InfiniBand: The Competitive Advantage (Server Talk Episode 6)

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If you are familiar with networking technology in the modern data center, you've probably heard the term InfiniBand before. Often we find that there is some confusion over exactly what InfiniBand is and does. We hope to help clear up these misunderstandings (if only partially). InfiniBand is a complicated technology, but we have one of our solutions engineer Andrew Brant with us in today's special feature of our "Server Talk" podcast. While Ethernet remains the most commonly used networking … [Read more...]

SAS, SATA, and iSCSI – A Tutorial

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Yesterday there was a great piece over at TechRepublic on the confusing intersection of SAS, SATA and iSCSI arrays. For anyone who has ever had a difficult time understanding and differentiating these technologies, this is a very valuable resource. Excerpts are cross-posted below. SATA and SAS are storage interface and bus types designed to aid in the movement of data from one place to another. Think of SAS and SATA as different kinds of computer interfaces, such as PCI Express, but there are … [Read more...]

Intel MIC and its Comprehensive Networking Strategy

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Last week we talked about the upcoming release of Intel's Xeon E5 processor family. This week, we have some even more important announcements regarding Intel MIC and the strategic direction that Intel is headed regarding high performance computing. … [Read more...]

How a SAS switch can improve storage management

Last week, LSI announced their release of "the industry's first 6Gb/s SAS switch". The switch offers unique opportunities for cluster managers to improve the architecture of their storage systems. The value of the SAS switch is its function of transforming a cluster from a NAS (network-attached storage) structure into a DAS (direct-attached storage) structure. With DAS, storage data does not have to be transferred from the SAS protocol to the network protocol (Ethernet or InfiniBand) and back … [Read more...]

Software Driven Networking: Enabling New Internet Speed Protocols

A team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology created a router, built from parts found in most high-end desktop computers, that transmits data at nearly 40 GBps. The technique used by the scientists could lead to the development of cheap commodity chips, replacing the custom made hardware in high performance routers. The software could lead to the development of new techniques and protocols to replace the decades old infrastructure, on which the Internet currently … [Read more...]

Great introduction to Infiniband

The InfiniBand Trade Association published a very useful white paper that is an introduction to InfiniBand technology. InfiniBand is a network technology that greatly boosts computing performance by allowing applications in different parts of a standard network to communicate without the standard network's usual communication channels. By using only the server resources those applications need and little else, InfiniBand can significantly increase computational speed and performance. The white … [Read more...]