This readme tries to provide some background on the hows and whys of RDS,
and will hopefully help you find your way around the code.
In addition, please see this email about RDS origins:
RDS provides reliable, ordered datagram delivery by using a single
reliable connection between any two nodes in the cluster. This allows
applications to use a single socket to talk to any other process in the
cluster - so in a cluster with N processes you need N sockets, in contrast
to N*N if you use a connection-oriented socket transport like TCP.
RDS is not Infiniband-specific; it was designed to support different
transports. The current implementation used to support RDS over TCP as well
as IB. Work is in progress to support RDS over iWARP, and using DCE to
guarantee no dropped packets on Ethernet, it may be possible to use RDS over
UDP in the future.
The high-level semantics of RDS from the application's point of view are
RDS uses IPv4 addresses and 16bit port numbers to identify
the end point of a connection. All socket operations that involve
passing addresses between kernel and user space generally
use a struct sockaddr_in.
The fact that IPv4 addresses are used does not mean the underlying
transport has to be IP-based. In fact, RDS over IB uses a
reliable IB connection; the IP address is used exclusively to
locate the remote node's GID (by ARPing for the given IP).
The port space is entirely independent of UDP, TCP or any other
* Socket interface
RDS sockets work *mostly* as you would expect from a BSD
socket. The next section will cover the details. At any rate,
all I/O is performed through the standard BSD socket API.
Some additions like zerocopy support are implemented through
control messages, while other extensions use the getsockopt/
Sockets must be bound before you can send or receive data.
This is needed because binding also selects a transport and
attaches it to the socket. Once bound, the transport assignment
does not change. RDS will tolerate IPs moving around (eg in
a active-active HA scenario), but only as long as the address
doesn't move to a different transport.
RDS supports a number of sysctls in /proc/sys/net/rds
AF_RDS, PF_RDS, SOL_RDS
These constants haven't been assigned yet, because RDS isn't in
mainline yet. Currently, the kernel module assigns some constant
and publishes it to user space through two sysctl files
fd = socket(PF_RDS, SOCK_SEQPACKET, 0);
This creates a new, unbound RDS socket.
setsockopt(SOL_SOCKET): send and receive buffer size
RDS honors the send and receive buffer size socket options.
You are not allowed to queue more than SO_SNDSIZE bytes to
a socket. A message is queued when sendmsg is called, and
it leaves the queue when the remote system acknowledges
The SO_RCVSIZE option controls the maximum receive queue length.
This is a soft limit rather than a hard limit - RDS will
continue to accept and queue incoming messages, even if that
takes the queue length over the limit. However, it will also
mark the port as "congested" and send a congestion update to
the source node. The source node is supposed to throttle any
processes sending to this congested port.
bind(fd, &sockaddr_in, ...)
This binds the socket to a local IP address and port, and a
Sends a message to the indicated recipient. The kernel will
transparently establish the underlying reliable connection
if it isn't up yet.
An attempt to send a message that exceeds SO_SNDSIZE will
return with -EMSGSIZE
An attempt to send a message that would take the total number
of queued bytes over the SO_SNDSIZE threshold will return
An attempt to send a message to a destination that is marked
as "congested" will return ENOBUFS.
Receives a message that was queued to this socket. The sockets
recv queue accounting is adjusted, and if the queue length
drops below SO_SNDSIZE, the port is marked uncongested, and
a congestion update is sent to all peers.
Applications can ask the RDS kernel module to receive
notifications via control messages (for instance, there is a
notification when a congestion update arrived, or when a RDMA
operation completes). These notifications are received through
the msg.msg_control buffer of struct msghdr. The format of the
messages is described in manpages.
RDS supports the poll interface to allow the application
to implement async I/O.
POLLIN handling is pretty straightforward. When there's an
incoming message queued to the socket, or a pending notification,
we signal POLLIN.
POLLOUT is a little harder. Since you can essentially send
to any destination, RDS will always signal POLLOUT as long as
there's room on the send queue (ie the number of bytes queued
is less than the sendbuf size).
However, the kernel will refuse to accept messages to
a destination marked congested - in this case you will loop
forever if you rely on poll to tell you what to do.
This isn't a trivial problem, but applications can deal with
this - by using congestion notifications, and by checking for
ENOBUFS errors returned by sendmsg.
setsockopt(SOL_RDS, RDS_CANCEL_SENT_TO, &sockaddr_in)
This allows the application to discard all messages queued to a
specific destination on this particular socket.
This allows the application to cancel outstanding messages if
it detects a timeout. For instance, if it tried to send a message,
and the remote host is unreachable, RDS will keep trying forever.
The application may decide it's not worth it, and cancel the
operation. In this case, it would use RDS_CANCEL_SENT_TO to
nuke any pending messages.
RDMA for RDS
see rds-rdma(7) manpage (available in rds-tools)
see rds(7) manpage
The message header is a 'struct rds_header' (see rds.h):
per-packet sequence number
piggybacked acknowledgment of last packet received
length of data, not including header
CONG_BITMAP - this is a congestion update bitmap
ACK_REQUIRED - receiver must ack this packet
RETRANSMITTED - packet has previously been sent
indicate to other end of connection that
it has more credits available (i.e. there is
more send room)
unused, for future use
optional data can be passed here. This is currently used for
passing RDMA-related information.
ACK and retransmit handling
One might think that with reliable IB connections you wouldn't need
to ack messages that have been received. The problem is that IB
hardware generates an ack message before it has DMAed the message
into memory. This creates a potential message loss if the HCA is
disabled for any reason between when it sends the ack and before
the message is DMAed and processed. This is only a potential issue
if another HCA is available for fail-over.
Sending an ack immediately would allow the sender to free the sent
message from their send queue quickly, but could cause excessive
traffic to be used for acks. RDS piggybacks acks on sent data
packets. Ack-only packets are reduced by only allowing one to be
in flight at a time, and by the sender only asking for acks when
its send buffers start to fill up. All retransmissions are also
RDS's IB transport uses a credit-based mechanism to verify that
there is space in the peer's receive buffers for more data. This
eliminates the need for hardware retries on the connection.
Messages waiting in the receive queue on the receiving socket
are accounted against the sockets SO_RCVBUF option value. Only
the payload bytes in the message are accounted for. If the
number of bytes queued equals or exceeds rcvbuf then the socket
is congested. All sends attempted to this socket's address
should return block or return -EWOULDBLOCK.
Applications are expected to be reasonably tuned such that this
situation very rarely occurs. An application encountering this
"back-pressure" is considered a bug.
This is implemented by having each node maintain bitmaps which
indicate which ports on bound addresses are congested. As the
bitmap changes it is sent through all the connections which
terminate in the local address of the bitmap which changed.
The bitmaps are allocated as connections are brought up. This
avoids allocation in the interrupt handling path which queues
sages on sockets. The dense bitmaps let transports send the
entire bitmap on any bitmap change reasonably efficiently. This
is much easier to implement than some finer-grained
communication of per-port congestion. The sender does a very
inexpensive bit test to test if the port it's about to send to
is congested or not.
RDS Transport Layer
As mentioned above, RDS is not IB-specific. Its code is divided
into a general RDS layer and a transport layer.
The general layer handles the socket API, congestion handling,
loopback, stats, usermem pinning, and the connection state machine.
The transport layer handles the details of the transport. The IB
transport, for example, handles all the queue pairs, work requests,
CM event handlers, and other Infiniband details.
RDS Kernel Structures
aka possibly "rds_outgoing", the generic RDS layer copies data to
be sent and sets header fields as needed, based on the socket API.
This is then queued for the individual connection and sent by the
a generic struct referring to incoming data that can be handed from
the transport to the general code and queued by the general code
while the socket is awoken. It is then passed back to the transport
code to handle the actual copy-to-user.
pointers to transport-specific functions
wraps the raw congestion bitmap, contains rbnode, waitq, etc.
Connections may be in UP, DOWN, CONNECTING, DISCONNECTING, and
The first time an attempt is made by an RDS socket to send data to
a node, a connection is allocated and connected. That connection is
then maintained forever -- if there are transport errors, the
connection will be dropped and re-established.
Dropping a connection while packets are queued will cause queued or
partially-sent datagrams to be retransmitted when the connection is
The send path
struct rds_message built from incoming data
CMSGs parsed (e.g. RDMA ops)
transport connection alloced and connected if not already
rds_message placed on send queue
send worker awoken
calls rds_send_xmit() until queue is empty
transmits congestion map if one is pending
may set ACK_REQUIRED
calls transport to send either non-RDMA or RDMA message
(RDMA ops never retransmitted)
allocs work requests from send ring
adds any new send credits available to peer (h_credits)
maps the rds_message's sg list
populates work requests
post send to connection's queue pair
The recv path
looks at write completions
unmaps recv buffer from device
no errors, call rds_ib_process_recv()
refill recv ring
validate header checksum
copy header to rds_ib_incoming struct if start of a new datagram
add to ibinc's fraglist
if competed datagram:
update cong map if datagram was cong update
call rds_recv_incoming() otherwise
note if ack is required
drop duplicate packets
respond to pings
find the sock associated with this datagram
add to sock queue
wake up sock
do some congestion calculations
copy data into user iovec
return to application
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