RDS zerocopy(7)        Miscellaneous Information Manual        RDS zerocopy(7)

       RDS zerocopy - Interface for RDMA over RDS

       This manual page describes the zerocopy interface of RDS, which was
       added in RDSv3. For a description of the basic RDS interface, please
       refer to rds(7).

       The principal mode of operation for RDS zerocopy is like this: one
       participant (the client) wishes to initiate a direct transfer to or
       from some area of memory in its process address space.  This memory
       does not have to be aligned.

       The client obtains a handle for this region of memory, and passes it to
       the other participant (the server). This is called the RDMA cookie. To
       the application, the cookie is an opaque 64bit data type.

       The client sends this handle to the server application, along with
       other details of the RDMA request (such as which data to transfer to
       that memory area).  Throughout the following discussion, we will refer
       to this message as the RDMA request.

       The server uses this RDMA cookie to initiate the requested RDMA
       transfer. The RDMA transfer is combined atomically with a normal RDS
       message, which is delivered to the client. This message is called the
       RDMA ACK throughout the following.  Atomic in this context means that
       either both the RDMA succeeds and the RDMA ACK is delivered, or neither

       Thus, when the client receives the RDMA ACK, it knows that the RDMA has
       completed successfully. It can then release the RDMA cookie for this
       memory region, if it wishes to.

       RDMA operations are not reliable, in the sense that unlike normal RDS
       messages, RDS RDMA operations may fail, and get dropped.

       The interface is currently based on control messages (ancillary data)
       sent or received via the sendmsg(2) and recvmsg(2) system calls.
       Optionally, an older interface can be used that is based on the
       setsockopt(2) system call. However, we recommend using control
       messages, as this reduces the number of system calls required.

   Control message interface
       With the control message interface, the RDMA cookie is passed to the
       server out-of-band, included in an extension header attached to the RDS

       The following outlines the mode of operation; the data types used will
       be specified in details in a subsequent section.

       Initially, the client will send RDMA requests along with a
       RDS_CMSG_RDMA_MAP control message. The control message contains the
       address and length of the memory region for which to obtain a handle,
       some flags, and a pointer to a memory location (in the caller's address
       space) where the kernel will store the RDMA cookie.

       Alternatively, if the application has already obtained a RDMA cookie
       for the memory range it wants to RDMA to/from, it can hand this cookie
       to the kernel using the RDS_CMSG_RDMA_DEST control message.

       Either way, the kernel will include the resulting RDMA cookie in an
       extension header that is transmitted as part of the RDMA request to the

       When the server receives the RDMA request, the kernel will deliver the
       cookie wrapped inside a RDS_CMSG_RDMA_DEST control message.

       The server then initiates the data transfer by sending the RDMA ACK
       message along with a RDS_CMSG_RDMA_ARGS control message. This message
       contains the RDMA cookie, and the local memory to copy to or from.

       The server process may request a notification when an RDMA operation
       completes. Notifications are delivered as a RDS_CMSG_RDMA_STATUS
       control messages. When an application calls recvmsg(2), it will either
       receive a regular RDS message (possibly with other RDMA related control
       messages), or an empty message with one or more status control

       In addition, applications When an RDMA operation fails for some reason
       and is discarded, the application can ask to receive notifications for
       failed messages as well, regardless of whether it asked for success
       notification of an individual message or not. This behavior is turned
       on by setting the RDS_RECVERR socket option.

   Setsockopt interface
       In addition to the control message interface, RDS allows a process to
       register and release memory ranges for RDMA through calls to

              To obtain a RDMA cookie for a given memory range, the
              application can use setsockopt with RDS_GET_MR.  This operates
              essentially the same way as the RDS_CMSG_RDMA_MAP control
              message: the argument contains the address and length of the
              memory range to be registered, and a pointer to a RDMA cookie
              variable, in which the system call will store the cookie for the
              registered range.

              Memory ranges can be released by calling setsockopt with
              RDS_FREE_MR, giving the RDMA cookie and additional flags as

              This is a boolean option which can be set as well as queried
              (using getsockopt).  When enabled, RDS will send RDMA
              notification messages to the application for any RDMA operation
              that fails. This option defaults to off.

       For all of these calls, the level argument to setsockopt is SOL_RDS.

       RDMA cookie
              typedef u_int64_t       rds_rdma_cookie_t

              This encapsulates a memory location in the client process. In
              the current implementation, it contains the R_Key of the remote
              memory region, and the offset into it (so that the application
              does not have to worry about alignment.

              The RDMA cookie is used in several struct types described below.
              The RDS_CMSG_RDMA_DEST control message contains a
              rds_rdma_cookie_t all by itself as payload.

       Mapping arguments
              The following data type is used with RDS_CMSG_RDMA_MAP control
              messages and with the RDS_GET_MR socket option:

              struct rds_iovec {
                      u_int64_t       addr;
                      u_int64_t       bytes;

              struct rds_get_mr_args {
                      struct rds_iovec vec;
                      u_int64_t       cookie_addr;
                      uint64_t        flags;

              The cookie_addr specifies a memory location where to store the
              RDMA cookie.

              The flags value is a bitwise OR of any of the following flags:

                     This tells the kernel that the allocated RDMA cookie is
                     to be used exactly once. When the RDMA ACK message
                     arrives, the kernel will automatically unbind the memory
                     area and release any resources associated with the

                     If this flag is not set, it is the application's
                     responsibility to release the memory region at a later
                     time using the RDS_FREE_MR socket option.

                     Normally, RDMA memory mappings are invalidated lazily, as
                     this requires some relatively costly synchronization with
                     the HCA. However, this means that the server application
                     can continue to access the registered memory for some
                     indeterminate amount of time.  If this flag is set, the
                     RDS code will invalidate the mapping at the time it is
                     released (either upon arrival of the RDMA ACK, if
                     USE_ONCE was specified; or when the application destroys
                     it using FREE_MR).

       RDMA Operation
              RDMA operations are initiated by the server using the
              RDS_CMSG_RDMA_ARGS control message, which takes the following
              data as payload:

              struct rds_rdma_args {
                      rds_rdma_cookie_t cookie;
                      struct rds_iovec remote_vec;
                      u_int64_t       local_vec_addr;
                      u_int64_t       nr_local;
                      u_int64_t       flags;
                      u_int32_t       user_token;

              The cookie argument contains the RDMA cookie received from the
              client.  The local memory is given via an array of rds_iovecs.
              The array address is given in local_vec_addr, and its number of
              elements is given in nr_local.

              The struct member remote_vec specifies a location relative to
              the memory area identified by the cookie: remote_vec.addr is an
              offset into that region, and remote_vec.bytes is the length of
              the memory window to copy to/from.  This length must match the
              size of the local memory area, i.e. the sum of bytes in all
              members of the local iovec.

              The flags field contains the bitwise OR of any of the following

                     If set, any RDMA WRITE is initiated from the server's
                     memory to the client's. If not set, RDS will do a RDMA
                     READ from the client's memory to the server's memory.

                     By default, Infiniband makes no guarantee about the
                     ordering of an RDMA READ with respect to subsequent SEND
                     operations. Setting this flag asks that the RDMA READ
                     should be fenced off the subsequent RDS ACK message.
                     Setting this flag requires an additional round-trip of
                     the IB fabric, but it is a good idea to use set this flag
                     by default, unless you are really sure you do not want

                     This flag requests a notification upon completion of the
                     RDMA operation (successful or otherwise). The noticiation
                     will contain the value of the user_token field passed in
                     by the application. This allows the application to
                     release resources (such as buffers) assosicated with the
                     RDMA transfer.

              The user_token can be used to pass an application specific
              identifier to the kernel. This token is returned to the
              application when a status notification is generated (see the
              following section).

       RDMA Notification
              The RDS kernel code is able to notify the server application
              when an RDMA operation completes. These notifications are
              delivered via RDS_CMSG_RDMA_STATUS control messages.

              By default, no notifications are generated. There are two ways
              an application can request them. On one hand, status
              notifications can be enabled on a per-operation basis by setting
              the RDS_RDMA_NOTIFY_ME flag in the RDMA arguments. On the other
              hand, the application can request notifications for all RDMA
              operations that fail by setting the RDS_RECVERR socket option
              (see below).  In both cases, the format of the notification is
              the same; and at most one notification will be sent per
              completed operation.

              The message format is this:

              struct rds_rdma_notify {
                      u_int32_t       user_token;
                      int32_t         status;

              The user_token field contains the value previously given to the
              kernel in the RDS_CMSG_RDMA_ARGS control message. The status
              field contains a status value, with 0 indicating success, and
              non-zero indicating an error.

              The following status codes are currently defined:

                     The RDMA operation succeeded.

                     The RDMA operation failed due to a remote access error.
                     This is usually due to an invalid R_key, offset or
                     transfer size.

                     The RDMA operation was canceled by the application.
                     (This error code is not yet generated).

                     RDMA operations were discarded after the connection broke
                     and was re-established. The RDMA operation may have been
                     processed partially.

                     Any other failure.

       RDMA setsockopt arguments
              When using the RDS_GET_MR socket option to register a memory
              range, the application passes a pointer to a struct
              rds_get_mr_args variable, described above.

              The RDS_FREE_MR call takes an argument of type struct

              struct rds_free_mr_args {
                      rds_rdma_cookie_t cookie;
                      u_int64_t       flags;

              cookie specifies the RDMA cookie to be released. RDMA access to
              the memory range will usually not be invoked instantly, because
              the operation is rather costly. However, if the flags argument
              contains RDS_RDMA_INVALIDATE, RDS will invalidate the indicated
              mapping immediately, as described in section Mapping arguments

              If the cookie argument is 0, and RDS_RDMA_INVALIDATE is set, RDS
              will invalidate old memory mappings on all devices.

       In addition to the usual error codes returned by sendmsg, recvmsg and
       setsockopt, RDS returns the following error codes:

       EAGAIN RDS was unable to map a memory range because the limit was
              exceeded (returned by RDS_CMSG_RDMA_MAP and RDS_GET_MR).

       EINVAL When sending a message, there were were conflicting control
              messages (e.g. two RDMA_MAP messages, or a RDMA_MAP  and a
              RDMA_DEST message).

              In a RDS_CMSG_RDMA_MAP or RDS_GET_MR operation, the application
              specified memory range greater than the maximum size supported.

              When setting up an RDMA operation with RDS_CMSG_RDMA_ARGS, the
              size of the local memory (given in the rds_iovec) did not match
              the size of the remote memory range.

       EBUSY  RDS was unable to obtain a DMA mapping for the indicated memory.

       Currently, the following limits apply

       ·      The maximum size of a zerocopy transfer is 1MB. This can be
              adjusted via the fmr_message_size module parameter.

       ·      The maximum number of memory ranges that can be mapped is
              limited to 2048 at the moment. This can be adjusted via the
              fmr_pool_size module parameter. However, the actual limit
              imposed by the hardware may in fact be lower.

       RDS was written and is Copyright (C) 2007-2008 by Oracle, Inc.

                                                               RDS zerocopy(7)