• United States

Myricom rolls out faster clustering

Nov 06, 20032 mins

* Myricom’s newest adapter is faster, with failover technology

Server clustering vendor Myricom recently released a host adapter with better performance and availability than the company’s previous adapter.

Myricom’s Myrinet clustering technology is popular in high-performance clustering and technical computing environments.

The history of clustering is littered with failed attempts. For instance, many observers thought that InfiniBand might take over as the preferred clustering interconnect. Two years ago another start-up with a clustering architecture failed: Giganet, whose Gigabit Ethernet clustering used Remote Direct Memory Access, was bought by Emulex.

Several vendors using proprietary clustering technology remain. Among them are Myricom, PolyServe, IBM and Sun.

Myricom’s M3F2-PCIXE-2 “E card” is a PCI-X adapter with dual fiber-optic ports. While the E-card is almost twice as fast as the company’s single-port “D-card,” it uses the same application programming interfaces.

The firmware on the card distributes packets across the two ports in sending, effectively load-balancing the traffic. On the other end of the bidirectional transmission, packets are reassembled, so the two 250+250M-bit/sec ports act as one 500+500M-bit/sec port.

High-availability operation is important in the E-card. If, for example, one of the ports fails, communication will continue over the remaining port.

Benchmarks on the new cards showed a sustained data rate of 950M bit/sec.

The E-card uses a 64-bit, 133-MHz PCI-X bus. It is available now for $1,200.