Introduction of New Participants:
Two new participants in the project were introduced to the board: tech writer David Thomas, who begins his contract on the project on June 12th, and marketing coordinator Benjamin Thomas of the Linux Foundation.
Community Lab Updates
A winter storm temporarily deprived the Community Lab of power in January. More recently, FIPS testing has been brought online, catching up the DPDK sample application to the formats used by NIST and their ACVP API, the automated process to move their encryption test vectors to/from their systems for validation. This was merged into the 22.11 release. Arm brought a new hardware system into the lab based on the Ultra CPU. Test coverage has also been extended for all applicable OSes to arm64 systems, effectively doubling the coverage. The Lab is continuing to contribute to the DTS improvements and merge into the DPDK main line. The RFC patch for DTS smoke tests has been submitted for the 23.07 release. And finally, in terms of bare metal and NIC enhancements, per the 2023 lab plans, each Gold member has been contacted about their desired NIC upgrade(s) or expansion(s) for the lab’s coverage. Initial responses led to a multiphase plan including: the purchase of three NICs, with three direct installs into existing servers and the third installed into a server donated by intel; the development of a plan for a 4th NIC that will involve retiring an older NIC, having a gold member request to select an alternate, and exploring alternate server install locations; and the gathering of information on two additional requests that were non-NICs/development platforms.
Tech Board Updates
DPDK 23.03 was released recently. In addition to this there were still some new devices/drivers/libraries happening on the project – including support for Arkville cards, which is an RTL for FPGAs for the PCI side. There was a new driver to support one of Intel’s new IPU chips, a smart NIC with an ASIC, and there was a machine learning library MLL – a library to expose some machine learning accelerators had by Marvell on their chips under SLCs. In addition to the new hardware/drivers/libraries, DPDK has new crypto, new algorithms, updates to many drivers. In terms of hardware offloading, for RT flow, there are new rules. Regarding LTS releases, 3 streams are in progress: 20.11, 21.11, and 22.11.
The project retains a healthy financial surplus. Current projections for 2023 expenditures have increased slightly given the hire of David Thomas as Tech Writer, the approval of travel reimbursements for Governing Board and Tech Board Members for the Dublin 2023 Userspace Event, and a slight increase in marketing allotments for coordinator Benjamin Thomas. The project’s revenues for 2023 are now projected to be close to its expenditures.
Newly appointed marketing coordinator Ben Thomas, from the Linux Foundation, laid out a metric-driven strategy to more effectively and broadly reach the DPDK community in the months ahead. He observed that outstanding work is happening around the project and in its community, but DPDK needs a greater volume of content, sent out more frequently and strategically, to keep everyone informed of recent developments. Mr. Thomas presented a two-phase strategy to make this happen, that included maintaining current membership status through 2024 renewals by increasing brand awareness, and increasing the user and contributor base by boosting community reach and awareness. Mr. Thomas then laid out a plan for systematically mapping out the KPIs across the website and across social media, falling into categories including website, social media, live video webinars, email communications, blogs and collateral, and PR outreach. These strategies will be carried out in the months ahead.
The DPDK Governing Board previously approved budget coverage of select Governing Board and Tech Board expenses for Userspace 2023, to take place in Dublin, Ireland from Sep. 12-13, 2023. The project is still working on securing a venue for the event, and exploring several options with Events Coordinator Evi Harmon, of the Linux Foundation. In the weeks and months ahead, Ms. Harmon’s team plans to coordinate various critical aspects of event planning that include launching the CFP, setting up and launching an event website, setting up event registration, and ultimately posting the speaker agenda once it has been decided by the Program Committee. The Events Team will be onsite in Dublin during Userspace to ensure a successful experience for all onsite and virtual attendees.