Learn about InfiniBand


Learn about InfiniBand
David Gabel

One of the things that was immediately apparent to those attending the recently held Intel Developer Forum (San Francisco) was the emergence of InfiniBand as a new interconnect method.

InfiniBand is a new standard for connecting servers and storage devices, even SANs, inside a data center. It's needed, because the processors and storage devices are becoming so fast that the interconnects, such as IP links, are becoming bottlenecks.

How fast is it? One InfiniBand link runs at 2.5 Gbps, and you can gang the links in groups of two to four, so that you can get as fast as 10 Gbps. That ain't hay, as they say.

In addition, InfiniBand is a serial protocol. Such protocols send bits one at a time over a single wire or fiber link. (Parallel links, in contrast, such as a parallel interface, send multiple bits over several links at a time. This method needs considerable amounts of control signals, however, and as speeds go up, the need for control to make sure the parallel signals are in synch gets greater and greater, thus reducing effective bandwidth.

InfiniBand products are beginning to appear, and a host of companies were displaying them at the Developer Forum. Many of them, now, allow for connections to legacy equipment, but over the coming months we should start to see boxes, like disk enclosures and servers, appear with Infiniband connections. And as this gathers momentum,

Requires Free Membership to View

and as you begin to see your IT operations bogging down with increased intra-datacenter communications, you'll have to start moving to InfiniBand.

To get more information about InfiniBand, take a look at these links:

http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/tip/1,289483,sid5_gci810289,00.html?FromTaxonomy=%2Fpr%2F282544. This is a tip written by our expert Alan Earls on the InfiniBand Solutions Conference, held last week.

http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/bestWebLinks/0,289521,sid5_tax288116,00.html. SearchStorage best links on InfiniBand.

http://www.infinibandta.org/home. This is the InfiniBand Trade Association, which has members who are manufacturing InfiniBand hardware. It has a wealth of information about the new interconnect standard, as well as lists of providers.

http://www.intel.com/technology/infiniband/. Intel is a member of the InfiniBand Trade Association, and at this site provides an Intel InfiniBand Architecture Brochure.

http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/network/2002/02/04/windows.html. An introduction to the InfiniBand architecture.

Perusing these links will put you ahead of the power curve for InfiniBand.

David Gabel is executive technology editor for TechTarget.

This was first published in April 2002

There are Comments. Add yours.

TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Disclaimer: Our Tips Exchange is a forum for you to share technical advice and expertise with your peers and to learn from other enterprise IT professionals. TechTarget provides the infrastructure to facilitate this sharing of information. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or validity of the material submitted. You agree that your use of the Ask The Expert services and your reliance on any questions, answers, information or other materials received through this Web site is at your own risk.