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Myricom Sees Ethernet Light

Myricom is beginning to see results from its decision last year to embrace Ethernet along with its proprietary high-speed interconnect technology.

Myricom last June launched Myri-10G, a network that adds 10-Gbit/s Ethernet functionality and interoperability to the vendor's Myrinet gear. (See High-Speed Links Favor Ethernet and Myricom Brings HPC to Ethernet.) With 10-GigE making strides and InfiniBand finally showing life, Myricom CEO Chuck Seitz realized being completely proprietary wasn't going to cut it.

We saw the writing on the wall some time ago that there are two networks in the world -- Ethernet and Ether-not,” Seitz quips. “We said, ‘OK, enough of being in the specialty networking business.’ There’s this whole other universe in storage, and you’ll see Myrinet more and more in data centers.”

Although it's still too early to know how the move will pan out, Seitz says two recent bits of news show his strategy is paying off. Myri-10G switches will be included in a Distributed ASCSI Supercomputer (DAS-3) grid connecting Linux supercomputing clusters at five universities in the Netherlands. Although Myrinet was used in two earlier DAS projects, its Ethernet support helped it retain its spot after it was re-evaluated against other high-speed interconnects for the coming project.

The DAS-3 project is in Myricom's high-performance computing (HPC) sweet spot. The grid, scheduled to go online in December, will let all computers connected to it work as one large computer to help the universities better share research.

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