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InfiniBand takes center stage

Opinion
Nov 29, 20052 mins
Data Center

* New InfiniBand-based products

InfiniBand stepped into the limelight earlier this month as LSI Logic, SGI, Verari and Voltaire introduced server and storage systems that use the interface.

At Supercomputing 2005 in Seattle, 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.

InfiniBand has been for several years a niche market for interconnecting servers in high-performance clusters

Now, using technology from Mellanox, LSI Logic has tied that 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 instead OEMs them to SGI and Verari, a manufacturer of blade servers.

SGI re-brands 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 computers 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 a switch and software stack that supports Microsoft Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003. The Voltaire hardware and software make it easier to grow and deploy Windows-based clusters.