Cisco ups InfiniBand ante with new switches

* Cisco adds to InfiniBand range and LMS Support for InfiniBand

Cisco this week expanded its InfiniBand portfolio with the addition of larger-port count switches and a management system that mimics that of its IOS Ethernet switching platform.

The company introduced the Cisco SFS 7000D Double Data Rate (DDR) and Single Data Rate (SDR) switches, which provide non-blocking, low-latency fabric connections. The SFS 7000 D has 24 ports, the SFS 7012D has 144 ports and the SFS 7024D has 288 ports.

DDR technology delivers 20Gbps bandwidth to x86 or Opteron PCI-Express-based servers or workstations. There is backwards compatibility between DDR and SDR systems.

The company also announced that there is increasing commonality between its IOS Ethernet operating system and the OS 2.7 the InfiniBand switches use. Both have common device management - they use the Cisco Command Line Syntax and scripting. Both also have a consistent security model - they support TACACS and RADIUS for centralized authentication and Secure Shell, SSL and SNMPv3 for management security. Additionally, both support multiple authorization levels. IOS and OS 2.7 use the same system image and configuration file libraries and have consistent methods for management notification of errors. Finally, both use the Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP).

All these enhancements mean that managing Cisco InfiniBand switches should be easier for Cisco administrators accustomed to managing Cisco Ethernet switches.

The company's new LMS Support for InfiniBand is a single network management application for Ethernet and InfiniBand networks. It has a centralized device, software and configuration inventory manager and a Device Fault Manager that provides diagnostic tools and an analysis function with centralized reporting. In addition, LMS Support for InfiniBand performs device-level fault analysis for the network fabric, including high availability monitoring and pager and e-mail notification.

The InfiniBand products from Cisco came about from its 2005 acquisition of Topspin Communications. The switches are available now starting at $1,000 to $2,000 a port.

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.