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InfiniBand at Interop

This month, IBTA member companies attended the Interop Conference 2012 in Las Vegas. As news from the event streamed in and demos began on-site, we were excited to see that InfiniBand and RDMA were making headlines at this traditionally datacenter-focused event. Microsoft, FusionIO and Mellanox demoed a setup with Windows Server 2012 Beta and SMB 3.0 that illustrated amazing remote file performance using SMB Direct (SMB over RDMA), resulting in 5.8 Gbytes per second from a single network port. The demo consisted of a combination of Intel Romley motherboards each with two CPUs each with 8 cores, the faster PCIe Gen3 bus, four FusionIO ioDrive 2 drives rated at 1.5 Gbytes/sec each and the latest Mellanox InfiniBand ConnectX-3 network adapters. TechNet’s Microsoft contributor Jose Barreto noted in his coverage of the demo when looking at this handy results table that accompanied the demo:

“You can’t miss how RDMA improves the numbers for % Privileged CPU utilization, fulfilling the promise of low CPU utilization and low number of cycles per byte. The comparison between traditional, non-RDMA 10GbE and InfiniBand FDR for the first workload shows the most impressive contrast: over 5 times the throughput with about half the CPU utilization.”

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If you’re interested in learning more about the demo, check out Jose’s presentation at the conference; slides are available on his blog. Also if you want to learn more about RDMA, don’t forget to swing by the IBTA’s RDMA Over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) section of the website.

We’re happy to see RDMA getting the recognition it deserves, and we look forward to seeing more coverage resulting from Interop in the coming days, as well as future discussions around RoCE and how InfiniBand solutions can be deployed in the enterprise.

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Bill Lee
Mellanox

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