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InfiniBand peeks out again

Jul 10, 20032 mins

* Several vendors embrace InfiniBand

InfiniBand got a shot in the arm last week as start-ups and server vendors introduced products that will use the technology.

Server blade vendor RLX Technologies announced that it will utilize Topspin Communications host channel adapters and switches to provide connections between its blade servers and LANs and storage-area networks.

Topspin will develop custom host channel adapters, an InfiniBand switch and InfiniBand-to-Ethernet and InfiniBand-to-Fibre Channel gateways for RLX, which RLX can use in high-performance computing applications.

RLX became the first server vendor to announce definitive InfiniBand plans.

Topspin also rolled out a set of programmable APIs and a hardware abstraction layer that hardware companies can use to develop server, storage or network products that work with TopSpin’s InfiniBand products.

Called the Switched Computing System, it translates policies developed by other applications into actions that will map server, storage and networking resources automatically.

Topspin’s Switched Computing Systems use a switch to balance resources across a network. They interconnect servers into clusters and connect them to Ethernet or Fibre Channel networks.

Further, Fabric Networks – formed from the union of Lane15 and InfiniSwitch – announced a non-blocking terabit InfiniBand switch last week. The FabNet 12800 Switch operates at 1.28 terabits per second and is aimed at use in high-performance server clusters. It has 128 ports and uses a “fat-tree” topology, which lets users build clusters that have scalable bandwidth between any two endpoints on the network. Fat-tree approaches double the number of paths as traffic climbs higher in the tree – paths become increasingly fatter as they move towards the root. The FabNet 12800 can scale from 64 to 128 nodes.

The FabNet 12800 is expected to be available by year-end.