Voltaire's 40G InfiniBand switches target data centers
October 27, 2008 -- Voltaire Ltd. has released a line of quad data rate (QDR) 40-Gbit/sec Infiniband switches designed to bring heightened levels of bandwidth and performance to high-performance clustered systems. Additionally, the company says its Grid Director 4000 line of switches features "smart" design elements to meet the needs of next-generation data centers.
October 27, 2008 -- Voltaire Ltd. has released a line of quad data rate (QDR) 40-Gbit/sec Infiniband switches designed to bring heightened levels of bandwidth and performance to high-performance clustered systems. Additionally, the company says its Grid Director 4000 line of switches features "smart" design elements to meet the needs of next-generation data centers, delivering benefits such as increased scalability, improved energy efficiency and expanded management capabilities.
According to Voltaire, the first switch in the Grid Director 4000 family is the Grid Director 4036, specifically designed to meet the "scale-out, energy-efficiency and ease-of-use" requirements of modern data centers. The Grid Director 4036 features 36 ports of 40 Gbit/sec InfiniBand connectivity and ultra low latency to accelerate performance of applications running on clusters of servers and storage.
With its compact footprint, measuring 15 inches deep and weighing 16.9 lbs, the Grid Director 4036's 1U chassis is only half the depth of previous generations. Its configurable air-flow direction, low 10-watts-per-port power consumption, and redundant AC or DC power options are designed to allow the switch to easily integrate into highly dense and energy-efficient data center deployments while also plugging into standard and optimized racks.
With increased 40 Gbit/sec speeds comes faster signaling rates, notes the company; as such, the design of the Grid Director 4036's proprietary software capabilities are designed to optimize signal quality and lower bit error rates, which enable the use of multiple cable types or vendors and extended cable lengths for flexible, scale-out architectures.
The Grid Director 4036 also incorporates software-based management including device and subnet management to simplify operations, and advanced adaptive routing and congestion management that provide better throughput and sustainable application performance. These capabilities enable unified fabric deployments in which mixed loads of cluster, storage and network traffic run on a single InfiniBand wire. The switch also enables in-band or out-of-band remote access for monitoring, software updates, troubleshooting or configuration.
"Improved processing power and massive scalability are critical to advancing petascale scientific simulation capabilities in a multitude of scientific and engineering disciplines," offers Matt Leininger, Deputy for Advanced Technology Projects at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (www.llnl.gov). "Switches using QDR InfiniBand significantly increase bandwidth and messaging rates and improve switch throughput under heavy loads with adaptive routing. These advances will enable us to better utilize multicore processing technologies by efficiently scaling our Linux clusters into the thousands of nodes."
Voltaire says the Grid Director 4036 optimizes I/O throughput for multi-core servers, improving the performance of high performance computing applications in industries including manufacturing, energy, financial services, life sciences, government, and research and education, where increased speed may translate to greater productivity, improved service levels and higher revenues. Additional director-class switches are planned for release in the second quarter of 2009. The company claims that, with a list price of less than $400/port, the Grid Director 4036 marks "a new low price point for InfiniBand."
"The Grid Director 4000 family represents Voltaire's fourth generation of switching platforms, which incorporate not only the best performance InfiniBand has to offer, but also have a 'smart' design with physical characteristics and software-based capabilities that enhance scalability and manageability and reduce power consumption," comments Patrick Guay, executive vice president of global sales and general manager of Voltaire, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Voltaire Ltd.
The Grid Director 4036 is the first of Voltaire's family of QDR products and will be available in December through Voltaire OEM partners and resellers. Additional director-class QDR switches are expected to be available in Q2 of 2009.
Voltaire will demonstrate the Grid Director 4036 in booth 819 at SC|08, November 17- 20, 2008, in Austin, Texas.
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