Must Mellanox InfiniBand NICs work with Mellanox InfiniBand switch?

Hi, I am new to RDMA. My lab would like to deploy an RDMA system for experiments. I am wondering, to work with InfiniBand, should I buy an InfiniBand switch in addition to some InfiniBand NICs? Or if I can connect these InfiniBand NICs via some other ordinary switches? Will this deployment have some different effects on RDMA performance?

Many thanks for the help.


To work with InfiniBand, you can either:

  1. Connect the servers back-to-back (no switch involved) and enable opensm on one of them.
  2. Use an InfiniBand switch, as 3rd party switches cannot be used for InfinibBand.