Mellanox preps to ship 100 Gbps adapters

Pitching InfiniBand beyond the supercomputer biz

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Mellanox has rounded out its 100 Gbps InfiniBand interconnect strategy with the release of single/dual port adapters.

The ConnectX-4 release follows the March announcement of 100 Gbps-capable cable solutions and the aggregate 7.2 Tbps, 100ns-latency 36-port EDR (enhanced data rate) SwitchIB product in June.

The ConnectX-4 VPI adapter supports 10, 20, 25, 40, 50, 56 and 100 Gbps speeds, and can be configured as two InfiniBand ports, two Ethernet ports, or one of each.

The company's VP of marketing Gilad Shainer told Vulture South that the company has high hopes for the 100 Gbps market, with the predecessor 40 Gbps products reaching into the hundreds of thousands of units per quarter.

He said that the kinds of interconnect speeds typically associated with the supercomputer market are now “emerging outside of HPC – various applications are showing the need for faster throughput.”

The new adapters support 150 million messages per second, Shainer said, and InfiniBand at 100 Gbps over copper is now becoming an attractive alternative to fibre. “Copper cable has a huge advantage over fibre because it's cheaper,” he said, “and there's a considerable power saving.”

The company says in a 1,000-node cluster, 100 Gbps over copper is US$420,000 cheaper in capex and saves 2.5 KWh compared to fibre, and in a 5,000 node cluster the capex saving would be more than US$2 million and the power saving is 12.5 KWh. At SC 2014 next week in New Orleans the company plans to demonstrate copper 100 Gbps running at distances four times the original 2 metres in-rack capability the SwitchIB supported in June.

The adapter supports RoCE v2 RDMA specification (discussed in The Register here), and supports overlay network technologies including Network Virtualisation using GRE (NVGRE), VXLAN, Generic Network Virtualisation Encapsulation (GENEVE) and MPLS.

The adapters will start sampling in Q1 2015. ®


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