Greetings IBTA members and the larger InfiniBand community,
As you may have read in our recent press release, the IBTA is pleased to announce dates for the 16th Compliance and Interoperability Plugfest:October 12-16, 2009 in the University of New Hampshire’s Interoperability Lab.
I personally have been involved in this event for the past 8 years and have seen the Plugfests grow tremendously. Products that successfully pass Plugfest testing gain inclusion in the IBTA Integrators’ List. We currently have 297 products on our Integrators’ List and are expecting more than 200 cables and devices to be tested at the October event.
With the introduction of the IBTA Integrators List Logo Program last fall, cable vendors and device manufacturers now have the right to attach IBTA-certified logos to products that are active on the Integrators List. We’ve heard positive feedback from end users excited that they can now easily recognize InfiniBand-compliant products. This is especially useful for end users deploying and maintaining clusters since the cables will now be labeled with the speeds that they support.
This Plugfest will also include many new QDR products from InfiniBand vendors along with testing for the new CXP Interconnect which provides InfiniBand connectivity in a 120 Gb/s in a 12x Small Form-factor Pluggable Interconnect.
IBTA members know that cluster performance software and human troubleshooters monitor InfiniBand port counters for information about traffic on different ports and links. Occasionally the port counters are reset when a network is reconfigured and a fresh view is needed. Similarly, market research vendors monitor manufacturer quarterly earnings announcements to measure the performance of the overall InfiniBand market as well as the switch, HCA and controller segments.
While many tradeshows this year have suffered from declining vendor participation and user attendance, the high-performance computing community was out in full force this week at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC’09) in Hamburg, Germany. The IBTA was well represented with several members exhibiting, including: Finisar, Fujitsu Limited, IBM, Intel, LSI, Mellanox , NEC, QLogic, SGI, Sun, Voltaire and W. L. Gore & Associates.
InfiniBand is largely thought of as a high-performance interconnect for large, TOP500-like HPC systems. It certainly is, but InfiniBand’s high bandwidth, low-latency capabilities are also useful across many vertical industries including financial services. A lot of us will be attending ISC’09 in Hamburg, but InfiniBand will also be in the spotlight at the annual Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) show in NYC that’s also taking place next week.
Recently, the InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA) released results from three analyst reports, demonstrating the continued market growth of InfiniBand products in the HPC and data center server and storage markets.
HPC Market Growth
For those following InfiniBand, the March 2009 Tabor Research report, “InfiniBand: Increases in Speed, Usage, Competition,” noting that “60 percent of surveyed HPC systems installed since the start of 2007 use InfiniBand as a system interconnect,” should come as no surprise. What is most promising is that “among those systems, over 30 percent also use InfiniBand for a LAN or storage interconnect.” In my view, that serves as a leading indication that customers are leveraging InfiniBand’s capabilities as the “unified wire”.
The report goes on to highlight increased demand for InfiniBand among customers consolidating their I/O fabrics. “HPC-using organizations that are considering converged fabric strategies are more likely to consolidate on InfiniBand than Ethernet.”
Hello IBTA community - we wanted to provide you with an update on some exciting developments in the world of supercomputing - specifically systems using InfiniBand - from the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) in Germany.
At the end of May, the JSC reached a significant milestone of German and European supercomputing with the inauguration of two new supercomputers: the supercomputer JuRoPA and the fusion machine HPC FF. And just last week, Sun Microsystems announced the supercomputer JuRoPA2 went online and is the most powerful Sun technology-based computer in Europe.
Recently, Taneja Group published what has become an annual report reviewing the state of InfiniBand in mainstream IT. Once again, the landscape has evolved in interesting ways this year, with virtual infrastructure and cloud computing being several of the forces driving InfiniBand adoption in the enterprise data center. Long story short, InfiniBand has proved itself as a capable platform for continued evolution, and vendors with products in this space have long ago figured out how to make the fabric into a platform. While us bleeding edge technologists speculate about what infrastructure as a service is going to look like, the most common names in InfiniBand have been turning the infrastructure fabric into a service enabled platform. Slightly different twists, as you will soon learn inside the report.
I was at Interop last week where the IBTA issued a press release regarding the growth of InfiniBand in both the HPC and EDC markets (review analyst reports). While there, I had some time to walk the show floor and check out the latest developments and announcements from a multitude of exhibitors.
I’m still pondering my take on Interop this year… it’s been a while since I’ve seen so many abandoned spaces on the show floor. Mind you - most were 10×10 or 10×20 spots - but you could tell there were others who went light on their presence. I saw one exhibitor that had a 40×40 booth and just filled it with banner stands. Yikes! So nothing was really grabbing at me - until I went to Fusion-io’s booth and saw the wall of monitors with 1,000 videos playing all at once.