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Posts Tagged ‘virtualization’

OpenFabrics Software Users and Developers Receive InfiniBand Virtualization Update at the 2016 OFA Workshop

April 26th, 2016

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The InfiniBand architecture is a proven network interconnect standard that provides benefits for bandwidth, efficiency and latency, while also boasting an extensive roadmap of future performance increases. Initially adopted by the High Performance Computing industry, a growing number of enterprise data centers are demanding the performance capabilities that InfiniBand has to offer. InfiniBand data center use cases vary widely, ranging from physical network foundations transporting compute and storage traffic to enabling Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) in cloud service providers.

Today’s enterprise data center and cloud environments are also seeing an increased use of virtualized workloads. Using virtualized servers allows data center managers to create a common shared pool of resources from a single host. Virtualization support in the Channel Adapter enables different software entities to interact independently with the fabric. This effectively creates an efficient service-centric computing model capable of dynamic resource utilization and scalable performance, while reducing overhead costs.

Earlier this month at the OpenFabrics Alliance (OFA) Workshop 2016 in Monterey, CA, Liran Liss of member company Mellanox Technologies provided an update on the IBTA’s ongoing work to standardize InfiniBand virtualization support. He explained that the IBTA Management Working Group’s goals include making the InfiniBand Virtualization Annex scalable, explicit, backward compatible and, above all, simple in both implementation and management. Liss specifically covered the concepts of InfiniBand Virtualization, and its manifestation in the host software stack, subnet management and monitoring tools.

The IBTA effort to support virtualization is nearing completion as the annex enters its final review period from other working groups. If you were unable to attend the OFA Workshop 2016 and would like to learn more about InfiniBand virtualization, download the official slides or watch a video of the presentation via insideHPC.

Bill Lee

InfiniBand at VMworld!

September 2nd, 2011

VMworld 2011 took place this week in sunny Las Vegas, and with over 20,000 attendees, this show has quickly developed into one of the largest enterprise IT events in the world. Virtualization continues to be one of the hottest topics in the industry, providing a great opportunity for InfiniBand vendors to market the wide-array of benefits that InfiniBand is enabling in virtualized environments. There were several in the IBTA community spreading the InfiniBand message, but here were a few of note.

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On the networking side, Mellanox Technologies showed the latest generation of InfiniBand technology, FDR 56Gb/s. With FDR adapters, switches and cables available today, IT managers can immediately deploy this next generation technology into their data center and get instant performance improvements, whether it be leading vMotion performance, the ability to support more virtual machines per server at higher bandwidth per virtual machine, or higher capital and lower operating expenses by consolidating the networking, management and storage I/O into a one-wire infrastructure.

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Fusion-io, a Flash-based storage manufacturer that targets heavy data acceleration needs from such applications as database, virtualization, Memchached and VDI, also made a big splash at VMworld. Their booth featured an excellent demonstration of how low-latency, high-speed InfiniBand networks help enable Fusion-io to show 800 virtual desktops being accessed and displayed over 17 monitors. InfiniBand enabled them to stream bandwidth-intensive HD movies (over 2,000) from just eight servers.

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Pure Storage, a newcomer in the storage arena, announced their 40Gb/s InfiniBand-based enterprise storage array that targets applications such as database, VDI, etc. With InfiniBand they are able to reduce their latency by over 800 percent while increasing performance by 10X.

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Isilon was recently acquired by EMC, and in the EMC booth, a rack of Isilon storage systems was displayed, scaling out by running 40Gb/s InfiniBand on the back-end. These storage systems excel in VDI implementations and are ripe for customers implementing a cloud solution where performance, reliability and storage resiliency are vital.

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Also exhibiting at VMworld was Xsigo Systems. Xsigo showed their latest Virtual I/O Director which now includes 40Gb/s InfiniBand. The previous generation used 20Gb/s InfiniBand. With the upgraded bandwidth capabilities, Xsigo can now offer their customers with 12-30X acceleration of I/O intensive tasks such as vMotion, queries, backup, etc all while providing dynamic bandwidth allocation per VM or job. In addition, by consolidating the network over a single wire, Xsigo is able to provide customers with 85 percent less hardware cost per virtual machine.

The items mentioned above are just a small slice of the excitement that was at VMworld. I’m glad to have seen so many InfiniBand solutions displayed. For more information on InfiniBand in the enterprise, watch for an upcoming webinar series being produced by the IBTA.

Brian Sparks

IBTA Marketing Working Group Co-Chair

Foundation for the Converging Data Center: InfiniBand with Intelligent Fabric Management

March 26th, 2010

Most data centers are starting to realize the benefits of virtualization, cloud computing and automation. However, the heavy I/O requirements and intense need for better visibility and control quickly become key challenges that create inefficiencies and inhibit wider adoption of these advancements.

InfiniBand coupled with intelligent fabric management software can address many of these challenges-specifically those related to connectivity and I/O.

Technology analysis firm The Taneja Group recently took an in-depth look at this topic and published an interesting whitepaper, “Foundation for the Converging Data Center: Intelligent Fabric Management.” The paper lays out the requirements for intelligent fabric management and highlights how the right software can harness the traffic analysis capabilities that are inherent in and unique to InfiniBand to make data centers run a lot more efficiently. You can download the paper for free here.

Another interesting InfiniBand data point they shared: “in a recent Taneja Group survey of 359 virtual server administrators, those with InfiniBand infrastructures considered storage provisioning and capacity/performance management twice as easy as users of some of the other fabrics (Taneja Group 2009 Survey of Storage Best Practices and Server Virtualization).

The High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) is one organization that has benefited from using 40 Gb/s InfiniBand and Voltaire’s Unified Fabric ManagerTM software (UFMTM software) on their 700-node multi-tenant cluster, which basically operates as a cloud delivering HPC services to their customers. You can read more about it here.

I’d also like to invite you to tune into a recent webinar, “How to Optimize and Acclerate Application Performance with Intelligent Fabric Management,” co-hosted by Voltaire, The Taneja Group and Adaptive Computing. Here we explore this topic further and give an overview of some of the key capabilities of Voltaire’s UFM software.

Look forward to seeing many of you at Interop in Las Vegas next month!

christy-lynch

Christy Lynch

Director, Corporate Communications, Voltaire

Member, IBTA Marketing Working Group