Consortium demonstrates long-distance InfiniBand

An IT industry organization that includes leading IT vendors such as Cisco Systems, Microsoft and Intel said Tuesday it has successfully demonstrated extended computing capabilities using InfiniBand technology. The demonstration was part of the SCinet conference in Seattle.

The OpenIB Alliance, an industry association chartered to create a single, open-source Linux- and Windows-based software stack for deploying InfiniBand, said it transmitted data at 10Gbit/sec. over a 50-mile distance from Intel's data center in DuPont, Wash., to the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

The demonstration linked servers and storage systems via switches and optical service platforms over Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing or Sonet OC-192.

Also included in the demonstration were the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Naval Research Laboratory, Obsidian Research and Qwest Communications International.

Through an industry alliance, OpenIB supplies open-source InfiniBand software, which can be used for high-performance computing, grid and enterprise data center backbones, and networking.

The demonstration involved applications that could be used over long-distance InfiniBand, including remote data center replication, high-performance interfaces to a WAN for InfiniBand-based clusters and supercomputers, grid computing, and campus and metro InfiniBand storage.

"The goal of this demonstration is to show that InfiniBand and the OpenIB software can support advanced simulation, computing and visualization across wide-area networks," Bill Boas, vice chairman of OpenIB and a computer scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, said in a statement.

At each endpoint, the InfiniBand protocol was encapsulated over OC-192c Sonet, ATM or 10 Gigabit Ethernet WANs at full InfiniBand data rates. The Naval Research Laboratory initiated and supported early development of this capability, OpenIB said.

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