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Linux Foundation Launches Open Programmable Infrastructure Project

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The Linux Foundation has announced the new Open Programmable Infrastructure (OPI) Project to help foster a community-driven, standards-based open ecosystem for next-generation architectures and frameworks based on DPU and IPU technologies. OPI is designed to facilitate the simplification of network, storage and security APIs within applications to enable more portable and performant applications in the cloud and datacenter across DevOps, SecOps and NetOps.

The project aims to: define DPU and IPU, delineate vendor-agnostic frameworks and architectures for DPU- and IPU-based software stacks applicable to any hardware solutions, enable the creation of a rich open source application ecosystem, integrate with existing open source projects aligned to the same vision such as the Linux kernel, and create new APIs for interaction with, and between, the elements of the DPU and IPU ecosystem, including hardware, hosted applications, host node, and the remote provisioning and orchestration of software.

OPI will help establish and nurture an open and creative software ecosystem for DPU and IPU-based infrastructures. As more DPUs and IPUs are offered by various vendors, the OPI Project seeks to help define the architecture and frameworks for the DPU and IPU software stacks that can be applied to any vendor’s hardware offerings. The OPI Project also aims to foster a rich open source application ecosystem, leveraging existing open source projects, such as DPDK, SPDK, OvS, P4, etc., as appropriate.

With several working groups already active, the initial technology contributions will come in the form of the Infrastructure Programmer Development Kit (IPDK) that is now an official sub-project of OPI governed by the Linux Foundation. IPDK is an open source framework of drivers and APIs for infrastructure offload and management that runs on a CPU, IPU, DPU or switch.

Founding members of OPI include Dell Technologies, F5, Intel, Keysight Technologies, Marvell, NVIDIA and Red Hat with a growing number of contributors representing a broad range of leading companies in their fields ranging from silicon and device manufactures, ISVs, test and measurement partners, OEMs to end users.

In addition, NVIDIA DOCA, an open source software development framework for NVIDIA’s BlueField DPU, will be contributed to OPI to help developers create applications that can be offloaded, accelerated, and isolated across DPUs, IPUs, and other hardware platforms.

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