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Cisco UCS B-Series Blade Server Software

Cisco usNIC Deployment Guide for Cisco UCS B-Series Blade Servers, Release 2.2

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Overview of Cisco usNIC

Overview of Cisco usNIC

The Cisco user-space NIC (Cisco usNIC) feature improves the performance of software applications that run on the Cisco UCS servers in your data center by bypassing the kernel when sending and receiving networking packets. The applications interact directly with a Cisco UCS VIC second generation adapter, such as the Cisco UCS VIC-1280, which improves the networking performance of your high-performance computing cluster. To benefit from Cisco usNIC, your applications must use the Message Passing Interface (MPI) instead of sockets or other communication APIs.

Cisco usNIC offers the following benefits for your MPI applications:

  • Provides a low-latency and high-throughput communication transport.
  • Employs the standard and application-independent Ethernet protocol.
  • Takes advantage of low­latency forwarding, Unified Fabric, and integrated management support in the following Cisco data center platforms:
    • Cisco UCS server
    • Cisco UCS VIC second generation adapter, such as the Cisco UCS VIC-1280
    • 10GbE network

Standard Ethernet applications use user-space socket libraries, which invoke the networking stack in the Linux kernel. The networking stack then uses the Cisco eNIC driver to communicate with the Cisco VIC hardware. The following figure shows the contrast between a regular software application and an MPI application that uses usNIC.

Figure 1. Kernel-Based Network Communication versus Cisco usNIC-Based Communication

Cisco usNIC Prerequisites

To benefit from Cisco usNIC, your configuration has the following prerequisites:

  • Cisco Open Message Passing Interface (MPI) distribution.
  • UCS Driver ISO (not inbox).
  • RHEL 6.4 support.

Configuring Cisco usNIC in Cisco UCS Manager

Before You Begin
Make sure that the following software and hardware components are installed on the Cisco UCS server:
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version 6.4 or later
  • RHEL gcc-c++ and gcc-gfortran RPMs
  • RDMA yum install librdmacm-utils and yum install rdma-3.6-1.el6.noarch RPMs
  • Cisco UCS VIC second generation adapter, such as the Cisco UCS VIC-1280
Procedure
    Step 1   Configure the Cisco usNIC properties and BIOS settings using Cisco UCS Manager GUI or Cisco UCS Manager CLI.
    Step 2   Enable the Intel IOMMU driver in the Linux kernel (intel_iommu=on).

    You must enable this setting in the kernel boot command to allow user-space applications to properly communicate with Cisco usNIC.

    Step 3   Manually add 'intel_iommu =on' in the grub.conf file (/boot/grub/grub.conf):
     KEYBOARDTYPE=pc KEYTABLE=us rd NO DM rhgb quiet intel_iommu=on
    Step 4   iommu verification cmd dmesg | grep -i commnad

    Verify the configuration.

    $ ibv_devinfo
    Step 5   Reboot your Cisco UCS server.

    You must reboot your server for the changes to take effect after you configure Cisco usNIC.

    Step 6   Install the Cisco usNIC Linux drivers.

    For more information about installing the drivers, see Installing Linux Drivers for Cisco usNIC.


    What to Do Next

    After you complete configuring Cisco usNIC and installing the Linux drivers, verify that Cisco usNIC is functioning properly. For more information about how to verify the installation, see Verifying the Cisco usNIC Installation.

    Configuring a Cisco usNIC

    Procedure
      Step 1   In the Navigation pane, click the LAN tab.
      Step 2   On the LAN tab, expand LAN > Policies.
      Step 3   Expand the root node.
      Step 4   Right-click usNIC Connection Policies and choose Create usNIC Connection Policy.
      Step 5   In the Create usNIC Connection Policy dialog box, complete the following fields:
      Name Description

      Name field

      The name of the policy.

      This name can be between 1 and 16 alphanumeric characters. You cannot use spaces or any special characters other than - (hyphen), _ (underscore), : (colon), and . (period), and you cannot change this name after the object has been saved.

      Description field

      A description of the policy. We recommend that you include information about where and when the policy should be used.

      Number of usNICs field

      The number of usNICs that you want to create.

      Each MPI process running on the server requires a dedicated usNIC. You can create up to 116 usNICs to sustain 116 MPI processes running simultaneously. Cisco recommends that you create at least as many usNICs, per usNIC-enabled vNIC, as there are physical cores on your server. For example, if you have 8 physical cores on your server, create 8 usNICs.

      Adapter Policy drop-down list

      The adapter policy that you want to specify for the usNIC. Cisco recommends that you choose the usNIC adapter policy, which is created by default.
      Step 6   In the Navigation pane, click the Servers tab.
      Step 7   On the Servers tab, expand Servers > Policies > root > Adapter Policies.
      Step 8   Click Eth Adapter Policy USNIC.
      Step 9   In the Work pane, click the General tab.
      Step 10   (Optional)Modify the details in the Resources and Options sections as needed. For more information about configuring Ethernet adapter policies, see the Cisco UCS Manager Configuration Guide.
      Step 11   On the Servers tab, expand Servers > Service Profiles > Service_Profile_Name.
      Step 12   On the Servers tab, expand Servers > Service Profiles > root.
      Step 13   Expand the service profile node where you want to configure the usNIC and click vNICs.
      Step 14   In the Work pane, click the Network tab.
      Step 15   In the vNICs area, choose a vNIC and click Modify.
      Step 16   In the Adapter Performance Profile area of the Modify vNIC dialog box, choose Linux from the Adapter Policy drop-down list.
      Step 17   In the Connection Policies area, click the usNIC radio button.
      Step 18   Choose the usNIC connection policy that you created from the usNIC Connection Policy drop-down list.
      Step 19   Click OK.
      Step 20   Click Save Changes.
      Step 21   In the Navigation pane, click the service profile that you just modified.
      Step 22   In the Work pane, click the Policies tab.
      Step 23   Expand the BIOS Policy bar and choose USNIC in the BIOS Policy drop-down list.
      Step 24   Click Save Changes.

      What to Do Next

      Enable the Intel IOMMU driver in the Linux kernel (intel_iommu=on).

      Creating a usNIC using the Cisco UCS Manager CLI

      Before You Begin

      You must log in with admin privileges to perform this task.

      Procedure
         Command or ActionPurpose
        Step 1 UCS-A # scope service-profile serverserver/chassis  

        Enters the service profile for the specified server and chassis combination.

         
        Step 2 UCS-A /org/service-profile # show vnic   Displays the vnics that are available on the server. A usNIC vNIC is available by default when you upgrade to Cisco UCS Manager, release 2.2.  
        Step 3 UCS-A /org/service-profile # scope vnic vnic name   Enters the vNIC mode for the specified vNIC.  
        Step 4UCS-A /org/service-profile/vnic # set adapter-policy Linux   Specifies Linux and the adapter policy for the usNIC.  
        Step 5 UCS-A /org/service-profile/vnic # enter usnic-conn-policy-ref usnic connection policy reference name   Creates the usNIC connection policy reference for the vNIC with the specified name. The maximum size for the connection policy name is 16 characters.  
        Step 6 UCS-A /org/service-profile/vnic/usnic-conn-policy-ref* # commit-buffer   Commits the transaction to the system configuration.  
        Step 7 UCS-A /org/service-profile/vnic/usnic-conn-policy-ref # top   Enters the top-level mode.  
        Step 8 UCS-A # scope org   Enters the root organization mode.  
        Step 9 UCS-A /org # create usnic-conn-policy usnic connection policy name   Creates a usNIC connection policy with the specified name.  
        Step 10 UCS-A /org/usnic-conn-policy* # set usnic-count number of usnics  

        Specifies the number of Cisco usNICs to create. Each MPI process running on the server requires a dedicated usNIC. Therefore, you might need to create up to 64 usNICs to sustain 64 MPI processes running simultaneously. Cisco recommends that you create at least as many usNICs, per usNIC-enabled vNIC, as there are physical cores on your server. For example, if you have 8 physical cores on your server, create 8 usNICs.

         
        Step 11 UCS-A /org/usnic-conn-policy* # set adaptor-profile USNIC   Specifies the usNIC Ethernet adaptor profile for the usNIC connection policy. This usNIC adaptor profile is created by default when you upgrade from previous versions of Cisco UCS Manager to release 2.2.  
        Step 12 UCS-A /org/usnic-conn-policy* # commit-buffer   Commits the transaction to the system configuration.  

        This example shows how to create a Cisco usNIC and specify its properties:

        Server # scope org
        Server # create usnic-conn-policy usnic1
        Server # set usnic-count-64
        Server # set adapter-profile USNIC
        Server # commit buffer
        Server # top
        
        Server # scope service-profile server 1/1
        Server /org/service-profile # show vnic
        
        vNIC:
            Name               Fabric ID Dynamic MAC Addr   Virtualization Preference
            ------------------ --------- ------------------ -------------------------
            eth0               A         00:25:B5:00:00:8F  NONE
            eth1               A         00:25:B5:00:00:9F  NONE
            eth2               A         Derived            NONE
        Server /org/service-profile # scope vnic eth0
        Server /org/service-profile/vnic # set adapter-policy Linux
        Server /org/service-profile/vnic # enter usnic-conn-policy-ref usnic1
        Server /org/service-profile/vnic/usnic-conn-policy-ref* # commit-buffer
        Server /org/service-profile/vnic/usnic-conn-policy-ref # exit
        
        

        Modifying a usNIC using the Cisco UCS Manager CLI

        Before You Begin

        You must log in with admin privileges to perform this task.

        Procedure
           Command or ActionPurpose
          Step 1 UCS-A # scope service-profile server chassis /server  

          Enters the service profile for the specified server and chassis combination.

           
          Step 2 UCS-A /org/service-profile # show vnic   Displays the vnics that are available on the server. A usnic vnic is available by default when you upgrade to Cisco UCS Manager, release 2.2.  
          Step 3 UCS-A /org/service-profile # scope vnic vnic name   Enters the vnic mode for the specified vNIC.  
          Step 4 UCS-A /org/service-profile/vnic # enter usnic-conn-policy-refusnic connection policy reference name   Specifies the usnic connection policy reference for the vNIC that you want to use.  
          Step 5 UCS-A /org/service-profile/vnic/usnic-conn-policy-ref* # commit-buffer   Commits the transaction to the system configuration.  

          This example shows how to modify Cisco usNIC properties:

          Server # scope service-profile server 1/1
          Server /org/service-profile # show vnic
          
          vNIC:
              Name               Fabric ID Dynamic MAC Addr   Virtualization Preference
              ------------------ --------- ------------------ -------------------------
              eth0               A         00:25:B5:00:00:8F  SRIOV USNIC
              eth1               A         00:25:B5:00:00:9F  NONE
              eth2               A         Derived            NONE
          Server /org/service-profile # scope vnic eth0
          Server /org/service-profile/vnic # set adapter-policy Linux
          Server /org/service-profile/vnic # enter usnic-conn-policy-ref usnic2
          Server /org/service-profile/vnic/usnic-conn-policy-ref* # commit-buffer
          Server /org/usnic-conn-policy # exit
          

          Deleting a usNIC using the Cisco UCS Manager CLI

          Before You Begin

          You must log in with admin privileges to perform this task.

          Procedure
             Command or ActionPurpose
            Step 1 UCS-A # scope service-profile serverserver/chassis  

            Enters the service profile for the specified server and chassis combination.

             
            Step 2 UCS-A /org/service-profile # show vnic   Displays the vNICs that are available on the server. A usNIC vNIC is available by default when you upgrade to Cisco UCS Manager, release 2.2.  
            Step 3 UCS-A /org/service-profile # scope vnic vnic name   Enters the vNIC mode for the specified vNIC.  
            Step 4 UCS-A /org/service-profile/vnic # show usnic-conn-policy-refusnic connection policy reference name   Specifies the usNIC connection policy reference for the vNIC that you want to use.  
            Step 5 UCS-A /org/service-profile/vnic # delete usnic-conn-policy-refusnic connection policy reference name   Deletes the specified usNIC connection policy reference.  
            Step 6 UCS-A /org/service-profile/vnic/usnic-conn-policy-ref* # commit-buffer   Commits the transaction to the system configuration.  

            This example shows how to modify Cisco usNIC properties:

            Server # scope service-profile server 1/1
            Server /org/service-profile # show vnic
            
            vNIC:
                Name               Fabric ID Dynamic MAC Addr   Virtualization Preference
                ------------------ --------- ------------------ -------------------------
                eth0               A         00:25:B5:00:00:8F  SRIOV USNIC
                eth1               A         00:25:B5:00:00:9F  NONE
                eth2               A         Derived            NONE
            Server /org/service-profile # scope vnic eth0
            Server /org/service-profile/vnic # show usnic-conn-policy-ref
            USNIC Connection Policy Reference:
                USNIC Connection Policy Name
                ----------------------------
                usnic0
            Server /org/service-profile/vnic # delete usnic-conn-policy-ref usnic0
            Server /org/service-profile/vnic* # commit-buffer
            Server /org/service-profile/vnic # exit
            

            Installing Linux Drivers for Cisco usNIC

            The following section lists the contents of the Cisco usNIC build folder that is included in the UCS Drivers ISO bundle. Documentation about known issues and installation instructions (README) for Cisco usNIC are also included in the build folder.


            Note


            To prevent the OS from swapping out the memory that is allocated to the usNIC applications, the installation software increases the locked memory system setting of the OS to Unlimited.


            • kmod-usnic_verbs-1.0.2.116-1.x86_64.rpm—Linux kernel verbs driver for the usNIC feature of the Cisco VIC SR-IOV Ethernet NIC.
            • libusnic_usnic_verbs-1.0.1.116-1.x86_64.rpm—User space library libibverbs plugin for usNIC.
            • kmod-enic-2.1.1.52-rhel6u4.el6.x86_64.rpm—OOB Linux kernel driver for Enic; must be copied to parent folder (one level above installation files for Cisco usNIC) for installer script to work properly.
            • openmpi-cisco-1.6.5cisco1.0.2.120-1.x86 _64.rpmCisco usNIC Open MPI—Open MPI with the Cisco usNIC BTL MPI transport.
            • usnic_tools-1.0.2.120-1.x86_64.rpm—Utility programs for usNIC.
            • usnic_installer.sh—Scripts for installing the usNIC packages listed in the section.
            • usnic_uninstaller.sh—Script for uninstalling the usNIC packages listed in the section.
            Before You Begin

            Make sure that you have configured the Cisco usNIC properties in the Cisco UCS Manager (UCSM). For more information about how to configure the properties, see Configuring Cisco usNIC in Cisco UCS Manager.

            You must also make sure that the host OS (RHEL 6.4 ) on which you want to install Cisco usNIC has a supported version of the Cisco Enic driver installed. The Cisco Enic driver is the Linux kernel networking driver for the Cisco VIC SR-IOV Ethernet NIC.
            Procedure
              Step 1   #./usnic_installer.sh

              Execute the installer script from the directory where the installation files are located for Cisco usNIC and then add the output of the installer script to the parent folder (one level above where installation files are located for Ciusco usNIC.

              Note   

              You require admin privileges to execute the script at the root (#) prompt.

              Step 2   Add the output of the installer script to the parent folder (one level above where installation files are located for Cisco usNIC.

              This is required for a successful installation.

              Step 3   # chkconfig rdma on

              Enables rdma and, once enabled, it will be started automatically after a system reboot.

              Step 4   # service rdma start

              Verify that the rdma service is started. This service is required for the usnic_verbs kernel module.

              Step 5   Reboot your server for the installation changes to take effect.

              If you do not want to reboot your server, you can manually load the kernel modules. For more information about how to load the modules, see Manually Loading the Kernel Modules for Cisco usNIC.


              Manually Loading the Kernel Modules for Cisco usNIC

              If you do not want to reboot your server, you can manually load the Cisco usNIC kernel modules by using the following steps.

              Procedure
                 Command or ActionPurpose
                Step 1# rmmod enic
                 

                Unloads the existing Enic driver module.

                Note   

                Make sure that you are not logged into the OS using the network, for example, via SSH. Otherwise, your network connection might get permanently disconnected. Alternatively, you can log in to the server using the UCSM KVM to perform this step.

                 
                Step 2# modprobe enic
                 

                Loads the Enic driver module.

                 
                Step 3# modprobe usnic_verbs
                 

                Loads the usnic_verbs driver module.

                 

                Uninstalling Linux Drivers for Cisco usNIC

                Procedure
                  Step 1   # /opt/cisco/usnic/bin/usnic_uninstaller.sh

                  Execute the uninstaller script from the bin folder in the directory where the Cisco usNIC installation files are located.

                  Step 2   Reboot your Cisco UCS server.

                  You must reboot the server for the changes to take effect.


                  Verifying the Cisco usNIC Installation

                  After you install the required Linux drivers for Cisco usNIC, perform the following procedure at the Linux prompt to make sure that the installation completed successfully.

                  Procedure
                    Step 1   Search for and list all kernel modules that have usnic_verbs in their names to verify that the kernel module was loaded during the OS driver installation.
                    $ lsmod | grep usnic_verbs

                    The following details are displayed when you enter the $ lsmod | grep usnic_verbs command. The kernel modules listed on your console may differ based on the modules that you have currently loaded in your OS.

                    usnic_verbs            78776  0
                    ib_core                73747  13 ib_ipoib,rdma_ucm,ib_ucm,ib_uverbs,ib_umad,rdma_cm,ib_cm,iw_cm,ib_sa,ib_mad,
                    iw_cxgb4,iw_cxgb3,usnic_verbs
                    enic                   67741  1 usnic_verbs
                    
                    Step 2   View the configuration of Cisco usNIC-enabled NICs.
                    $ ibv_devinfo
                    The following section is a brief example of the results that are displayed when you execute the ibv_devinfo command. The results may differ based on your current installations. When the results are displayed on your console, make sure that the state for each of the listed ports are shown as PORT_ACTIVE. The following example shows two ports (usnic_1 and usnic_0) that are configured on a Cisco UCS VIC adapter adapter. If you configured only one usNIC-enabled vNIC, you will see a listing for only usnic_0.
                    Note   

                    The ibv_devinfo command displays the value for the transport parameter as iWARP. However, Cisco usNIC does not utilize the iWARP transport.

                    hca_id: usnic_1
                            transport:                      iWARP (1)
                            node_guid:                      0200:00ff:fe00:0000
                            sys_image_guid:                 2657:20ff:fe6f:1100
                            vendor_id:                      0x1137
                            vendor_part_id:                 207
                            hw_ver:                         0x2
                            board_id:                       133
                            phys_port_cnt:                  1
                                    port:   1
                                            state:                  PORT_ACTIVE (4)
                                            max_mtu:                4096 (5)
                                            active_mtu:             4096 (5)
                                            sm_lid:                 0
                                            port_lid:               0
                                            port_lmc:               0x01
                                            link_layer:             Ethernet
                    
                    hca_id: usnic_0
                            transport:                      iWARP (1)
                            node_guid:                      0200:00ff:fe00:0000
                            sys_image_guid:                 2657:20ff:fe6f:1000
                            vendor_id:                      0x1137
                            vendor_part_id:                 207
                            hw_ver:                         0x2
                            board_id:                       133
                            phys_port_cnt:                  1
                                    port:   1
                                            state:                  PORT_ACTIVE (4)
                                            max_mtu:                4096 (5)
                                            active_mtu:             4096 (5)
                                            sm_lid:                 0
                                            port_lid:               0
                                            port_lmc:               0x01
                                            link_layer:             Ethernet
                    
                    Step 3   Verify that the rdma is on. This service is required for loading the usnic_verbs kernel module.
                    # chkconfig --level 2345 rdma on
                    Step 4   Run the usnic_verbs_check script to view the installed RPMs and their versions.
                    $ /opt/cisco/usnic/bin/usnic_verbs_check
                    

                    If any errors occurred during the OS driver installation, warnings are generated.

                    If the usnic_verbs module failed to load, the following brief example shows the warnings that are generated:
                    $ rmmod usnic_verbs
                    $ /opt/cisco/usnic/bin/usnic_verbs_check
                    enic RPM version 2.1.1.52-rhel6u4.el6 installed
                    usnic_verbs RPM version 1.0.2.116-1 installed
                    WARNING: usnic_verbs module not loaded
                    libusnic_verbs RPM version 1.0.1.116-1 installed
                    Open MPI RPM version 1.6.5cisco1.0.2.120-1 installed
                    WARNING: No usnic verbs devices found
                    WARNING: No usnic verbs devices found
                    3 warnings
                    
                    Step 5   Verify that the Cisco usNIC network packets are being transmitted correctly between the client and server hosts:
                    1. Determine the name of the Ethernet interface associated with the Cisco usNIC on the server host.
                      <server>$ cat /sys/class/infiniband/usnic_0/config | grep eth
                      usnic_0: 0000:07:0.0, eth1, 00:25:b5:c1:b3:10, 32 VFs
                    2. Determine the IP address for the Ethernet interface.
                      <server>$ ip addr show dev eth4 | grep "inet[^6]"
                          inet 10.1.0.1/16 brd 10.1.255.255 scope global eth4
                    3. Run the ibv_ud_pingpong program on the server host.
                      <server>$ ibv_ud_pingpong -g 0 -d usnic_0 -s 200
                      Set the -g flag, which specifies the GID, to 0 for usNIC. For more information about the command line options used with the ibv_ud_pingpong program, see the ibv_ud_pingpong(1) man page.
                    4. Execute the ibv_ud_pingpong program on the client host by using the IP address that corresponds to the usNIC on the server host.
                      <client>$ ibv_ud_pingpong -g 0 -d usnic_0 -s 200 10.1.0.1
                    The following example shows the results that are displayed when you run the ibv_ud_pingpong program.
                    Server-side:
                    <server>$ ibv_ud_pingpong -g 0 -d usnic_0 -s 200
                      local address:  LID 0x0000, QPN 0x000001, PSN 0x38ffcb: GID fe80::2657:20ff:fe6f:1000
                      remote address: LID 0x0000, QPN 0x000001, PSN 0x3a9e22, GID fe80::b2fa:ebff:fe72:84fd
                      400000 bytes in 0.01 seconds = 637.70 Mbit/sec
                      1000 iters in 0.01 seconds = 5.02 usec/iter
                    
                    
                    Client-side:
                    <client>$ ibv_ud_pingpong -g 0 -d usnic_0 -s 200 10.1.0.1
                      local address:  LID 0x0000, QPN 0x000001, PSN 0x3a9e22: GID fe80::b2fa:eb ff:fe72:84fd
                      remote address: LID 0x0000, QPN 0x000001, PSN 0x38ffcb, GID fe80::2657:20 ff:fe6f:1000
                      400000 bytes in 0.01 seconds = 617.40 Mbit/sec
                      1000 iters in 0.01 seconds = 5.18 usec/iter
                    
                    
                    Step 6   Download, compile, and execute the ring_c test program to validate that the MPI traffic is correctly transmitted between the client and server hosts.

                    You can obtain the ring_c test program from this link: http:/​/​svn.open-mpi.org/​svn/​ompi/​branches/​v1.6/​examples/​ring_​c.c.

                    The following example shows how to use the wget utility to obtain, compile, and execute the ring_c. Alternatively, you can use other methods of obtaining and running the test program.
                    $ wget http://svn.open-mpi.org/svn/ompi/branches/v1.6/examples/ring_c.c
                     --2013-08-06 15:27:33--  http://svn.open-mpi.org/svn/ompi/branches/v1.6/examples/ring_c.c
                     Resolving svn.open-mpi.org... 129.79.13.24 Connecting to 
                     svn.open-mpi.org|129.79.13.24|:80... connected.
                     HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
                     Length: 2418 (2.4K) [text/plain]
                     Saving to: “ring_c.c”
                     
                     100%[======================================>] 2,418       --.-K/s   in 0s      
                     
                     Last-modified header invalid -- time-stamp ignored.
                     2013-08-06 15:27:33 (10.7 MB/s) - “ring_c.c” saved [2418/2418]
                     
                     $ mpicc ring_c.c -o ring_c
                     [no output]
                     
                     $ mpiexec --host host1,host2 -n 4 ./ring_c 
                     Process 0 sending 10 to 1, tag 201 (4 processes in ring) 
                     Process 0 sent to 1 
                     Process 0 decremented value: 9 
                     Process 0 decremented value: 8 
                     Process 0 decremented value: 7 
                     Process 0 decremented value: 6 
                     Process 0 decremented value: 5 
                     Process 0 decremented value: 4 
                     Process 0 decremented value: 3 
                     Process 0 decremented value: 2 
                     Process 0 decremented value: 1 
                     Process 0 decremented value: 0 
                     Process 0 exiting 
                     Process 2 exiting 
                     Process 1 exiting 
                     Process 3 exiting ...  
                     
                    
                    

                    If the ibv_ud_pingpong program and the ring_c program executed successfully, you should now be able to run MPI applications over usNIC.