up signalling, but want to
    run SDP (Session Description Protocol) instead. Jerry asked if this feature is
    only optional so only those who think it's useful will implement it, will he
    oppose it? The reply is no. AD commented that there is a cost vs benefit
    tradeoff one must weigh. "Other client capability - SDP" - is this even in
    scope? Maybe not. Jerry - SDP out of scope, but a few bits to be able to
    facilitate this could be OK. AD - bar is higher than "could be useful".
    Bypassing checksums - lots of people have had this idea, and they always found
    they had to add them back later on, so why? Attendees with an opinion all agreed
    that bypassing was bad.

    Next steps: Move 3 IPoIB drafts plus IB Interfaces MIB to standards track.

    Need more reviewers plus volunteers for other drafts, Finally, expand WG charter
    to address advanced features.

    Questions and comments - none, done!


    IPOIB General