Why has support for ConnecX-2 cards been discontinued in WinOF 4.90?

Does anyone know if there are any technical reasons why support for the ConnecX-2 cards has been discontinued in WinOF 4.90?

In particular, i’m thinking about problems that has been corrected like “temporary network connectivity issues while migrating VMs or modifying VMQ configuration for VMs that uses IPoIB with VMQ” that affects live migration of Hyper-V in a cluster failover. Will this or other bugfixes in 4.90 to be back-ported to 4.80?

We have mostly ConnecX-2 based cards in our customer installations and I need a solid explanation why they eventually need to invest in new hw-upgrades.

Thanks in advance!


They are probably dumping support for them, to force upgrading, and if it turns out they are, our infiniband usage is also going to be dumped. As it means it unlikely to be supported in future OS’s, we do not need or want to upgrade to newer hardware just for the sake of it when the current should work fine.

Looking through the product brief and feature summary list (hardware features), there are only 2 differences, connectx3 supports energy efficient ethernet and connectx2 is compatible with 10Gb no mention of 40Gb like the x3. EDIT: forgot to add Precision clock sync is also in x3. The 2 documents are almost identical, a few things moved about and a few things removed due to duplication in the feature list. So as Lars has said, there doesn’t appear to be much difference between x2 and x3 apart from speed, also the product briefs say for feature lists, refer to the driver documentation.

“*This product brief describes all of the hardware features and capabilities. Please refer to the driver release notes on www.mellanox.com for feature availability.”

So as the hardware feature list is almost identical, all the additional features are implemented in driver.

EDIT: Also the “silicon” documents are here:

http://www.mellanox.com/related-docs/prod_silicon/PB_ConnectX3_VPI_Silicon.pdf http://www.mellanox.com/related-docs/prod_silicon/PB_ConnectX3_VPI_Silicon.pdf

http://www.mellanox.com/related-docs/prod_silicon/ConnectX-2_Silicon.pdf http://www.mellanox.com/related-docs/prod_silicon/ConnectX-2_Silicon.pdf

Yeah, it would be very frustrating if that’s the case. Wonder why they still are selling CTX2 adapters at the Mellanox Online Store: Adapters - InfiniBand and VPI Adapter Cards - ConnectX-2 VPI - Mellanox Store http://www.mellanoxstore.com/categories/adapters/infiniband-and-vpi-adapter-cards/connectx-2-vpi.html . Anyhow, I’ll open a support case to check what’s going on…

As far as supporting Windows users, WinOF4.8 is the last official version that supported ConnectX2 cards. As Mellanox releases new drivers, those are also including features that have strong dependency with FW releases and MS OS releases.

Unfortunately, it became almost impossible for ConnectX2 cards to catch up with the new feature and capabilities and therefore the driver releases had to continue without it.

specifically, i know of few folks that are using WinOF 4.9 and ConnectX2 cards and it works. It was not tested and released this way - still, it doesn’t stop people from trying ;-)


I do understand the device driver dependency with the firmware, which probably is related to the fast development of new feautures in WinOF.

What I don’t get is what capabilities that might be missing in the CTX2 MT25408 chip (besides lower bandwidth) compared to for example CTX3 MT27508 when most features, that were added in the former releases of WinOF, are not related to the fw but rather the os level.

So the question remains, what capabilities are missing that prevents further development of the MT25408 firmware?




I am not sure I can get my hands on a list that diffs between the two card’s features (beside BW) but for fact i know that there are quite a few including off-load engines and other scalability-related features.

checkout the product’s pages:

ConnectX2: Mellanox Products: ConnectX®-2 VPI with CORE-Direct Technology http://www.mellanox.com/page/products_dyn?product_family=61&mtag=connectx_2_vpi

ConnectX3: Mellanox Products: ConnectX®-3 Single/Dual-Port Adapter with VPI http://www.mellanox.com/page/products_dyn?product_family=119&mtag=connectx_3_vpi

i am sure that after reviewing you would agree that there are new features. All couldn’t be enabled without the HW support.


I’m also a bit worried about the general lifespan of the Mellanox adapter cards if they are to follow the same life cycle as CTX2 which was about five years. If our customers upgrade to CTX3 (CTX4 is overkill and far to expensive), technical support will only remain for one more year, i.e. until Q2-2016 next year.

Please correct me if I’m wrong…

Same here, don’t need more bandwidth than the x2, the cost of newer cards is too much, and when the price is low enough, looks like support will end soon on them so no point in buying them.

I have a problem with the current install that i have, which is in development, but as it looks like support is a problem, I dont think i will try hard to resolve it as I think I will probably scrap it and go with 10Gbit ethernet instead, using intel cards.