Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) is a computing technology that allows a computer in a network to place data into the main memory of another computer without involving the processor, cache, or operating system of either computer. RDMA facilitates a faster data transfer rate and reduces latency by minimizing demands on bandwidth and processing overhead.
Traditional computing architecture requires a considerable load on the server’s CPU and memory because data must be copied between the kernel and the application. This load causes memory bottlenecks on the server, as connection speeds surpass their processing power and bandwidth. However, RDMA gets around this by implementing a transport protocol in the network interface card (NIC) hardware and by supporting a feature called zero-copy networking.
Zero-copy networking enables the NIC to transfer data directly to and from application memory, bypassing the kernel. This makes it possible to read data directly from the main memory of one computer and write that data directly to the memory of another computer.
With RDMA, data transfers require no work from CPUs, caches, or context switches, as the data transfers continue to correspond with other system operations. RDMA has proven to be useful in applications involving high-speed clusters and data center networks because it reduces latency and enables faster data transfers.
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