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Voltaire fires InfiniBand barrage

Mar 11, 20032 mins

* Voltaire unleashes several InfiniBand products

Voltaire last week gave InfiniBand a boost when it announced four multiprotocol devices that combine the next-generation high-speed bus with Gigabit Ethernet routing and switching.

The devices are the ISR 6000 InfiniBand Switch Router, IBR 200 IP Router Blade, ISR 9600 InfiniBand Switch Router and Host Channel Adapter (HCA) 400. They are intended to efficiently route traffic in a data center between servers and network-attached storage or Fibre Channel storage-area networks.

By using InfiniBand and the Sockets Direct Protocol (SDP), the devices are also able to reduce server processor utilization by handling I/O operations themselves. SDP is a wire-level protocol defined by the InfiniBand Working Group of the InfiniBand Trade Association that performs zero-copy data transfers over the InfiniBand architecture.

Deploying Voltaire’s 4x InfiniBand products requires no changes to the operating systems, applications or database software being used in the data center. The HCA 400 appears to the IP network as a Gigabit Ethernet network adapter and InfiniBand bridging to the network is transparent.

The ISR 9600, the biggest InfiniBand switch router from Voltaire, has as many as 96 ports of 4x InfiniBand. It is a bladed router that is rack-mounted. Multiple IBR 200 IP Router Blades can fit into the ISR 9600. It features a redundant power supply and fans.

The ISR 6000 Switch Router contains two Gigabit Ethernet router ports and six InfiniBand switch ports. It has Layer 4-7 routing capability and is available in a 1U rack-mounted chassis. The ISR 6000 will support as many as four Gigabit Ethernet ports in the future.

The IBM 200 IP Router Blade fits in the Voltaire ISR chassis and routes TCP/IP to InfiniBand traffic; it terminates the TCP/IP session and relays it to InfiniBand-enabled servers using the SDP or IP over InfiniBand.

The HCA 400 is dual-ported 4x adapter that fits in PCI or PCI-X based servers. It ships with device drivers for Linux and Windows.

In addition, the devices support the Direct Access Provider Library, a high-performance Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) API used for database clustering. They also use the Message Passing Interface for high-performance computing and iSCSI over RDMA for transporting block-level storage over an IP network.

The ISR 6000 switch router starts at $7,000. It is available now. The ISR 9600 has not yet been priced; it is expected to be available in April.