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The World's Biggest Storage Interconnect

The 30th edition of the world's Top 500 Supercomputers list went out this week, as IT suppliers convened at an HPC event in Reno, Nev.

This list, which comes out twice a year, is interesting on many counts. But one of the things that's eye-catching is the interconnect technology used in these humongous data centers.

Despite a well-funded campaign for InfiniBand mindshare, for instance, we see InfiniBand accounting for just 24.2 percent of the world's Top 500 systems -- down from 25.60 percent in June 2007. Gigabit Ethernet, in contrast, is used in 54 percent of systems, up from 41.20 percent in June.

Last year at this time, however, Gig Ethernet was represented in 42.60 percent of the Top 500 installations, while InfiniBand turned up in 15.60 percent.

We can't assume too much from these figures, given the lack of detail. After all, it's puzzling to see Gig Ethernet shrink 1.4 percent year on year! Still, it seems that InfiniBand has grown faster than Ethernet, even though it isn't getting farther than a quarter of the world's biggest data centers.

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