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InfiniBand makes a splash in the supercomputing world

Nov 22, 20052 mins
Data Center

* Latest InfiniBand products from LSI Logic, SGI, Verari and Voltaire

InfiniBand took center stage at Supercomputing 2005 in Seattle last week as LSI Logic, SGI, Verari and Voltaire introduced server and storage systems that use the interface.

At the show, LSI Logic announced the mid-range Engenio 6498 controller and Engenio 6498 storage system. These systems incorporate InfiniBand for connection to host computers with back-end Fibre Channel or Serial ATA disk drives.

The LSI Logic systems are among the first to converge server and storage technology. Mellanox was the first vendor to use InfiniBand to cluster storage when it launched its InfiniBand storage platform a year ago.

InfiniBand has for years been a niche market for interconnecting servers in high-performance clusters. But Cisco’s acquisition of Topspin earlier this year looked set to make InfiniBand a mainstream technology for the data center.

Now using technology from Mellanox, LSI Logic looks set to boost InfiniBand by tying the server interconnectivity to storage requirements.

The Engenio systems are designed, like many of the products introduced at the show, for high-performance computing environments built on clusters of Linux machines. LSI Logic does not sell the Engenio 6498 controller and storage system directly but OEMs them to SGI and Verari, a manufacturer of blade servers.

SGI rebrands and sells the Engenio 6498 as the SGI InfiniteStorage TP9700. The TP9700 includes four 10G-bit/sec InfiniBand host connections. It uses InfiniBand components from Voltaire and Mellanox. It supports SGI Irix, Windows, Solaris, AIX, 32- and 64-bit Linux and Mac OS X host computer and as many as 224 Fibre Channel or Serial ATA drives. The TP9700 starts at $103,550 and is available now.

Verari Systems also introduced its VS7000i native InfiniBand attached storage system. Again, like the Engenio 6498 and TP9700, the storage array connects to Verari’s BladeRack clusters. The Verari VS7000i is available now. A 5.6T-byte VS7000i with 2G bytes of cache is priced at $72,126.

Voltaire, not to be left out of the InfiniBand fray, announced that its InfiniBand Switch Routers, its VoltaireVision grid management software and its host channel adapters and software support Microsoft Compute Cluster Server 2003.