art with code



Haven't you always wanted to create UNIX pipes that run from one machine to another? Well, you're in luck. Of sorts. For I have spent my Saturday hacking on an InfiniBand RDMA pipeline utility that lets you pipe data between commands running on remote hosts at multi-GB/s speeds.

Unimaginatively named, rdma-pipe comes with the rdpipe utility that coordinates the rdsend and rdrecv programs that do the data piping. The rdpipe program uses SSH as the control channel and starts the send and receive programs on the remote hosts, piping the data through your commands.

For example

  # The fabulous "uppercase on host1, reverse on host2"-pipeline.
  $ echo hello | rdpipe host1:'tr [:lower:] [:upper:]' host2:'rev'

  # Send ZFS snapshots fast-like from fileserver to backup_server.
  $ rdpipe backup@fileserver:'zfs send -I tank/media@last_backup tank/media@head' backup_server:'zfs recv tank-backup/media'

  # Decode video on localhost, stream raw video to remote host.
  $ ffmpeg -i sintel.mpg -pix_fmt yuv420p -f rawvideo - | rdpipe playback_host:'ffplay -f rawvideo -pix_fmt yuv420p -s 720x480 -'

  # And who could forget the famous "pipe page-cached file over the network to /dev/null" benchmark!
  $ rdpipe -v host1:'</scratch/zeroes' host2:'>/dev/null'
  Bandwidth 2.872 GB/s

Anyhow, it's quite raw, new, exciting, needs more eyeballs and tire-kicking. Have a look if you're on InfiniBand and need to pipe data across hosts.

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