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Foundry lands Microsoft for high-performance computing initiative

Dec 06, 20052 mins
High-Performance ComputingMicrosoftNetworking

* Microsoft joins Foundry’s HPC Ethernet Alliance

Foundry Networks last month continued to build its case for high-performance computing by signing Microsoft to its HPC program and holding the first meeting of its HPC Ethernet Alliance at the SC2005 supercomputing conference in Seattle.

Foundry started up its HPC Ethernet Alliance program to develop Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet products to HPC environments, such as server clusters, grids and supercomputers. The alliance says it does interoperability testing, benchmarking and joint marketing. Current members of the alliance include adapter makers Ammasso, Chelsio Communications, Level 5 Networks, Myricom and Neterion.

Microsoft is now involved to promote its Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 for solving complex computational problems. Microsoft and Foundry say they’ll conduct interoperability tests between the software and Foundry’s switches. Microsoft is pitching the effort as a way for enterprise data centers to get “the power of high performance computing without the high cost of specialized systems.”

It’s interesting to see Foundry work hard to get other vendors on board as it pushes into this niche of HPC. It’s a niche that is growing, and a lot of other vendors want to be there as well. Now that it has attracted NIC vendors and landed Microsoft, look for others to get involved.

In related news, Foundry says it provided the IPv6 routing and 10 Gigabit Ethernet technology to help break the Internet2 Land Speed Record for IPv6 networking. Using WAN physical-layer interfaces running 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Foundry’s NetIron 40G was able to route IPv6 traffic at wire speed. In the end, the network achieved a transfer rate of 5.58G bit/sec over 30,000 kilometers, beating the previous record by 130%.